Saturday, May 7, 2016

It’s all Italiano!

Going to Prego, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park’s Italian restaurant is a must with its new chef Eraldo Collazzo. Sapna Sarfare checks the place and comes out all pleased.

It’s Italian cuisine reloaded at the much-loved and acclaimed Prego, the Italian fine dining restaurant at The Westin Pune, Koregaon Park. While their Italian specialties have always been attracted foodies from all around Pune, they were in search of a new head chef to lead its troop for a few months. And the wait got over with renowned Chef Eraldo Collazzo who has take over as the new Italian chef at Prego. His 38 years experience from all around the globe serving celebs & commoners alike will come in handy here. From May 5th 2016, his new and well-researched menu will be served to all hungry and interested Punekars visiting The Westin.

At a sneak preview, I got a hang of what will surprise everyone. It’s going to something different from the last chef as Chef Eraldo is more about going all natural with ingredients, a touch of authenticity and a twist. I found that out with the simplicity of the food he served at the preview. And you will love this touch. Originally, from Rome, the food from that region can be seen here. You will find chef’s signature dishes like Spaghetti Sofia Loren, Big Bang Seafood Salad, Cacio e Pepe to name a few.  

Freshly Baked Breads

First, we were served two types of freshly-baked breads typical to the region – the rye bread and Focaccia which just had us reaching out to it every time. The breads combined with some salsa (quite surprising) made our taste buds go wild.

Insalata Itaca

We then tried the Amuse Bouche that was tempura zucchini with balsamic sauce, which was light and delectable thanks to its easy flavours. What made me go crazy was a perfect salad for summers consisting of watermelon, feta cheese and mango. The combination amazed with me as I realised how easily they complimented each other. The Insalata Itaca which was a salad made of lettuce, feta cheese, olive, onion, pepper and sundried tomatoes was another winner thanks to it light dressing and good combination. Cheese lovers will go made over the Burrata Cheese with Tomatoes, which combined a dollop of Mozzarella cheese over tomatoes and just perfected the simple taste. The other previewers and I were won over by the amazing salads while we sipped on assorted drinks. I loved being served the 5-year-old red wine that was light enough to appreciate the rest of the meal.

Chef Eraldo Collazzo
We shifted to the main course, which began with the Penne Norma, which combined aubergine, basil tomato sauce, and mozzarella, was likable. The prominent basil tomato sauce surprisingly did not overwhelm the other flavours especially the bite size pieces of aubergine. Mozzarella cheese was sprinkled with ease but it was not too cheesy. I personally rated the Salmon Pasta as one of the winning recipes from the kitchens of Chef Eraldo. I loved the delicate flavours of salmon combined with the pasta and sauce which melted in your mouth. Chicken lovers would like the Pollo Genova that is chicken fillet in sweet basil pesto, pine nut and served with salad and potato wedges. The fillet was well-made and again, the basil pesto with pine nuts gave the chicken delicate flavour. Though the Beetroot and Parmesan Sauce Risotto (beetroot risotto topped with extra aged parmesan sauce) tasted decent, some might be bothered with its too simple taste and al dente nature. A word of truth – that is how risotto is cooked in Italy. I personally found it overshadowed by other well-made delicacies. That’s unfortunate.

Panna Cotta
The icing over an excellent meal was the Panna Cotta containing sambuca scent and berry coulis. The berries flavoured the panna cotta well but were not too sweet. You just want to drown in its taste.

I personally found Chef Eraldo Collazzo’s food to be simple yet full of taste and true to his belief that authentic food should be natural and speak of the region. Though some delicacies won our votes big time over others, I found it hard to reject anything per say. Now Punekars get a chance to check the new chef’s magic at Prego, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park.

Venue: Prego, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park, 84/36, N Main Rd, Koregaon Park Annexe, Pune
Timings: 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM 
Contact: 020 67210060

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