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Veggies for VIGOUR



Health freaks can feast on a range of 17 salads at LIttle Italy. — V. Murali Kumar

HERE'S YET another speciality restaurant coming the way of Bangaloreans, who are every so eager for gastronomical adventures. What makes Little Italy a little different from the usual Italian restaurants is that it serves only vegetarian food.

Executive Chef Dario Dezio has more to say about this choice: "The word `vegetarian' was coined from the Latin word `vegetus', which means `active' or `vigorous'. It is the zest for life that we hope to capture in our vegetarian dishes from the Mediterranean and Italian region."

The beautifully done up restaurant echoes its philosophy in its light green walls and indoor and outdoor seatings done up in pastel shades of green. The extensive menu thrills vegetarians and offers various courses from zuppe (soups) to dolci (desserts).

Those who prefer a light meal can delight in a range of 17 salads that use various combinations of herbs, virgin olive oil, mozzarella, mushrooms, vegetables, and salad dressings. Chef Dario Dezio takes the credit for some creations here, while others such as the corleone salad (with pickled onions, capers, and balsamic vinegar) and the insalata dei monti Iblei, which gets it's name after the mountain region, are the typical Italian fare.

A number of dishes containing breads with toppings greet you in the antipasti (starters) section of the menu. The bruschetta and crostinis come with various toppings such as mushrooms, tomato, artichokes, cheese, etc.. Some of these are a treat to the tastebuds, while other toppings are not much different from the ordinary. The restaurant also has some unique preparations with avacados, mushrooms, and aubergines. Regular Italian fare can be had for the first course — again a large selection of various baked dishes (read lasagne and cannelloni), risotto, and pasta (tagliatelle, penne, fusili, ravioli, gnocchi and so on) in over 30 preparations. Of these, the one with four varieties of cheese — blue, mozzarella, gouda, and Parmesan — is a speciality. Another 30 varieties of pizzas, with the home-style Italian touch, ensure tough decision making for pizza lovers.

Little Italy also serves some Mexican fare and hopes to introduce fondue in the coming months. The ristorante and bar, which has other branches in Mumbai, Pune, and Goa, is open from 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.. With awards like Best Italian Restaurant for the Pune outlet, ironing out a few teething problems at Bangalore (read service), could do them good. For reservations, call 25289126 or 25297482.

TINA GARG

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