The menu of this vegetarian Italian restaurant is indeed quite an elaborate one

“Want a milder flavour of pasta, or try the P32 or P27 for a bit spicier one,” says restaurant manager Lewellyn Fowler of Little Italy, the newly opened branch of the popular vegetarian Italian restaurant chain. A bit puzzled, I look at the menu trying to decipher the mystery behind the numbers. Fowler comes to our rescue and smiles, “Our customers know the dishes by the numbers. It makes life easier for them rather than remembering the long tongue-twister names of the dishes.” The menu of this vegetarian Italian restaurant is indeed quite an elaborate one. Perhaps that is one of its USPs. From the first branch in Pune way back in the 1990s to its journey through the Indian cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa and Bangalore, the restaurants are well known for their wide variety and excellent food.

Its first branch in Vizag is at Waltair Uplands. The décor of the restaurant has been done keeping in mind the continental taste with ample use of soft lights and a reasonably spacious interiors. We get started with nachos and cheese sauce followed by cream of mushroom soup. “The cream we use in our all branches is sourced from Bangalore. Hence there is uniformity in the taste across all branches,” says Fowler. Some of the cheeses used at the restaurant are prepared from vegetable oil. “These are low-calorie ones,” Fowler tells us.

The other varieties include the Montre Jack used for nachos, mozzarella grain used in pizzas, mozzarella block for salads and blue cheese for pasta.

My personal favourite being blue cheese, I scour for the pasta with this cheese blend. The Al 4 Formaggi pasta in the restaurant’s menu is a combination of four types of cheese including blue cheese.

The restaurants signature dish, however, is the pasta Barbaresca. Made of 75 per cent white and 25 per cent red sauce, this one has a creamy texture and is an ideal option to get the taste of both sauces. It’s a preparation of creamy sauce with fresh broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, temphe, parmesan cheese and chilli pepper.

You can choose from a variety of starters like crostini rustici (sliced bread topped with artichokes, capers, fresh tomoto sauce), cheese fondue, spinaci salsa and for the main course there are pizzas on thin crust, pastas, risotto and lasagne. Wheat-based pizzas will be added shortly to the menu. The restaurant also serves Jain food on request.

Ambience: Nice

Service: Good

Speciality: Pasta Barbaresca

Price for two : Rs. 600 to Rs. 800