Large portions, great ingredients, and warm ambience make you want to come back for more

Walking into the newly opened La Tagliatella, located at the Amrest Bunglow, Indiranagar is like entering a whole new world. From the winding wrought iron staircases and wooden flooring to the gilded lamps, tiles, framed pictures of the Sistine chapel, Michelangelo's David and brightly-coloured interiors, every cliché that popular culture uses to represent Italy holds true. You almost expect a buxom Italian matriarch in a print dress to emerge from the corners, wiping her floury hands on her apron, all ready to welcome you home.

At the entrance of the restaurant is arranged the staples of a typical Mediterranean meal—a loaf of golden bread, a hunk of cheese, a pile of fresh vegetables and the ubiquitous canister of olive oil. The only thing missing in the wine — the restaurant hasn’t got its liquor license yet.

But while a glass of vino would have certainly added to the overall experience, the fresh produce, imported ingredients, fine sauces, perfectly balanced flavours and generous portions more than make up for it.

I start with Pane della Tagliatella—warm, crusty, strips of focaccia with varied toppings (olives, onion and sun-dried tomatoes). Drizzled with spicy olive oil, the bread is delicious and simply melts in your mouth, begging you to reach out for more.

Next comes the salad — insalata di mozzarella gratinata. Mixed greens are tossed with olives, nuts and tomatoes and topped with cubes of warm, melted cheese. The concoction, held together by a sweet and sour honey and pistachio vinaigrette is light, fresh and crunchy and you cannot help but marvel that’s something that is essentially so healthy (except for the cheese, of course) can taste so good.

I plough my way through the salad and then start with the mains. I begin with a basic lasagne — the sheets of pasta, layered with white and red sauce, cheese and vegetables may be the oldest version of pasta, but like any other classic, its appeal is timeless and I barely restrain myself from having another serving.

Next comes the scaloppine di pollo, chicken in a thick, brown sauce accompanied by vegetables. The chicken is tender and perfectly cooked the sauce light and buttery, the vegetables tender but not overcooked.

I can feel my tummy protest but I valiantly ignore it and go on to the next item — ravioli verde. The green pockets of pasta, stuffed with ricotta cheese and smothered in creamy sauce may clog your arteries but it is oh so very delicious. And how can I refuse that ancient peasant dish which has metamorphosed over the years into what we call a pizza today? The wood-fire may have been taken over by a swanky new gas oven, but the final product when dished out to us is undeniably delicious. The slender crust fairly totters with layers of interesting toppings—tomato, cheese, chicken, ham, olives making every bite a sheer gastronomic delight.

I draw my breath and then start on dessert. First a palate cleansing lemon sorbet followed by an array of mini pannacota and finally a truffle of rich, dark chocolate. The pannacota was a bit of a let down, while the texture was brilliant; the flavours didn’t really work for me. The truffle and the sorbet more than made up for it, however. The flavours were subtle and understated instead of being cloyingly sweet and I literally licked my plate clean. The prices may look a little intimidating at first but when you see the gargantuan portions, you realize that it is actually fairly good value for money. The service is quick and efficient, the interiors reassuringly bright and homey and the food is plentiful, sinfully delicious and perfectly cooked. Definitely, a place worth revisiting—even if it means an extra hour on the treadmill the next day. Call 60506066 for reservations.