Tonino is the must try Italian restaurant in Delhi so when I was invited to review their newer “Cafe” version in CP, I grabbed at the opportunity. Located adjacent to PVR Plaza, next to the iconic Nizam’s, Cafe Tonino has an inviting all white entry that leads to its front door on the first floor. It does look quite different from any other restaurant in CP and the fresh white and zesty yellow colour brings out the Mediterranean feel.
I was welcomed with wide smiles. The decor of the place immediately caught my attention and it definitely is worth a mention. Black and white pictures of Italian streets line the walls and the brick feel of the place does transport you to Italy. There are two dining areas in the restaurant and a big plus is the wood fired oven. Coming to the food, I must admit that I had visited the restaurant much before the place was open to the public, hence I was served food from their set menu. I had a look through the full menu, which did look more appetising.
Our meal began with a trio of salads. I recall that the salad, “rucola con pere” was smashing. It hit the right spots with its combination of rocket leaves, pears and that amazing honey balsamic dressing. It was a beautifully balanced salad, the dressing cut the bitterness of rocket, a must have.
Another great salad was the “barbabietole e caption salad” – fresh artichokes, and beetroot mixed with superb goats cheese was a heavenly combination and one I would like to have again.
Then came the best dish of the evening , “spiedini di gamberi”, grilled prawns with a spicy pineapple dip. The combination of flavours were brilliant to say the least. The prawns were cooked just right and the amazing sweet, tangy and spicy dip brought the dish to life. I honestly could have had a plateful but alas there were three people at the table with whom I had to share my food!
I then had a number of main course dishes starting with the “tuna panini” which wasn’t to my liking. The combination seemed mouth-watering but the tuna did not seem fresh and it dragged the dish down. Maybe some other day if Tonino get their tuna fresh, this can be another winner.
There was an innovative “pizza sandwich”, which was a pizza covered with another pizza base and baked in the oven. The pizza had been stuffed with great ingredients and hence this was quite a tasty dish, a must try for pizza lovers.
My favourite main course was the “spicy chicken thin crust pizza”. The crust of the wood fired oven pizza was crisp and the perfectly marinated spicy chicken was a delight.
There was also a good pasta dish, ricotta and spinach tortellini in a mushroom sauce. If only it had better seasoning this dish would have been on my list of reasons to come back to Tonino.
The desserts were good too. The tiramisu deserves a mention. Soft, creamy and not overpowered by coffee (as it is in many restaurants), it is the best dessert at Caffe Tonino.
We had an experimental chocolate brownie with a white chocolate topping that I did not enjoy. There was also a great Arabian honey cake laced with nuts and honey which was quite tasty.
Overall, I’d say it is a worthy follow up to one of best Italian restaurants in Town, Tonino. Till the time one is sticking to the classic dishes (and there is a plethora to choose from) you will not go wrong here.
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Review & Photo Credit: Shivangi Sinha
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