Amidst the suave, well cultured and purely professional staff managing Zanotta, the award winning Italian fine dining restaurant of Leela Kempinski and our happy-go-lucky bunch of bloggers from Blogger’s Table, it was a rather classy evening spent on last Saturday. The restaurant situated on the 6th floor of the hotel right there at the doorstep of the suburbia manages to rise and shine like a star on the face of this now-happening food district, Gurgaon.
It kicked-off with an introductory chit-chat with the hotel’s General Manager, Roger Wright, F&B Head Shisheer Manohar, Head of PR & Marcom Vinay Narang and their seasoned Executive Chef Emmanuel Guemon over a glass of sparkling wine. And as soon as we finished exchanging the cards, we were talking food and this is what mattered most to all of us.
We took our conversation to a long dining table, with each one of our names assigned to seats, inside the restaurant. Mine was adjoining Sid, Charis, Rekha and the Chef Emmanuel. There was already a dated five course menu, especially designed by the team for the evening. I was already impressed by the minute-level details that have been taken care of and there was more to follow.
After I chose for the non-vegetarian menu, first came the scallops nicely charred and done to the level of tenderness served along with zucchini salad. They were paired with a Craggy Range Chardonnay from New Zealand. Right after the scallops, we were served a Sicilian sea food soup, quite full of fresh flavors from sea. I was slow on wine and was served another one Albert Bichot Cote de Rhone, Chardonnay from France, before I could finish my first one. The bread basket was getting refilled silently time and again. All the servers were quite attentive, I must say.
The dinner table had a dramatic appearance between the meal. A strawberry sorbet, as a palate cleanser walked down the ramp. And everyone was gaping at it. An igloo carved out at one side, dimly lit with a candle from inside, with a small serving of sorbet sitting on a napkin in the front. It was an amazing piece of artwork, not just any sorbet. Nonetheless it tasted divine. Following that we were served a very delicious mushroom ravioli based in a simple tomato basil sauce paired with another glass of wine Valpolicella ‘Classico’ Allegrini, Corvina. For the main course it was Zanotta special Salmon with arugula pesto sizzling on a very hot plate; simple flavors, yet potent enough to satisfy the taste buds. It was a Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat, Cabernet Shiraz from Australia which paired the main.
A bitter chocolate semi freddo with candied orange peel and mint was a fabulous dessert, which summed up the dinner. All in all it was a wonderful evening spent with the blogger friends and the highly proficient team of Zanotta. And it was fun knowing Chef Emmanuel Guemon, who besides having spent 28 years in this profession, is also a shy and modest food photography enthusiast.
Other’s on the table that night: