As I enter La Cucina, the lovely Italian restaurant of Hyatt Regency Kolkata, I notice that it is virtually empty. I am slightly ahead of schedule for a change, arriving at 3.45 pm instead of 4, when the official two-hour long dining would begin with Pizza acrobatics showcasing Pasqualina Barbasso.
La Cucina is cozy and intimate – and the server who is in charge is extremely attentive. He requests us to sit on the lounge and order a drink while he sets our table. Minutes later, we are shown to our seats where the server asks for our drink of choice. We both decide on wine – I spy one of my favorite whites on the list, while he goes for a more orthodox red. 

A small, special menu card, designed to go with the pizza acrobatics show is delivered to us. The menu is short, yet comprehensive, with a good number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections on offer. While we browse through the menu, the server gives us a taste of the wine, and then pours it after we approve of it.

From where we are seated, we have a view of the lawn and the work station where pizzas are made in the wood-fire oven on one side. I watch as the chefs create our pizzas quickly, their work neat and efficient.

Sapori di Bosco – sausage, salami, mushrooms, mozzarella

The first pizza of my choice is the Sapori di Bosco, with a lovely tomato sauce in the base, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, and thin slices of salami and handmade, creamy sausages. The sharp tangy taste of the tomatoes complement the creamy mozzarella, and the sausages, and the crisp, thin base is baked to perfection, with blisters from the fire adding a little smokey note.

Campagnola – Asparagus cream, aubergine, zucchini, asparagus, mozzarella, artichoke crowns

My partner in crime, meanwhile, wanted a pizza which would have a white base, so the Campagnola is duly ordered. With crisp aubergine and zucchini on top, a generous helping of asparagus and cheese, this pizza is slightly bland in my opinion, and needed a drizzle of the olive oil kept on the table, and a pinch of chilli flakes.

Pasqualino Barbasso

Meanwhile, Pasqualino Barbbasso, the man who would be doing some pizza acrobatics for us, comes in, and shows us a few of his moves. He takes pizza dough and starts twirling them about, twisting as he goes.

He starts with one.

And moves up to two. And before long, he’s tossing them in the air. Most of the times, he doesn’t even look at the dough – they are just being tossed about. I am suitably stunned. Once done, he takes a bow, and chats briefly with us before leaving.

Soave

I take a sip of my wine after the show is over. I am drinking the Soave from Collection of Bertani, a lovely white with light vegetable and grassy notes, a slight dryness, and a very light body. It’s the perfect wine to drink with my pizza, I figure. I am not impressed by my partner in crime’s choice, the Soledoro Sangiovese, which is a full-bodied red with fruity notes and a very dry finish. He seems to like it, though, and our glasses get topped up constantly as we progress through the course of our meal.

We are both mostly full, so we decide to order half-and-half. He chooses the Italy Pizza – Pesto, tomato slices, mozzarella on a tomato sauce base, while I go for the Arrotolata, where the crust of the pizza is stuffed generously with marinated artichoke hearts, and topped with Parmesan shavings and Parma ham, with some rocket sprinkled on top. I am in raptures over the ham and cheese and artichoke heart combination, and I completely ignore his pizza for mine.

We are reminded of the time – it’s nearly six o’clock and time has flown. The Tiramisu Pizza is served. The fresh, slightly salty and blistered pizza base is covered with a layer of sweet cream flavored with coffee, and topped with cocoa and mint leaves. The contrast between the hot, salty crust and the cold, sweet cream is gorgeous, and we finish our afternoon meal on a delicious note.

La Cucina is conducting a few Pizza Acrobatics show all through this week, up to the 17th of August. Do try and make it there – there is an a-la-carte menu which is quite tempting as well as a choice of buffet if you decide on buying a Groupon deal. For more information, visit www.groupon.co.in in the next couple of days to get a deal. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

    2 Comments

  1. Best hairstylist Pune 2017-08-10 at 6:52 am Reply

    great post

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-08-10 at 7:51 pm Reply

      Thanks!

Leave a Comment