Saturday, December 03, 2011


Dario's Koregaon Park PuneThere are few restaurants in Pune that can boast of surroundings such as this. Lush green vegetation, an occasional peacock from the neighboring Osho ashram, and a large outdoor dining space under a canopy of tropical trees. But oodles of atmosphere is not the only charm here. Dario Dezio's eponymous restaurant in tony Koregaon Park is also known for its extraordinary and authentic Italian salads, pastas and wood-fired pizzas. The care they take to make their food safe is lore: for example, they wash their greens in mediclorex and then in silver colloid to to kill bacteria and neutralize the taste of chlorine.

Dario's PuneDario Dezio moved into Pune from his native Silicy about 20 years back. He was the chef at Little Italy for several years before starting his own restaurant. The one thing you need to note is this restaurant serves only vegetarian food. It is a testimony of how good the food is that you may not even notice!

Dario's PuneThis time I was here for a leisurely lunch experience with my family. We sat outdoor with the sun playing hide-and-seek through the green canopy overhead. Maroon-robed sanyasins, expat couples and Indian families occupied other tables. A peacock shrieked loudly somewhere beyond the trees. We sat back enjoying our cocktails - my mojito, a perfect complement to the setting!

We started with Nachos Messicani for our daughter - a large platter of Mexican style nachos with melted cheese sauce. She was delighted with it; actually, even we couldn't resist digging in!

Nachos Messicani at Dario's PuneI had ordered the Carpaccio di Bietola, thin slices of beetroot with feta cheese, rucola, extra virgin olive oil and lemon. Another dish made great by a deft combination of fresh ingredients.

Carpaccio di Bietola at Dario's PuneMy wife began with a Santa Benedetta salad made of mixed lettuce leaves, pineapple chunks, matured Ricotta cheese, pomegranate, fresh home-made cheese and cold pressed olive oil.

Santa Benedetta salad at Dario's PuneWe shared a main dish of Gnocchi Ai Formaggi di Salaparuta, excellent home-made gnocchi with a trio of Italian cheeses, white wine and thyme. Absolutely lip-smacking!

Gnocchi Ai Formaggi di Salaparuta at Dario's PuneFinally, we shared slices of their Picciutti pizza made of fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, mushrooms, garlic, olives, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes.

Picciutti pizza at Dario's PuneWe were too full by now, so we had to ask them to pack the remaining pizza and gnocchi - which they did rather nicely as you can see here.

Dario's Koregaon Park PuneDario's has a pretty good list of desserts that include the popular Tiramisu and Torta al Caffe. Their breakfast menu is good too with a selection of waffles, croissants, crepes and sandwiches. This is a place you must try for that special dinner date with the wife or girlfriend, a lazy weekend lunch with the family, or just the food in tranquil surroundings.

Dario's is located within the gardens of Hotel Sundarban, Lane 1, Koregaon Park. Ph: 26053596, 26053597, 32405960.


Anonymous said...

Just because you're so meticulous with everything, thought of pointing out that Dario Dezio is from Sicily.

Did you notice a concurrent dip in Little Italy's quality in the recent years.

Anonymous said...

@Anon: I did mention him as a native of Sicily (2nd para). Re: Little Italy, haven't been there lately. Being the carnivore that I am, it takes a lot for me to enter a pure vegetarian place. :)

Lakshmi said...

I just realized that its been more than 15 years since I visited Pune..btw was thinking of you with all the food around in would have enjoyed the feast for sure

Lakshmi said...

I just realized that its been more than 15 years since I visited Pune..btw was thinking of you with all the food around in would have enjoyed the feast for sure

Shantanu said...

@Lakshmi: Lucky you! That's a place on my wish list too. Have fun. :)

Anonymous said...

great photos and generous review~

i have always heard a lot about this place but had an unfortunate experience last year.

The courtyard outside was thick with smoke - i really wish more restaurants encourage non-smoking areas..

no one attended us for about 20-25 minutes. we requested service a couple of times, and finally had to leave, esp. when several people who came after us were on their dessert!

Not sure if its worth the risk again!

Anonymous said...

@Anon: Thank you for sharing. Your feedback is interesting. My own visits have never been during the evenings on weekends. Not sure if the service level drops when the restaurant is more packed.

Re: smoking, that can't be recent. It is now illegal to allow smoking within restaurants.

Unknown said...

I visited this place yesterday and its really awesome. We tried Mojito, Margarita, crepes, siltata and rissotto.

Ambeience will stun you and food tastes really great its a must visit restaurant.