Saturday, August 20, 2011

Eating Ralph Lauren in Chicago

You may have worn Ralph Lauren, but have you eaten at his restaurant? That's correct. Fashion designers apparently are no longer content to sell you expensive clothes; they now intend to wine and dine you too. Right below the imposing structure of The Peninsula in Chicago, Ralph Lauren has what is supposed to be the largest store for their Polo branded clothing and accessories. RL is located right next to the store. A fashionable but casual place that is said to be one of Oprah Winfrey's favorite spots, this restaurant serves what they call city-club cuisine.


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Foodie in Chicago

This was my first visit to Chicago. The windy city is known for several things - including the fact that President Obama calls this city his home. But for the foodie, this city stands out for its celebrity chefs such as Grant Achatz - whose restaurant Alinea has been consistently voted as the best in the USA, as well as for its deep-dish pizzas and unique take on hot dogs.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Manhattan Mania

I stopped for a night in New York City after flying in from India. I had bought my first SLR in Singapore during the transit stop - a Canon Rebel T3i/EOS 600D. Eager to try my skills with the new camera, I walked out towards Byrant Park in the evening. Among the most pleasant areas today to spend a lazy evening, this park has quite a history.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

La Piazza at The Delhi Hyatt

Bread at La Piazza Hyatt DelhiThe Hyatt Regency hotel in New Delhi has been around for a long time. I have passed by this hotel so many times when I lived in New Delhi - but eating at five-star restaurants was a luxury I afforded myself only infrequently during those days. Having now stayed at this hotel, I can say that the restaurants are far better here than the rooms. And La Piazza is definitely one of the better Italian restaurants I have eaten in.

La Piazza in DelhiFrom the people eating here during peak dining hours, I could see this restaurant was popular with the locals. The trattoria style restaurant caters to a variety of people - from the serious foodie to the conservative Indian diner who restricts himself to pizzas and pastas.

La Piazza in DelhiDesigned to look like a village square with a large open kitchen on one side, the interiors exuded a warm casual feeling. The tiles on the floor and the pots and pans hanging around all added to the ambiance.

Potato Gnocchi at La Piazza DelhiI ordered an Italian red wine to go with my Potato Gnocchi. The gnocchi was lovingly prepared - oh so soft and melt-in-your-mouth. I followed with a grilled chicken wrapped in ham. This too was amazing with its cheesy interiors and robust, salty ham wrapping coming together splendidly.

Incidentally, gnocchi has existed as a traditional Italian pasta from a very long time. Said to have its roots in the Middle East, the Romans introduced this dish during the expansion of their empire into North Africa. In those days, gnocchi was made from semolina and eggs. Potato gnocchi is a far more recent culinary innovation. Apparently red potatoes make the best gnocchi.

Grilled Chicken wrapped in bacon in La PiazzaAll-in-all, La Piazza is a great place for a business dinner, a good time with family or even for a quick bite of pizza and beer. Service is fast and efficient and the place stays busy but not crowded through the evenings. Try this place if you are in the mood for Italian food in New Delhi.