On the spur of the moment last Friday the family decided to stop by at 56, the ristorante italiano on the Golf Course Road, Gurgaon. The café located in the atrium of a commercial office building, the height of which gives it its name, puts to good use the otherwise dead space between two wings of the building. The tall palm trees, the white pebbles, the stained glasswork on the one wall were intelligently highlighted, drawing one’s attention away from the non-descript glass and concrete of the surrounding building walls.
Ed: Unlike common perception Restorante 56 is named after its 56 ft ceiling height and not because it is located close to sector 56.
Pizza 56 was a wholesome thin crust pizza topped with parma ham. The cheese serving was not meagre nor the topping wanting. A perfect pizza. Expecting mundane fried mozzarella sticks I was pleasantly surprised with the entree of Mozzarella in Carroza Napoletana a fried, enormous round crispy egg crusted bread cut into four quarters oozing with melted mozzarella accompanied with arrabiata sauce. It was a resounding way to start a meal. The Gamberi in salsa rosa con Salmone affumicata was an enticing offering, the prawn wrapped in smoked salmon and skewered with green asparagus shoots resting on mustard sauce. 56 scores a near 100 for its appetizers.
Our main course comprised of Lasagna al Ragu di Pollo and Salmone al forno in Crosta di Ricotta alle Mandorle, salsa all’aglio e peperone ripieno. While the chicken lasagna was disappointing with no character of its own, the salmon was dry and a bit overdone. The two sauces, the ricotta and the garlic and ripe bell pepper cream sauce tended to overwhelm the fish served. Both the sauces and the accompanying diced potato were extremely salty which we brought to the notice of the restaurant’s staff. Perhaps the salmon with either of the two sauces along with the toasted almonds garnish would have been perfect instead of both. As a fish, salmon holds its ground pretty well with the least of embellishments.
No sooner did our feedback reach the back of the kitchen did it bring the executive chef, Tiziano Ranieri to our table. An affable, soft-spoken Italian, Chef Ranieri was profusely apologetic about the turnout of our main course. He informed us that Lasagna is best served with beef but in deference to the sensibilities and tastes of the local populace he was constrained to offer it with an unimaginative chicken. As for the saltiness of the salmon he assured us that he would take it up with the kitchen staff.
And thus we happened to be served as a gesture of good will, an excellent plate of Carpaccio di manzo, con scaglie di palmigiano e carciofini with the compliments of the chef. The tenderloin was wafer thin, the layers of artichoke leaves, lending a woody, earthy taste to the delicious meat, rendered ably by the subtle mustard balsamic marinade. It was truly a work of gastronomic art and sure made up for the overwhelmingly briny and the underwhelming fowl-ed main course dishes.
I have never been served such a huge Tiramisu before. Easily shareable as we did, the moist bittersweet bizcocho laden with coffee and liqueur was delicious but I found it a bit too sweet with the crunch of the sugar in some spoonsful, annoying.
While the food is varied and good it’s the little things, like extra salt, crunchy sugar where it is supposed to be indistinguishable, which takes way from a perfect food experience. 56 shall do well to iron out these tiny kinks.
The menu at Restorante 56 is varied, the service attentive, the food good and the handling of customer feedback exemplary. Customer satisfaction is not just a matter of offering free food or waiving charges. It is being attentive to customer grievances, willing to accept criticism openly without excuses and offering to make amends without reservation. Chef Raniero’s kind gesture smacks of his genuine desire to right a wrong. His friendly advice to us when we next visit the restaurant- Consult him personally before ordering! We will ch(i)ef!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.5/5 | Ambience: 4.0/5 | Service: 4.5/5 | Overall: 4.0/5
Meal for two: Rs. 2500/ (Without alcohol) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes
Address: Restorante 56, Golf Course Road, Vatika Attrium, HDFC Bank Building, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-4311299