The mention of Italy always brings the memories of long past – Firenze, Rome, Vatican, Venice, Milan – the Gondola rides, its lush countryside with quaint houses, the mountains, the seas, the street cafes, beautiful generous people, the little boutiques in nooks and crannies, the style evident even in the most mundane things, the craftsmanship, the clothes, the shoes, the perfumes, and above all – the food! The simplest of Crostini tasted like a gourmet meal with the freshest of ingredients. It may sound clichéd but the best pizza I had was an aubergine and mushroom pizza in a little café on a mountain right on the outskirts of Venice. Hence, anything Italian and that too food gets me into high gear without much ado.
Aperitivo is a North Italian tradition from the 1700s, quickly catching up in the social circles all over the world. Similar to the Spanish Tapas, this is socialising over drinks and finger food at the end of a busy day. Particularly a favourite among the elite and in the fashion world, it is being slowly adapted by the young successful professionals. Peroni, specifically Peroni Nastro Azzurro tied up with Eataly, New York to bring these specially prepared recipes and to cultivate a similar culture in other markets. Peroni Beer, now under the SABMiller umbrella, is the largest selling premium beer in Italy. Peroni Nastro Azzurro, a 5.1% ABV is particularly crafted to compliment Italian / Mediterranean food. It is a refreshing dry beer made with imported Italian ingredients including the 25% Italian Nostrano Dell’ Isola maize that gives it a crisper finish.
The Aperitivo menu that was put out to us by the chef at Olive was outstanding and went excellently with the beer. The Panzanella Crostini, a marriage of the oven dried tomatoes and roasted onions salad and the crostini, was crisp but a little bland for my taste. The Pan Grilled Polenta with Orange & Basil Relish was a surprise on the palate. It could fool anyone with its simplicity until the tart burst of flavours on one’s tongue. The Pear & Gorgonzola Flatbread with Arugula & Parmesan was a tad disappointing as the bread had gone soft and the arugula had gone a little limp possibly because they were sitting on the counter for a while. The Feta & Tomato Tart with Olive Hummus was an amalgamation of unusual flavours that went very well with each other. The Citrus Prawns with Mayo with the subtle flavours of herbs were undoubtedly the “can’t have enough” kind of dish and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed a few of these. The Allspice Chicken with sundried tomatoes was good but with all these other exotic dishes, not of particular mention. The Sausage & Roast Pepper Quiche with Parmesan Cheese made with specially procured Cumberland sausages were a delight and only better sense made me refrain from picking up a couple more of them. We reached a suitable finale with Prosciutto wrapped Strawberries with Chive flavored Goat Cheese topped with Peroni honey glaze. Does one need to say anything? What is there not to like! The bitter-sweet Peroni glaze with the honey was a beautiful accompaniment to the tartness of the strawberry and saltiness of the Prosciutto.
For a few moments there I basked in my Italian memories and came away with a smile; not sure if it was the experience or the beer!
Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing: 12:30 to 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm to 1 am | Wheelchair access : No
Address: 14, union Park Road, Union Park, Mumbai – 400 052
Telephone : 022 43408229
Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion