Flavours of Florence

Visiting Italian chef Daniel Raddi brings a slice of Italy with him

Given the number of Italian restaurants in Chandigarh, it seems the cuisine is becoming popular in the city. Though it would be unfair to count the numerous pizza chains amongst them, chef Daniel Raddi is quick to point out that these are "American Italian". Raddi is visiting India for the first time, courtesy the new Italian eatery, Pizzamore in Sector 22, Chandigarh.

A third generation chef, Raddi hails from Florence and is keen to share authentic Italian meals. "Where I come from, the dishes are simple and there's more emphasis on local, fresh produce and mellow flavours," says the chef who has formulated a set menu as part of a special three-day food showcase at Pizzamore.

Not surprisingly, pizzas aren't the focus. "The dishes on the menu are what people eat every day. We use a lot of tomatoes and fresh vegetables. Extra virgin olive oil is intrinsic to the meal," says Raddi. Divided into three courses, the meal begins with the likes of Bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil. To add novelty, there are traditional antipasti (starters) like Chicken Liver Crouton and Tuna with Scamorza cheese. Though the former is not for the faint-hearted, given its robust flavours, we did like the bruschetta with Sicilian Anchovies.

Dishes like Pappa al Pomodoro and Tuscan Panzanella are a welcome change from the regular line-ups of pastas. On the flip side, the flavours are unfamiliar and might have you reaching for ketchup or paprika. The Tuscan Panzanella was a cold salad that will please most palates. Some interesting dishes to try include Eggplant Parmigiana and Tagliatelle pasta. The latter is a simple pasta dressed in a non-fussy dressing with boiled vegetables and showcases the Florentine cuisine aptly.

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