Friday, March 9, 2012
DON GIOVANNI - PUDUCHERRY
After strenuous exercise and a moderate breakfast we were looking to load up on pizza or pasta calories and Don Giovanni seemed to be the apt choice for lunch. It is situated on the roof top of a very non-descriptive building, on a busy street in Puducherry. The interiors are a mix of traditional Chettiar house-style pillars and red checkered table cloths. The general feeling is very relaxed, in fact the owner (supposedly an Italian chef) seemed very chilled out, walking around in shorts, taking orders and sipping on beer on the side. Wine and beer was available along with the food there.
We ordered some home-made orange drink which was quite refreshing for the Puducherry heat and humidity followed by an appetiser of Crostini with ham and tomatoes. The tomatoes were a mix of sauteed onion, tomatoes and mild herbs. My friend did say it reminded her of a tomato subzi made in her folk's place that was served with chapathis!!
For the main course we ordered a pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto ravioli and Chicken Cacciotore. The pizza was quite good. It seemed to have been baked in a wood-fired oven. The crust was thin and cheese was stringy and of good quality.
The pesto ravioli tasted good but was rather heavy on the cheese. The raviolis were filled with only cheese and then tossed in basil pesto. I wish the filling had some ricotta in it, it would have made the raviolis taste lighter. The pesto was fresh and flavorsome.
The Chicken cacciotore was a stew of chicken with olives, tomatoes and onions. It was a very homely dish with no great airs about it, just the way it was supposed to be. The meat was well cooked and was literally falling off the bones.
The dessert selection did not look very attractive and we were already very satisfied after a good lunch, so we skipped dessert. The owner had this weird habit of walking up to every table and asking his customers how the food was, by just shaking his head and making eye contact. And he would do that more than once during a meal. We found it funny but it may make some customers uncomfortable.
The overall experience was good. For a seasoned traveler who has eaten in many good Italian restaurants, Don Giovanni may come across average. Nevertheless, it is a decent option for a meal in puducherry which is scattered with cafes and restaurants serving spin offs on European cuisines.
Roof top of Hotel Corbelli,
170, Mission Street,
Ph # 98948 97955