Tanto – Pizzeria | Pondicherry Stories : Part-5 (Italian Cuisine)

Food in Pondicherry, Pondicherry Stories :Part-1 (French Patisserie)

Food in Pondicherry, Pondicherry Stories :Part-2(Chettinad Cuisine)

Food in Pondicherry, Pondicherry Stories : Part-3 (French Breakfast)

Food in Pondicherry, Pondicherry Stories :Part-4 (South Indian Vegetarian Food)

Candlelight Dinner
Candlelight Dinner

In my weeklong stay and after roaming around in the town for days, I noticed, that as much as we talk about French and Tamil food in Pondicherry, there is one cuisine that’s presence is conspicuous – Italian. You get Pasta and Pizza everywhere as if it’s the local food.

I was fortunate that my friends Laura and Andrea (who’re Italians) live in Pondicherry. I met them when I was travelling in Europe some years ago. I can never forget the way they looked after me. I learnt so much about food, hospitality and love from them that every opportunity of meeting them is exciting.

Andrea and Laura are both artists and that reflects in their daily life as well. Trust them to make a simple meal into a memorable experience. When Andrea cooks, it seems he is meditating and being with Laura is always a celebration.

I had the tastiest Italian meal at their house. For dinner, Andrea cooked Fettuccine Pasta in tomato sauce with Tuna Fish, Italian Bellpepper Salad starters and off course we all had a glass Red Wine. The Pasta was Al dente, just how it should be. The sauce was so delicious that I secretly prayed for that it to never get over.

IMG_0700

The Bellpepper Salad was a perfect balance of sour and sweet, a perfect dish to go along with the Wine.

We were chatting, laughing and it’s so true that laughter is best where the food is. It was a night to remember.

Next day for lunch, Andrea especially got Buffalo Mozzarella to make “Caprese”. He described the dish in his Italian Accent as-“Just some olive oil, basil, tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese”. Freshness of the ingredients, the distinct flavor of basil and softness of cheese won my heart. This is one dish I will remember very fondly.

Buffalo Mozzerella, Caprese
Buffalo Mozzerella, Caprese

For the mains, we ate Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms, which was creamy and silky. Cooked to perfection and well seasoned this pasta was delectable. I am now spoilt for life. Once if you’ve eaten Italian food prepared by an Italian cook then you can’t like it any other way.

Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms

While we were enjoying eating the pasta, they informed me about this Italian Restaurant called Tanto. They insisted that I must try their Pizza. I believe that they would never suggest something that wouldn’t be authentic. So after a 20 minute long scooter ride on ECR I reached Tanto-Pizzeria in Auroville. The liveliness of the place was infectious. The place looked pretty in candlelight, breeze and food that looked so appetising.

I couldn’t wait to have a pizza and I quickly ordered for Vegetarian Pizza, Chicken Escalope, Pomegranate Sorbet and Tiramisu.

The Vegetarian Pizza was a thin crust pizza with Tomato, Cheese, Aubergine, Rosemary, Garlic, Zucchini, Capsicum and Onion. The generous topping of veggies and cheese made this pizza so heavenly that I just couldn’t stop myself from eating this. This was unbelievable level of yumminess.

Pizza

The Chicken Escalope was served along with fries and fresh salad. Chicken Escalope is a piece of boneless chicken that has been thinned out to break down the fiber, making the chicken tenderer. It’s believed that the thinner chicken cooks faster with less moisture loss. The outer layer of the chicken was fried and crunchy. The portion was so huge that I couldn’t finish it.

Chicken Escalope @Tanto-Pizzeria
Chicken Escalope @Tanto-Pizzeria

Pomegranate Sorbet not only looked pretty but also tasted really nice. Though I felt it could be smoother as I still could taste the chunks of ice in it. So to end my Italian sojourn I ordered for the mother of all desserts.

Pomegrante Sorbet
Pomegrante Sorbet

How can you go to an Italian Eatery and not have Tiramisu? It’s definitely one of my most favorite desserts of all times. This combination o Mascarpone, Coffee/Rum and Ladyfingers is divine. You DO NOT want to miss this.

Tiramisu
Tiramisu

The bill of this delicious wholesome meal came up to Rs 740.

I was so happy to see that even though it was 10:00 PM,  there ladies who were looking after the operations (this is a trend that is followed in most cafes in Pondicherry and these ladies are local residents). They work for long hours, drive a scooter, speak a bit of English and French and yet they stay true to their culture and traditions.  These are the things that I love about travel, you get to see and learn so much. It makes you change the way you see the world.

The scooter ride back to the white town was beautiful and it made my last night in Pondicherry very special.

To end my Pondicherry Stories, I can only put it in one way, Pondicherry – a Perfect blend of different cultures.

 

 

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