Your eyes don’t know where to focus at Romano, the Italian restaurant at the newly launched JW Marriott, Sahar. The dining room walls are moody in grey and black; illuminated with jewel-like chandeliers and high ceiling. A wooden staircase leading to the bar upstairs adds warmth to the otherwise rustic setting. Romano feels personal despite its size and ambition.
If you want to start the evening off with a cocktail ask for a Romajito which is an interesting twist on the Mojito. Whiskeys are smoked and stored in cute little casks. Romano cultivates its own greens.
Standing tall at the salad counter are pea shoots, black mustard, yellow mustard, amaranth, beet root and Rucola – all cultivated by the robust kitchen garden. Equally impressive is the cheese counter. A must try is the creamy burrata cheese. Escorted by fresh cut tomatoes and drizzled with basil pesto it’s simply outstanding.
Romano seduces vegetarians with the classic northern Italian dish Parmigiano eggplant mozzarella. Pulling an elastic string out of the dish is a joy that never grows old. Try it. Another veggie delight is the slow cooked Portobello mushrooms which has a dark, earthy flavour and tastes more like meat than a fungus.
The polpette (meat dumpling in slow cooked tomato sauce) had everything going for it – color, balance, heat and texture. Mop it up with the crusty in-house bread. At Romano the flavours run homey; the execution shows flair. Risotto is placed inside a huge parmesan wheel and requires you to scrap it off. This lends the risotto a hint of sour. Interesting. The last course at Romano has to be the Tiramisu – silky, delicate taste of heaven.
The potato gnocchi was possibly one of the least visually appetising plates at Romano, and it didn’t win me over on taste either. Doused in tomato sauce it tends to be rubbery and soggy.
COST: Rs 5000 for two
HOW TO GET THERE: Ground Floor, IA Project Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Andheri East. Mumbai. 2 mins drive from T2 airport Tel: 022 33956233
NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR