Waiting for the Arrival of Arriba

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December 23, 2010 by ritadate

Course by course of food slowly flounced on top of our table at Arriba, the upcoming new restaurant at Aashray in the Mitra Mandal Chowk area of Pune. Restaurant critiquing is a job all foodies dream of. I had the pleasure of taste testing the foods on the menu that my friend, Vaishali Gadgil, will be opening early 2011.
There were several different people from all walks of life present at the tasting but Vaishali chose people she knew who frequent restaurants, have cosmopolitan tongues and enjoy the process of eating. The temperature of the place was just right, a point noticed during the coldest winter in Pune.

After the introductions and tour of the place the waiter served us the house wine. We were to sample 3 appetizers, 2 soups, 2 salads, 3 main courses and 2 desserts. Wow — hard work! There was an elaborate marking sheet grading service, presentation and taste of each of the items. The cuisine is authentic European and Mexican. Vaishali told us to be brutally honest and she would read each and every critique and the comments written on them.

The food got better with each course so I will begin with describing the last dish first. Both desserts were astounding. Pain Perdu with White Chocolate Mouse and Farm Fresh Strawberries was unique. The cake was lightly caramelized in a pan and suited the perfectly sweetened strawberry compote. The white mousse looked like ice cream but the creamy taste blended perfectly with the cake and strawberries. I am an apple pie lover and rarely find good apple desserts around town but Chef Parag really knows how an apple crumble should be made. The Apple Crumble with Vanilla Custard was the best apple crumble I have tasted in town.
Pan Seared Snapper with Spanish Paella was the top entrée we tasted and I was hooked from the first bite. Madhav, my fellow taster loved the dish as well and he is not a big fish fan like me. Both a fish eater and non fish eater loved the dish including the rice trimming which tells you to go there and try it immediately!

The soups and brushetta appetizer need some refining but if the quality of the food continues as experienced, Arriba will thrive. I wish Vaishali, Chef Parag and the Arriba team all the best!

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