Let’s begin at the start, as authors recommend, and take into account the idea of an apperitivo. According to Oscar Balcon, co-owner of Artusi, the most recent Italian restaurant that Delhi is crushing on like a schoolgirl, “Fare l’Apperitivo is a fun and glamorous way for Italians to celebrate what they call the ‘dolce vita’, i.e. the ‘sweet life’. The essence of it is meeting with friends at a neighbourhood bar and enjoying some sparkling wine, a cocktail or other drinks. The bar will serve you a variety of small but delicious Italian finger food (and in doing so would become an apperitivo). One never knows what will be served up, but it is always something that is a good match with pre-dinner drinks, and nobody complains since it tastes delicious and is with compliments from the kitchen.”
In a metropolis the place pasta has grow to be as naturalised because the parantha, it comes as little shock that Dilliwallahs have embraced the idea with all their hearts and each arms, outstretched. Whether it’s superb dine eating places akin to Artusi or the brand new Amour Bistro or extra informal areas akin to Ruby’s Bar and Grill (previously the Ruby Tuesday chain), eating places are seeing a stream of patronage within the beforehand “dry” time between 5-7pm.
While apperitivo would possibly technically be an Italian concept, different European eating places are cashing in on it, albeit with tweaks. Popular French restaurant Le Bistro Du Parc has “apero hours” between 3.30 pm -7pm when it presents a 1+1 deal on its full bar menu, versus the standard format of free appetisers with recurrently priced drinks. The restaurant’s new government chef Alexis breaks it down additional, explaining, “The Bar Menu offers a selection of French favourites such as Chicken Liver Parfait, Salad Parisienne and Croque Monsieur and other sandwiches. As the promotion is not exclusive to one particular alcohol, apero attracts a range of customers. We get Europeans, who stop by for a Kir Royale or other champagne cocktails and snacks before dinner, as well as Japanese clients who tend to eat dinner early. As result, they often reserve tables at 7pm so as to take advantage of the 1+1 offer on wine to accompany their meal. Of course, we also have many Indian guests.”
While Amour Bistro’s apperitivo hours are in full swing, Artusi is planning to launch full-scale operations after summer time and is, for the time being, conducting slightly profitable trials. Depending on the day, they could serve sizzling Piadina breads with Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Salame or different cured meats, or breads with cheeses and herbs, or pizzette (tiny pizzas), or bruschette with tomatoes or cheeses or olives. Sometimes crisps or French fries, calamari and battered or maybe pickled greens can be found.
But there needs to be a catch, proper? There’s no such factor as a free meal, as a myriad motion pictures, books and aged aunts have knowledgeable us. Apparently not. As Balcon concludes, “All food served at the bar for common consumption (no individual orders or requests) is completely complimentary. There are no formal rules or limits in terms of quantity or selection, but one expects guests to understand that complimentary food is just that, there to be enjoyed in a dignified manner and as provided by the kitchen. Approached with an open mind, it is a true delight and can turn any dull weekday evening into a small celebration.” Amen. Salut, even.