Exotic Italy in Pune
As exotic and varied
as the people of Italy is the food at La Pizzeria.
Part of the Little Italy Group of restaurants,
this Italian eatery managed by an Italian Chef
is a delightful place to tuck into your pasta.
Chef Dezio compares himself to a Film Director
final production. Only here, the final creation
is presented not on the silver screen but on a
platter. And yes, unlike Movie Directors, he is
certainly not a 'behind the scenes guy'. Chef
Dezio is very much around to watch the reactions
to his O La La creations. "You
know, in Italy there is a saying, that what a
person eats reveals a lot about his personality,"
explains Dezio with a twinkle in his eyes. This
why you find Dezio all over the place in
this elegant, purely vegetarian Italian restaurant.
"I love to check out what customers have
ordered and watch their reactions as they go for
has always fascinated Dezio, who received the
for the best Chef and the best Italian restaurant
in the country for the year 1999-2000. Ciao Italy,
an international association, has members travelling
across the world to check out the best Italian
restaurant of a particular country. And Mama
Mia! La Pizzeria was the chosen one and conferred
with the title of 'Insegna del Ristorante Italiano.'
The only person not surprised with the honor was
Dezio himself. "I will never modify my cooking
to suit people's tastes. That's
pure sacrilege!" he gasps. "Italian
cuisine is as varied and exotic as the people
who inhabit this beautiful Mediterranean
land and it goes against my grain to present it
any other way," he bristles. And varied it
most certainly is. Nobody wants to eat the same
old boring food. I want customers to get excited
every time they pick the menu card" says
Dezio. Not a difficult proposition when you have
a selection of around 26 varieties of pizzas,
a dozen salads and an exotic list of first and
second courses to check out. Sicily, Dezio's birthplace,
is famous throughout the
world for its great variety of flavours, and the
fragrance that emanates from the La Pizzeria kitchen
are entirely original with all ingredients imported
directly from Italy.
For Dezio, not compromising seems to have paid
off. He no
longer does a double flip when he hears an Indian
customer say 'Spaghetti please, al dente.'
He respects the fact that his knowledgeable customer
does not wish
to have overcooked pasta..
La Pizzeria has franchisees at Goa and Mumbai
and plans to start more across the country. So
you may soon have some great Italian food served
at a restaurant closer to home.
- Shabari Shetty