What you see – Have you ever wondered why Little Italy serves only vegetarian food? Well, we think we have the inside information. It is because the owners of the company are Gujaratis.
Now here’s another piece of background. The brand was actually started by an Italian chef called Don Giovani, 17 years back, when he came to visit Osho’s Ashram in Pune. So he started something called La Pizzeria that still runs in Pune with the same name. Little Italy was started later in time.
The brand has now expanded to multiple cities like Mumbai, Goa and our very own Hyderabad. And while Giovani is no longer the owner of the company, he makes it a point to come to India to advice on the menu and the cooking style. After all, Little Italy is known for its authentic Italian cuisine.
Little Italy in Hyderabad reminds you of a small cottage. Homely in appearance and minimal when it comes to decor, this restaurant-cum-bar allows you to dine inside as well as alfresco.
What you get – Now when you take a look at the menu over here, don’t get embarrassed if you cannot pronounce most of the names over here. And by the way, try to even ignore the spelling mistakes like “mouse cake” instead of “mousse cake”. Just ask the captain and he will guide you. We went for Zuppa Di Pomodoro (we told you, don’t let the names bewilder you…it’s just plain tomato soup), Chiller and Pasta Barberesca.
The tomato soup was ordinary, the Chiller (a mint-based drink) was refreshing and the Pasta Barberesca (pasta with creamy tomato sauce, tomatoes, broccoli, parmesan cheese with pepper and garlic) was awesome. Well, we did not leave anything on the plate. Of course, apart from the taste, the small quantity could be one of the reasons to.
As far as the prices are concerned, Little Italy charges a little on the higher side (probably because of the rich cheese and herbs that they use in the dishes). So the Chiller or any other non-alcoholic drink would cost you about Rs. 130, a main course dish about Rs. 260, soups about Rs. 100 and desserts about Rs. 120. By the way, they also offer Indian wine and according to Passary, in a month’s time, imported wine will be on the menu as well.
So the bottom line is that the food tastes great here and is a must-try when you are looking for something beyond the ubiquitous Naan and Paneer Butter Masala. The areas where they could improve however are with regard to the interiors and service. The walls seem like they need a fresh coat of paint.
In fact, Little Italy also has a boutique inside which has ethnic apparel, bags and accessories designed by Vinita Passary (yes, she is Vikas’ wife). There was no sales executive at the boutique as well, giving you the impression that the stuff there is just for display and not for sale.
The verdict – We recommend that you dine outside to see the chefs making those pizzas for you. Vikas Passary, the brand owner for Little Italy in Hyderabad, actually says that it is these pizzas that sell the most at the restaurant because nowhere else can the Hyderabadis get a taste of wood-fired pizzas in the city.
And the service? Well, we had a wrong dish served on our table. And did we forget the parking space? It can squeeze in only about 3 cars and 6 two-wheelers. Now that’s really little for Little Italy!