Review: Ristorante Prega (Italian Restaurant)
Shop no. 323, Third Floor, Great India Place, Noida, Contact +91-120-412 9322
Though the restaurant ‘Ristorante Prega’ is not new on GIP’s block of restaurants, it was a new entrant in my restaurant list of ‘check’. Located on the top floor, in line with several other teeming pubs and restaurants, Ristorante Prega, looked a tad bit available, especially for a Sunday. Since the mood was to attempt authentic Italian, I thought of checking it out.
Known to be a patisserie too, Ristorante Prega does a decent job in showcasing their desserts right away. The entrance faces a glassed showcase of some good looking desserts.
The modest décor, flaunting a small live kitchen, and a few floor to ceiling shelves, with neat looking antique ceramic bowls and jars, does a good job to create a cozy private dining mood. The colors, mostly in strong browns, against a beige wall, made the lighting quite warm and earthy. Sadly the eatery simply looks on to the GIP’s corridor, with people either walking by or staring down your plate, trying to guess the food.
The restaurant capacity looked decent, to the tune of seating about 40 people at one go. However, it was easier for the staff, as we happened to be the first diners of the evening, and were soon followed by two more couples.
On women’s day, I would have been delighted to avail the fringe benefit of being a woman. In short, I would have appreciated if the staff helped me pull a chair or held the door! I was a tad bit disappointed there. Anyway, our server was good and suggested us some good choices in food, for the evening. The staff looked prompt in attending to the needs of other tables as well.
An out and out Italian cuisine is what the restaurant boasts and so did the menu. The menu comprised of soups, nothing Italian though, a few appetizers, pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, Paninis, lasagna, cannelloni, steaks (I don’t know if Italians eat steaks) and an average spread of desserts.
I must say the soup variety was nothing Italian, and looked and tasted very Indian. We ordered cream of chicken soup, which was thick and creamy. It kind of reminded me of cream of mushroom soup, except for the taste of course. Served with a few deep fried onion rings, the soup initially tasted a bit burnt, but picked up the strong chicken and cream flavor after a few spoonfuls.
In appetizers, the menu had the very typical garlic breads, with a variety of sauces, bruschettas with tomatoes and stuffed mushrooms in the vegetarian section. We decided to skip the, not-so-great vegetarian section and ordered a non vegetarian appetizer. It was shallow fried chicken served with tomato salsa.
The thin chicken salami like slices had been fried with a strong breaded coating. The chicken coating imparted a strong parmesan and parsley aroma and flavor. However, instead of a crunchy feel, the fried chicken had more of a stretchy feel to it. I would have loved it a little more crisp and juicy.
For the main course, we had two large plates. While my husband went for stuffed chicken with a slice of bread and stir fried vegetables, I opted for good old tomato laced chicken bolognaise pasta, in linguini form.
The look of stuffed chicken was impressive and the chicken turned out to be stuffed with black olives and was laced with a brown colored, strong creamy soy sauce. The vegetable looked slightly over done. I would have liked them a little more upright. The stuffed chicken tasted just about average, but I loved it more without the soy sauce.
My linguini came piping hot and looked very elegant with freshly crushed herbs. I could smell the subtle hints of thyme and basil and I was right. The chicken bolognaise was done in a very tenderly basil flavored tomato sauce. In fact, I liked the fresh flavor of basil and thyme, with lots of juicy chicken in tomato sauce, with every mouthful. The only thing I would have liked to improvise would have been the tomato base. Instead of nice tomato tanginess, the sauce had a strange sourness, suggesting the under cooking of tomato puree.
Although the food was just average and I would give a 6 in a scale of 10, it’s the dessert which hits sharp at the jab. A self-confessed baker with a sweet tooth, I loved my lemon meringue tart. The dish looked elegant and I must confess that it looked quite similar to baked Alaska, with all that neat blow torch work.
The tart base was buttery, crumbly and got cut neatly with every slice. The tart was neatly filled with perhaps, the most elegantly flavored lemon curd, which was neither too sour, nor too sweet. The lemon tart looked and tasted amazing with the twist of a meringue addition. The three-tier combo is a killing for sure! I give this dessert a 10/10 for look and taste, and another 10/10 for the chef, who familiarized us with the great recipe!
The food was served in decent portions and the entire meal of 1 soup, 1 appetizer, 2 main course meals and 1 dessert came to be Rs.1725, inclusive of all taxes.
I would recommend this place for desserts. Even if you have no sweet tooth, try and indulge in lemon meringue tart. It’s fantastic and will surprise you blissfully!