Artusi has been my go-to place each time I’m craving some delicious, authentic Italian fare, and now my favorite Italian restaurant in the city has opened the doors of its second outlet, in the atrium area at Two Horizon Center, Gurgaon. Artusi is owned and run by a delightful Italian gentleman, Mr. Balcon, who is a gracious host, and whose love for food and his excitement to share this love is palpable. He is exuberant and talkative, and makes you instantly feel at home. The food here is specifically from the Emilia Romagna region in North-eastern Italy, and is absolutely authentic- no fusion, no twists, and no short-cuts. They are perhaps the only Italian restaurant brand in the city bold enough to not keep pizzas on their menu. All their pastas are hand-rolled and hand-cut daily, and they have a diverse range of pasta options available. Apart from pastas, they also have risottos, meats, fish, salads, soups, desserts, exquisite Italian wines, and some amazing cocktails.The Gurgaon outlet has been done up with the same elegance and finesse as the GK one, with minimalistic and classy décor. Since this place has the benefit of al fresco seating area, that just adds to the charm of the restaurant.
The assorted bread basket we were served at the beginning of the meal, had warm, freshly baked sourdough, focaccia, brioche buns, and soup sticks.
We enjoyed these wonderful breads with a cocktail- Modena, a tribute to the town where the original traditional balsamic vinegar originates from. The cocktail had a base of balsamic vinegar, mixed with macerated strawberries shrub and gin, and had a lovely sweet-tart and slightly fruity taste.We started with two soups- Gazpacho Italiano and Vellutata di Asparagi Bianchi. The gazpacho was a chilled soup made from tomatoes, and was served in a clear glass cup, with a side of finely diced vegetables and bread croutons. The gazpacho, which was finished with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, was really flavorsome. The Vellutata di Asparagi Bianchi had a creamy, luscious white asparagus cream velouté, topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some pine nuts. The velvety texture and the delicate flavor of the soup were simply mind-blowing, making this a must0try dish.
Next, we went with Tortino di Porri, which was a quiche stuffed with creamy, oozing cheese and leeks, topped with melted mild Gorgonzola. The quiche had a nice, crumbly texture, counter balanced with the creamy filling, and the zingy, fresh side salad cut through the richness of the dish.After the starter and soups, we ordered three pastas, and making the decision of which pastas to go for was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do, since they all sound so amazing.
The Triangoli alle Verdure Cotte had triangle shaped pasta pockets made with spinach-flavored pasta dough, filled with roasted and spiced vegetables, set in a robust sauce of tomato and pepperoncino. The pasta looked as vibrant as it tasted.Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is a classic dish, made with just three ingredients, so there is nothing to hide behind. This dish is all about the spaghetti, which in this case, was made so well and cooked perfectly al dente. It was set in a mild sauce of butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano and black ground pepper. This dish is proof of the fact that the simplest of things are always the best.
The Raviolo al Burrio e agli Asparagi simply took our breath away. The dish consisted of square-shaped pasta pockets filled with spinach, herbs, and ricotta cheese, set in a butter sauce with sage and asparagus. The ravioli filling was really flavorsome, and the butter sage sauce was delicate and wonderful.For the main course, we went with Agnello, which were essentially New Zealand Lamb Chops, grilled to perfection, and drizzled with a zingy pistachio lemon oil which imparted the lamb chops so much flavor. The chops were served with baked potatoes, grilled eggplant, tomatoes, and crispy shoe string potatoes.
We finished the meal with some fantastic desserts. The Tiramisu was one of the best renditions of the dish we’ve had- with light and airy mascarpone atop soft sponge soaked in coffee and brandy. The Cioccolato Nero e Scorza di Arancia had rich, dark, and airy chocolate mousse served with an orange sauce and caramelized orange peel. The combination of the dark chocolate and orange is a classic one, that worked really well here as well, and we especially found the rich, bitter-sweet chocolate mousse amazing.The service was also exceptional throughout- the servers were very courteous without being overbearing, our plates were changed promptly, each dish was explained to us properly, and we were asked for feedback on all the dishes. Yes, the prices are steep, but the quality of the food and ingredients, the service, and the ambience totally justifies the high prices. The food here is so amazing- it is simple, rustic, and supremely delicious, and for food this good, anything less than a 5 on 5 will be unfair! Artusi is a place that should be bookmarked for repeated visits!
Overall Rating: 5/5
Location: Plaza Level, Two Horizon Center, DLF Phase 5, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
Phone No.: +91 11 4906 6666; +91 99589 94888; 0124 667 6666