With a setup like this over the weekend hot spot – Koregaon Park, it may seem like a place that will possibly burn a hole in your pocket, but a quick look at Stone Water Grill’s menu, and you change your mind; unless, of course, you plan to pair your food with the right wine or try some of the imported meats.
As you’re seated in the dining area, there’s music from the lounge that you can hear in the background. The ambiance and the host makes you feel comfortable leaving you not wanting to hit the main course directly at all, however tempting it may seem.
With our respective choice of drinks — either a cocktail or a wine, we called for The Big Cheese Taster (cheese platter, 550 INR), Lebanese Mezze Taster (smoked mushroom hummus, roasted red pepper moutabel, fried labneh with bread crisps, 280 INR) and the Smoked Norwegian Salmon (360 INR). One cannot go wrong with a cheese platter and smoked salmon, and the mix of mushroom and labneh (soft cheese made from yoghurt) in the hummus made it a taste the palate will remember for a while, something not found elsewhere for now.
Not wanting to be immobile at the end of dinner, we skipped the soups and salads, and ordered the wood-fire pizza. The Provencale (410 INR) topped with roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions, for a chef’s recommendation on the menu, is about average and not something we’d order again.
The Prawn Ravioli that I had tried a few months back wasn’t on the menu this time around. New entrants are the Slow Braised Rabbit and the Filet Mignon, along with changes like the Smoked Duck is now Pan-Seared and the Indian Lamb Shanks are replaced by an imported Australian option.
We called for the Aglio Olio Spaghetti (310 INR – 550 INR depending on the request of chicken, beef, fish or prawns), which we later learnt to be Chef Shailendra’s staple dinner, Chicken Jalapeno Risotto (410 INR) and Pan Smeared Duck (610 INR).
The Aglio Olio, which maybe considered easy to make, is an example of when simple is the best — garlic, parsley and olive oil being the main ingredients. The peperoncino chili gives a hint of spiciness, which goes well with the accompanied vegetables or meat.
Served with Raspberry sauce, the Pan Smeared Duck is worth every penny. Pair it with a Sangiovese Red Wine, and you’re in for a treat! The risotto, also served with the duck, is prepared using the remnants from the preparation of the bird, and hence gives an indication of what awaits you once you cut into the meat.
Moving on to the desserts, the Baked Raspberry Cheesecake (180 INR) was authentic and different from the ones available at most places, which are rather made of cheese mousse. The Porcini Pannacotta (180 INR) seemed a waste of money to us — very bland, especially when compared to the Strawberry Pannacotta at Radisson or Marriott.
Drinks aren’t very expensive, mostly in the 250-350 INR range. Instead of the recommended Sangiovese pairing, one could try the cheaper Merlot to keep the bill within limit.
A table for 2 would cost you around 2,500-3,000 INR at the least. And the host and the attendants would be more than delighted to help you make the most of you’re spending.
[Photo Courtesy: Naman Saraiya]