Italian restaurants in Kolkata used to be as far as the by-road distance between Italy and Kolkata itself. That was until I climbed one flight of a vintage staircase in a 100-year-old building on Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata, and walked into Sorano. By Sreetama Basu
The heart of Kolkata lies in gastronomy, literally and geographically. The Park Street area is a sanctuary for anyone who visits or has been in Kolkata ever. Amongst all the big names and vintage restaurants has popped up this slice of Italy called Sorano, spread across 4,700sq ft.
What Sorano in Kolkata has to offer
Walk into the heart of Tuscany at Sorano
Named after Sorano, a town and commune in the province of Grosseto, southern Tuscany, Italy, this restaurant is an Italian adventure born out of love and passion for all things handmade and aesthetic. How can I vouch for that? Because that was the first thing that I thought of when I walked into Sorano. Being an ardent fan of all things aesthetic, the high ceilings, raw finishes, and soothing textures quite charmed me.
Conceptualised and designed by notable architecture firm, DesignBrewing.Co. Founder and lead designer Nivedita Agarwal, Sorano will take you to the quaint pathways, slumbered pace and the simplicity of mothers and grandmothers cooking in Italy with the freshest ingredients. Inspired by traditional Italian homes, the restaurant features high ceilings, raw finishes, and soothing textures along with multiple sections. Each section has a minimal yet impactful element, which leaves a lasting impression.
The upholstery, lights, and tables, along with the walls, flooring and ceiling have been meticulously planned to make Sorano what it is. The entrance hall will take you to the various sections of the restaurant through an arched European-style passage. First up, there’s the dining section, which is adorned with a cluster of hanging lamps, creating a warm glow, with arched shelves with plants, bust statues, and urns.
There’s a hidden nook that’s perfect for when you want to enjoy your dinner with your people, sans distractions. The black and white alfresco balcony under a European awning is the perfect getaway for a cup of coffee, cocktail or a wood-fired pizza.
The Verandah section brings in a natural glow from large European-style metal windows, with the golden sunlight streaming in, or the shimmering gleam of the moon. The Verandah accompanies a Private Dining Room for 10-12 people. The entire décor has been designed to bring in a sense of calm and escape from our frenzied lifestyles, at any time of the day.
Food, drinks, desserts and more at Sorano
On that note, everything you will taste here is freshly made, right from the pasta to the cheeses. The pièce de resistance, the Pasta Fresca window, will give you a glimpse into the therapeutic world of kneading, shaping and folding pastas.
Coming to the most important aspect, the food here is as top-notch as you can expect a bona fide Italian place to be. If you are planning to summon your inner foodie and ditch the antipasti to dig into the thoughtfully curated main course, I would highly recommend against it. Their Boards and Burrata bowls are absolutely unmissable. The Prosciutto, Fig & Burrata is generously portioned, and the Gnocchi Ripieni stuffed with feta and sundried tomatoes is unlike any gnocchi I have ever had. I dug into the Maple and Balsamic Glazed Pork Ribs and the Grilled King Prawns next, both of which left me asking for more.
A visit to Sorano is incomplete without their offerings of Dolci, which is my most-awaited part of any meal. Needless to say, I was spoilt for choice. Doing absolute injustice to the other desserts on the menu that I did not have room for, I ordered myself a Burnt Butter & Peach Cake, a Deconstructed Tiramisu and a Berry Parfait.
But hang on, that’s not all. How can I not give a special mention to the Bar Menu? The menu icluded the Limoncello Spritzer, which is the perfect odyssey with Chardonnay, Chamomile Gin, seltzer and of course, Limoncello. The Dalgona Espresso Martini, the Yuzu & Rose Sour and the Truffle Agrodolce require special shoutouts as well! The bar section at Sorano accompanies a large mosaic-clad wood-fired oven that adds warmth and glow to the ambience.
Fine dining at Sorano is about bringing in a sense of calm and escape from our frenzied lifestyles.
Price: Rs 1,500 for two people
Where: 1st Floor, Harrington Mansion, 8, Ho Chi Minh Sarani Rd, Kankaria Estates, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
Contact: +91 98318 18192
All Images: Courtesy Sorano
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India