Thursday, May 22, 2003
So it was another dull day at office.
You wouldn't think of Chennai as the place to have good Italian food, but thanks to Ciro, it is. This chap came down to Chennai about 4-5 years ago and opened up a small Italian place, Bella Ciao, in Besant Nagar. Now he's shifted to Kotivakkam to a place which he owns on the beach. It's a huge plot of land, and he's built a house there. The first floor is where he stays with his wife, the lovely Tania. The ground floor is where the remaining crew stays and cooks. There are small thatched roofs above each seating area which are pretty spread out which affords you the luxury of privacy at times.
To add to the natural beauty of the place, he's got three ducks twadding all over the place, through yesterday wasn't exactly a good day for them, with one of them being chased by Ciro's dogs. On occasion you have a small donkey in one corner of the place. All in all it's a place where you'd come and have a long leisurely meal. If you're the wine type of person, I'd recommend trying the red wine. Take the bottle, and plant yourself there for 2-3 hours.
He's cut down on the menu in the past couple of months but if you've been there before and remember some good dishes you can ask him and they'll make it for you inspite of it not being there on the menu. The pizzas are very different from the pizzas you get in the usual smatter of Pizza Corners, Huts and Dominos. Those things are too Americanised I would think. The topping on the pizzas too vary with his choices going from asparagus to broccoli and mushrooms.
In pastas, you can choose the shapes of the pasta you're looking for ... penne, conchiglie, farfalle (butterfly-shaped). fusilli (corkscrew-shaped) as well as regular vermicelli or spaghetti. I would recommend the penne di pollo which comes with a liberal topping of butter and cheese.
That was followed by an hour on the beach with my feet sunk into the sand. These are just some of the things that make a city like Chennai likeable. The rest is hell. Though it poured out of the blue last night. But the thermometer is on a bullish run at the moment.
I wish I would work for Richard Branson. The man has actually gone ahead and bought himself an island off the Australian coast. This is going to be developed into a eco-friendly resort for Virgin Group employees. You have to admit, the guy has attitude.
Those in the grip of a strong drug---heroin, devil grass, true love---often find themselves trying to maintain a precarious balance between secrecy and ecstasy as they walk the tightrope of their lives.
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