La Vita è Bella in Delhi with Artusi Ristorante

Nestled between the fertile mountains and the deep shimmering blue sea it’s no wonder the earthly beauty of  Emilia Romagna boasts one of the world’s best open air pantries. The colorful hinterlands, the cool spring waters and the soft sea breeze roll in to the charming towns where you can find a treasure trove of taste. This is the home of comforting rich Ragu, thinly sliced Prosciutto, deep dark balsamic and homemade pasta served with freshly shaved Parmesan.

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Now the riches of Romagna can be found in the heart of South Delhi at the luxury Italian Artusi Ristorante. Oscar Balcon grew up in the hearty hilltops of Emilia Romagna, in the lively kitchen of his mother and around the table with his extended family enjoying the fruits of the countryside; rustic homemade dishes from the paddock, pastures and sea and the ever flowing wine of the sprawling vineyards.

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It’s this charm and heritage that Oscar Balcon wanted to bring to South Delhi, the simplicity of fine dining with authentic flavors, a warm atmosphere and timeless traditions that stitch the past to the future. The growing reputation for fine Italian food is growing in Delhi and while other restaurants are falling in love with the fusion of bringing rustic dishes to dizzying new heights with modern twists, Artusi likes to stay true to its roots, to give the gift of authentic Italian ingredients cooked with love and pure passion.

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Since opening their doors in 2014, it seems that Artusi are already making a splash as being one of the best Italian restaurants in South Delhi. With a team of authentic Italian chefs whipping up a storm in the kitchen and essential ingredients sourced from the lemon and rosemary shores of Emilia Romagna itself, it seems that food critics and diners have flocked to the tables of Artusi and are inspired by what they see.

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In December, Artusi were nominated for the Times of India Food Award; then in January, they were crowned the Winner of the Best Italian Restaurant in Delhi. The bright, buzzing glow of the dining room is soaked in sophistication but isn’t so formal that you feel like you can’t laugh out loud, pass plates chattering across the table, pour another glass of wine and truly unwind in the intimacy of the Italian spirit. Diners can delve into a feast of Italian rustic fanfare, bask in the warmth of celebratory grace and be transported from the shores of South Delhi to the rolling gold and green hills of old world Northern Italy.

Emilia Romagna is renowned across the globe for its fresh handmade pasta and at Artusi they follow the tradition carefully to ensure that every dish is crafted to precision.Curating the perfect pasta is an art, a science and a labor of love. Behind the scenes of Artusi you can find ‘The lab’, a temperature controlled room where lashings of fresh pasta are rolled and cut every day to achieve a beautiful balance, pretty tortellini is stuffed with the finest imported ingredients and the golden glow of dreamy homemade pasta dishes is sure to sweep diners off their feet.

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Even the Italian Press, Corriere Romangna, have been impressed by the dedication of the team at Artusi for bringing the flavors of home to the far flung shores of India. Bright and bountiful salads, cured meats, marinated fish and signature rustic soups along with drizzles of fragrant truffle oil mark the starter menu and are perfectly poised for arousing your appetite. Piadina e Crescione brings together the jewels the region with Prosciutto di Parma, Coppa, Mortadella and soft and supple cream cheese on a rich platter making it perfect for sharing. Primi plates boast delicate risottos infused with saffron, fluffy gnocchi brightened with basil, fresh pasta in every form and delectable slow cooked sauces. The finest imported fish and succulent cuts of meat are grilled with delicate touches of wild mountain rosemary, pistachio lemon oil and laurel.

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For lovers of the sweetest touch, the select Italian cheeses and desserts on the glorious Dolcissimi menu are sure to leave you satiated. Authentic light Panna Cotta is dressed to impress with figs and almonds, brandy soaked Tiramisu brings a moment of sheer delight as it touches the tongue, and the opulent luxury cheese platters adorned with walnuts, honey and saffron infused pears is a true treat to share.  For those guests who simply want to try everything, the decadent tasting menu allows you to nibble on a little of each plate. Artusi Ristorante is redefining luxury and asking us to come on a culinary adventure back into the arms of Mother Italy.

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This isn’t a place where airs and graces hang heavy on the bough, where small plates are pricked with color and presentation is overstated. This is a place where you will sip the sweetest wines, let your hands dance as you talk, lose yourself in the bliss of beautiful home-cooked food; will share, will laugh, will love. This is the true nature of Italian spirit and the belief that happiness starts with the stomach.

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes