Mail Today: 2010’s most exciting new restaurant


May 17, 2011 L'Angoor No Comments

22-10-2010

II requires some courage to call your restaurant, L’Angoor, and I don’t have to explain why. But if you’re Indigo Airlines chairman Rahul Bhatia and have one of Delhi/NCR’s most successful restaurants, China Club, on your hospitality portfolio, you can even have two langurs as mascots of your new venture.

He chose the name for his new restaurant (his fourth) over 6E, Indigo’s alpha numeric code, and we must thank him for it. The name brings an instant smile.

L’Angoor, the chicest new restaurant to open in many years, makes a monkey of the pretentions of people who patronise fine-dining restaurants and drop names (well, if Ferran Adria’s celebrated temple of molecular gastronomy, El Bulli, can be named after a breed of French bulldogs, why can’t a fashionable restaurant in Gurgaon be inspired by langurs?). But L’Angoor takes its food and wine very seriously. It is one restaurant that manages to be pretty without being loud or expensive, and it doesn’t let its good looks become a cover-up for bad food (which is the case with many looks-driven restaurants).

If the Michelin Guide were to ever rate Indian restaurants, L’Angoor would definitely be a candidate for its coveted star.

The restaurant lets you set your own pace. You can have a quick business lunch during the day — with Creole Spiced Breast of Chicken Sandwiches (Rs 320) or a Mushroom Burger (`260) giving company to the Watermelon and Feta Salad (Rs 200), or have a Prawn Salad with Orange and Fennel (Rs 350) followed by the Penne with Bolognese Sauce ( Rs 320).

At dinnertime, the pace of the restaurant becomes languorous and the food, aided by the economically priced wines, is conducive to lazy eating and scintillating conversation.

Over a meal that did not have a single bad moment, I got a most interesting expat perspective on how the traditional sari, which has Sonia Gandhi as its most elegant brand ambassador, is being sacrificed at the altar of Bollywood- dictated fashion. Saris are getting slinkier and blouses are staging a disappearing act, I was told, even as I was being titillated by a juicy scallop.

Our dinner opened with the Duet of Chilled Melon ( Rs 180) and Mushroom Cappuccino ( Rs 240) — they told me what to expect from the rest of the menu: inventive European cuisine with a generous dash of south- east Asian spicing.

Next on our menu were the Blue Summer Crab Cakes ( Rs 450), which surprised me with the generous quantities of crab meat stuffed inside them, and Crunchy Apples and Gulf Prawns Wrapped in Chicken ( Rs 800) — it was a radically different take on the Prawn Cocktail we’ve grown up having, presented in a way that would make you sorry for tucking away the creatures arranged neatly on a martini glass, and I just loved the way they tasted with sweet chilli sauce. The South African chardonnay we’d ordered by the glass was the perfect complement.

After cleaning our palates with the Spicy Mozzarella Samosas ( Rs 240), a great new addition to Delhi’s repertoire of hybridised food, we moved on to Linguine with Prawns and Scallops tossed in Cream Sauce ( Rs 800), which was a no- fuss, old- fashioned dish as it should have been; a Grilled Mediterranean Red Snapper served on a bed of Pepper Salsa ( Rs 580) that went amazingly well with a Beaujolais ( smacking at the notion that red wines aren’t for fish); and Zucchini Parmigiana ( Rs 380), the weakest link in our otherwise memorable dinner — the obviously talented chef has to work harder on his vegetarian offerings to complete the package.

Fortunately for L’Angoor, most Delhizens don’t believe in wasting time on any form of life that doesn’t move or swim. And L’Angoor, without doubt, is Delhi/ NCR’s most exciting new restaurant.

L’ANGOOR

WHERE: Lobby Level, Tower C, Global Business Park, Mehrauli- Gurgaon Road ( bang opposite the Guru Dronacharya Metro Station), Gurgaon DIAL: 9958270000; 0124- 4061666 MUST HAVE: Mushroom Cappuccino ( Rs 240); Blue Crab Cakes ( Rs 450); Crunchy Apples and Gulf Prawns Wrapped in Chicken ( Rs 800); Linguine with Prawns and Scallops ( Rs 800); Grilled Red Snapper on Pepper Salsa ( Rs 580).

Copyright 2009 India Today Group. All Rights Reserved.

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The Hindu: Choice of food and wine


May 17, 2011 L'Angoor No Comments

07-10-2010

L’Angoor offers contemporary global cuisine

Gurgaon residents now have another option to dine out. A new restaurant, L’Angoor, has just opened its doors. Located at the Global Business Park it offers a trendy wine lounge with contemporary global cuisine to business executives and families.

The restaurant offers a wide range of salads such as prawns with orange and fennel, and Farfalle with yogurt mayo. There are delicious sandwiches too such as tuna melt, philly lamb steak topped with Swiss cheese and Mexican chicken quesadillas, all which are accompanied with crispy fries. There is also the succulent Jamaican spiced jerk chicken with cilantro flavoured rice and the delectable Rack of New Zealand lamb drizzled with rosemary scented au jus.And the place is an absolute delight for wine lovers as the restaurant offers some of the finest single malts, liqueurs and Cognac. In fact it has an enticing selection of over 130 labels of wines with prices ranging from Rs.1600 to as much as 40000 a bottle.

Read the original review.

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The Times of India: A Ritzy Affair!


May 17, 2011 L'Angoor No Comments

We cannot quite figure out why this sleek wine bar with great food to go with it has such a mischievous name, but rest assured; there’s no monkey business here. It’s a refined of the kind that is not often seen in our neck of the woods; plenty of natural wood and no fuss in the detailing, L’Angoor has an eclectic wine list that travels across the new and old worlds and has a few surprises as well;  American wines, for examples, include the relatively uncommon region of Washington State in the Pacific North West. It also has a comprehensive spirits menu as well as a completely separate lunch and dinner menu. Where the real accent lies is in the dinner menu. While no attempt has been made to define the type of restaurant that L’Angoor is, it works just fine as a modern American one, which makes it the only one of its kind in the NCR. The three states that make up the Pacific North West; Washington, ldaho  and Oregon are where the giants share of prime ingredients originate, and the region does showcase the kind of menu that L’Angoor has put together, whether by accident or design.

Duet of chilled melon (Rs.180) is a masterpiece that is served in a martini glass. Musk melon and Watermelon have been minimally seasoned and served so that the colours remain separate. The disappointment of the meal was an overly sweet orange and squash soup (Rs.180). Blue summer crabcakes (Rs.450) are not a very common offering in the NCR, but if well-made, they are gastronomic delight. This version was quite creditable but fell short because of the amount of mashed potato used. L’Angoor chicken with mustard infused cabemet Sauvignon Wine (Rs.380) is a fine attempt that has much going for it; rich flavours and wine that you can actually taste in the sauce. For the price, the portion size is generous. The third appetiser we sampled was scallops on a bed of corn mush and pomegranates (Rs.880 for 4 scallops) was served in individual serving spoons  and had been cooked to perfection by someone who knows the value of scallops!

I love the fact that the restaturant has a preponderance of seafood dishes, where Delhi’s natural bird, chicken, takes a backseat. On the evening of our visit, wagyu was available, but was not reflected on the menu. The main courses impress. Linguine with prawns and scallops tossed in cream sauce (Rs.800) contains an extremely generous portion of fat, meaty scallops bursting with flavour. Broiled Lobster tail served with spicy pomegranate sauce (Rs.1400) was good if you avoided the sauce that tasted of sambhar masala! For desserts , we had a selection of ice-creams obviously made to order, that were flavoured with rose, Kaffir lime and rum raisin.

 

 

 

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Ambrosia: L’Angoor- A New Wine Destination


May 17, 2011 L'Angoor No Comments

As a finale when the food is an experience to be enjoyed just as much as the wines it only meets expectations and does it well. Top it up with perfect seating, a good ambience, music that appeals but never distracts and it is a recipe of success both for the outlet and the customer.

THE AMBIENCE

Although the first impression of L’Angoor is to bring a smile for the wordplay of ‘angoor’, meaning grapes, and the focus is on wines, as soon as you see the restaurant crest of two long tailed langoors holding a plaque with a bunch of grapes and stylized grape vine leaves you crackle with delight and realize that humour is the least appreciated feature of wine appreciation. It definitely needs to be remembered and celebrated.

High ceiling, astute use of wooden slating for wall panels on uninterrupted side, first floor lined cellar of bottles chilling, awaiting your pleasure and it is easy to slide into comfort zone of acceptance of the standard portrayed. Then come into focus the blue and burgundy red color setting plates with the restaurant crest in silver, and you begin to notice the glasses- yes, a moment of celebration must never be lost because you did not have the appropriate glass, but in a restaurant when I see different shapes of wine glasses on the table, it is extremely reassuring of the expected standard.

I was told two evenings of the week L’Angoor had live jazz band but otherwise the piped music is also understated and yet international in its quality and decibel count. I don’t particularly like music that interferes with my conversation and quite often even with the thought process- while wining & dining is all about fun and enjoyment, it is also about thinking about what you are enjoying.

LUXURY DEFINED

While big and impressive menus have been done by many outlets on fancy paper, in leather folders, metal covers and other experiments, there is something charming about the wooden plaques with engraved crest of the restaurant at the top and the well printed menu of food- two for two different times of the day; ditto for the wine lists. Prices are charmingly mentioned not in figures but words for the food and I could not find a single printer’s error.

All stemware is laser engraved with stylised restaurant crest which simply bowled me over as it means large stock and forward planning for whenever the replacements are ordered from the Singapoe based company. Then there are the plates with the crest coming on the left side of the plate- placed differently to the usual rendition of the top. While table runners are modern thick fabric the serviettes are luxurious cotton, large and with a pattern running in thin silver line.

Luxury can be opulent and breathless, or it can be matter of fact as they have successfully achieved in L’Angoor. It is never intimidating or contrived which is the best possible rendition of luxury telling you it is your right to expect it and here it is.

APART FROM WINES

The restaurant lists and stocks fine malts, whiskies, gin or vodka, liqueurs and even Cognac, but there is no separate menu of cocktails or mocktails. However don’t let it lead you believe you cannot have it. I requested and got a perfect Bloody Mary as I feel that the true mettle of a bartender is tested on the rendition of the most basic cocktail- I asked for medium spiced and got exactly that. A well made Bloody Mary is one of the most amazing lip smacking experiences that make you greedily finish it.

So, if you know your favourite cocktail, by all means demand it; they will serve it and it will be well made but they are not in the business to promote cocktails or claim that they have an exclusive list of ‘speciality’ cocktails.

THE IMPRESSIVE WINE LIST

Following the wooden menu style there is a plaque for white and red wines- two of them following the simple method of sharing information that would appeal equally to the new wine enthusiast as much as a well informed wine lover. The divisions are easy for both the red wine list and the white wine list.

First you are told the country of origin; next comes the label information, then the vintage, followed by the grape varietals in the wine, the house that makes it and finally the price. As currently just over half a dozen options are also available by the glass that information is available as well. An example from the two segments is shared below:

ITALY:

Alastro Bianco 2007 Grecanico, Chardonnay, Viognier

Fiano Planeta                          2,200

AUSTRALIA:

The Dead Arm 2006 Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon d’Arenberg       5,000  1150

(The second figure appear only when the wine is available by the glass as well)

While it is extremely appealing to have such a fine list etched on wood, I truly wonder how they will keep up with the irregular supply and changing vintage availability.

CELEBRATION OF FOOD

It is important to keep a distinct lunch and dinner menu and at L’Angoor this distinction is celebrated rather than kept mundane. It does not in any way compromise the options possible or pairing exercise for the wines. A range of salads for lunch also has sandwiches and delicious burgers and for the more formal lunch enthusiast a selection of pastas and the tempting cheese platter.

For dinner, it gets delightfully difficult to opt for fish over red meat, succulent scallops or rack of New Zealand lamb drizzled with rosemary scented au jus. Well, for me it was the wine that decided on the lamb.

GENERAL IMPRESSION

With such a limited and expensive (as compared to the rest of the world) wine availability when one discovers a true gen it is time well invested and deserves a standing ovation. Davide Zubani is the official in house sommelier. With over 13 years of experience in celebrated international properties, as also Indian properties including the Leela, even a cruise ship he approaches wine recommendation with confident elan that comes from experience.

As with all truly memorable experiences, Davide kept the gem for the last- Yocochuya is an Argentinian Malbec & Cebernet Sauvignon blend; decanted it roughly half hour before service and swirled it expertly to air it well. In the glass it was sheer poetry with silky smooth tannins and a firm structure that had a beguiling and charming long finish. Although the Michel Rolland crafted wine declares 16.2% alcohol it goes down well, has a perfectly balanced nose on the notes and was a true winner of the glass, that might well change as customers begin to honour choices of the sommelier.

L’Angoor is poised at the beginning of an innings that can only get better. They have a great team and the right approach with many re-visit reasons clear on the first visit itself. One does not even experience the mayhem driving that Gurgaon interiors have become; it is almost the very first building on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road from Delhi, much before the mad traffic snarls of the Gurgaon malls begin.

 

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The Times of India: Chic it!


May 17, 2011 L'Angoor No Comments

There is a good news for China Club patrons, as these guys have opened up a restaurant that boasts of world cuisine(read blue summer crab cakes, herb-crusted Atlantic salmon!) accompanied by a mind-bloggling selection of single malts, wines and cognacs. Go , climb!

Where: L’Angoor, Global Business Park, Gurgaon;

Price: Under Rs.2,500 for two;

Timings: Lunch, Noon-2.45pm; Dinner 7-11.15 pm

 

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To a glorious life! Your life!


Jan 28, 2011 L'Angoor No Comments

L'Angoor Fine Dining

Fine dining is an art, and as such, an exploration, and intimate experience open to an individual’s finer sensibilities. Like Art, it is a celebration of the best in Man and Life. True to this spirit of higher accomplishment and joy, L’Angoor is conceived as a temple to the noble life. A place of congregation for the believers of Ability, Ambition and Achievement. Day after day, and night after night, within the confines of its four walls, L’Angoor celebrates the faith in Man’s superior ability to rise from the savage and reach for the sublime.

In the pristine opulence of its elegant ambience, amidst the transparent beauty of oak paneled walls suffused in dissolving light; to the mellifluous rising and falling strains of jazz music, and reaffirming laughter of life, Czars and Czarinas of this uplifting creed proudly toast to Beauty, Success, and Wealth. Every night, and every day, these pilgrims of Good Life raise their hand in a ceremonial salute to the avant garde Man – themselves.

As with every grand occasion that celebrates life, a L’Angoor experience is a ritualized extravaganza of exquisite cuisine, a selection of the world’s finest wines, and reverential service. The sensuous fete, like a classical symphony, is an inspired testimony to intricate balance and mutually complementing arrangement of good food and fine wine. Everything that reaches you, right from the hors d’oeuvres to the time you place your napkin back on the table post a delightful pudding or dessert, is handpicked by the Masters of the Ceremony – Executive Chef, Hitesh Gupta and Sommelier par excellence, Davide Zubani.

Befitting a King, the wine cellar stocks 130 of the best names in the world of liqueur, single malts and cognac. This royal collection is humbled only by the selection of jazz music at L’Angoor. Tracing the history of Jazz, from the original ‘Dixieland New Orleans’ made famous by William Bassie, to ‘Chicago Style,’ ‘BeBop,’ ‘Cool Jazz,’ ’Fusion’ and now, ‘Contemporary’ Jazz, for a true-blue fan the repertoire is a definitive study in the evolution of jazz music.

As the days fade into nights, and nights disappear into days, the panorama of Good Life unfolds over and over again at L’Angoor. In confident handshakes that seal million-dollar deals, in gentle smiles acknowledging a lifetime of love and togetherness, in ebullient laughter and suppressed chuckles, in words and coy whispers, the stories of success and joie de vivre play on. The glory of life finds expression as a subtle tribute in a raised arm, a fine liqueur, and a vivacious toast.

The celebrations at L’Angoor will continue, as long as Ability, Ambition and Achievement remain our creed. Every day, and every night, sparkling wine and a sensuous feast will be served to the accompaniment of scintillating music in the Temple of Good Life as an ode to joy. Do stop by. You are most graciously invited.

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