There are brunches, and then there’s the grandmother of all brunches. Sheraton had the first of its one-of-a-kind innovative concept brunching at Bene a couple of weekends back – celebrating a long standing Italian tradition of eating with friends at a long table, serving rustic food and lots of wine. And we were fortunate to be invited for this event, organized and curated by Chef Giuseppe – the Sheraton Sunday Brunch .
This premier event was in collaboration with Grover Zampa Wines, and to make the experience absolutely memorable, the event started off with grape stomping in the patio – with some great live music – as the wines and bubbles flowed freely into glasses. There were some delicious antipasti being served – tomato and basil bruschettas, bite sized Roman pizza slices, Eggplant with fontina cheese and vegetarian croquettes that did rounds. I tried the stomping a bit, and roped in Tapash as well a bit later – it was fun and was pretty much like dancing to the music on squishy ground!
We started heading in after some conversations, and just about the right time, as it started drizzling. The long tables were all laid out, and chef wanted us to sit together to experience this the way he had envisaged it. So we sat down with Boris on one end of the table, while Arijit took the other end. One of the first things Chef started off with was an aroma of Italy – a whiff of which he promised was like his home – filled with condiments and herbs – ‘the flavor of Italy’. It really was! On the tables, there was some sharing platters kept – marinated olives, feta salad and seasoned vegetables, and several types of cold cuts. The courses slowly started flowing in, led by the fresh Caprese salad was delicious – generously dressed with mozzarella. The vegetarian quiches were amazing too, couldn’t get enough of those! The Arancini atter fried balls and Panzerotti (filled with tomato and mozzarella) served in sacks were quite the tidbits to munch on between courses.
The fried polenta and rustico were again, atypical customary dishes in Italy – that came in before the mains began. The main courses arrived fresh from the chef’s kitchen in trolleys. Beef Lasagne and Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli were delicious, but chef kept warning us that there were more to come. And boy, was there more! The Peperoni-e-tonno was absolutely delicious, tuna with bell peppers in red vinegar dressing, capers. From the barbeque station we got quite a few carne – though we did miss the jumbo prawns. The Roast Chicken in Truffle Sauce with rosemary potato was again really well made, simple and delicious to bite into. And finally there were the gorgonzola cheese crepes with vegetarian fillings.
A large selection of desserts came our way as we were finishing up our several courses of meal – chocolate cake, apple strudel, fruit tart, éclair and more – yes, this was a feast if there was ever a feast! The wines kept pouring, and there was fun conversations and laughter, and more food than one could keep track of! Priced at INR 2700 + taxes including alcohol, this is an unmissable feast. When is the next one you wonder? This Sunday is the next Grandmother’s Table getting set, book your spot for this truly Italian experience.