At a time when Bangalore’s restaurants are more interested in hanging 30 ft high billboards that says "Buffet at 199", "Combo meal for 99" than serving an authentic meal, I happened to visit Fiorano, a classy Italian restaurant which believes in marketing their restaurant purely by the ‘word-of-palette’. In fact, this restaurant is so understated from the outside that we spent a good ten minutes to locate it despite knowing exactly where to look.
Located on the busy 100 ft road in Koramangala, Fiorano is one of the older Italian restaurants in South Bangalore. This upscale restaurant’s interiors, though simple, are quite elegant. The lighting is done tastefully and the lit candle on the table gives it a romantic feel. In fact, there is an air of ‘exclusivity’ around this restaurant. The waiters are quite polite; some of them are quite knowledgeable too.
At first sight, the dishes seem quite expensive but thankfully there is enough variety to keep everyone happy. Fiorano offers more than 25 different wines, ranging from Merlot to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. For teetotalers, it offers the usual set of mocktails such as Virgin Pina Colada and flavored Italian soda.
As we moved on to the starters, we started missing a numbered menu; we had a hard time pronouncing dishes like ‘Grigliate e Verdure’ (diced and grilled vegetables with basil pesto and Romano cheese) and hence resorted to pointing at the menu card instead. Thankfully, the perfectly grilled vegetables made the effort worthwhile. Other popular starter picks include Crostini Misti (assorted crostini) and ‘Prosciutto E Melone’ (Fresh Melon marinated with Mint and Olive oil wrapped in Parma Ham). They also provide an array of ‘Insalata’ or salads of which the ‘Insalata di Pomodori Arrostiti Con Verdure’ (Roasted Tomatoes with mixed greens and Sun-dried tomatoes) was the pick of the bunch.
Fiorano’s crown jewel is their Pasta; Fettuccine, Spaghetti and Penne might be the varieties of Pasta available in every pseudo-authentic Italian café but in this restaurant we also find the rare types of pasta such as Linguine, Tortellini, Cannelloni and much more.
Apart from the usual pasta dishes like ‘Fettuccine Alla Bolognese’ (Fettuccine with Bolognese sauce), Fiorano offers esoteric dishes that combine seafood with pasta such as ‘Spaghetti Con Aragosta’ (Spaghetti with Lobster, Cherry tomatoes and green scallions). For the seafood lovers, more dishes are available in the ‘Pesci’ (fish) section. The other two product based sections in the menu are ‘Carne’ (meat) and ‘Verdure’ (Vegetables). Sadly, such innovative dishes are not available in the ‘Pizza’ section and we were forced to choose from merely 5 options.
I believe that an Italian restaurant’s true pedigree can be measured by the quality of its Risotto (a.k.a. Risotti), as it is one of the hardest dishes to perfect. The unctuous ‘Risotti Al Funghi’ (brown rice cooked with creamy mushroom sauce) at Fiorano was one of the best Italian dishes I’ve tasted – perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned and perfect in its flavor. When appreciated, the waiter beamed and told us that they make their very own cheese!
After the exquisite Risotto, our expectations from Fiorano’s ‘Dolci’ (desserts) were unfairly high. The menu contained some fine dining dishes that are quite popular on TV shows like ‘Masterchef’ such as Panna Cotta with Cherry Compote and Crème Brulèe. However, the Tiramisu with a graceful twirl of tempered chocolate on top was a treat to both the eyes as well as the palette – easily the best dessert of the day.
Priced at about 800 per head, discounting the price of alcohol, Fiorano may seem like a restaurant strictly meant for special occasions. However, the delectable food coupled with the authentic Italian feel can make even an ordinary day seem special.
Contact details for Fiorano:
No. 63, 100 Ft Rd., 5th A Block, John Nagar,