It's hard to miss Little Italy. Okay, actually it's not so hard. Oh heck, it's easy - which is why they even give a map in their takehome menu. But not too many in this neighbourhood need it - this is one of the popular restaurants of not only Jubilee Hills, but all of Hyderabad.
While Little Italy is no hole in the wall, you are unlikely to gaze awestruck if you were passing by - you need to keep an eye out for it, despite the fact that it is located right on the main road. A fairly spacious indoor/outdoor eatery with smoking and non-smoking sections, this expensive restaurant is characterized by plush seating, and constant loud chatter if you go on a day when some company in the vicinity is celebrating something here (and that could be just the weekend).
Indeed, it's the denizens of the many opulent software companies dotting the posh Jubilee Hills neighbourhood that crowd Little Italy. And yes, most days are crowded. The ristorante
is a popular choice for a sponsored office outing, or for dining upmarket visitors. Or for basically good food, for whoever can afford it. Located at Film Nagar, the place also has its share of Tollywood stars for clientele - it's as easy to run into Allu Arjun here as at Subway
The undoubted USP, which lets them get away with almost illegal prices. A meal for two at Little Italy can cost Rs. 1,000 - without alcohol - and for most, is well worth it.
The menu is super-elaborate - for example, there are 25 appetizers and 38 pasta sauces. And 32 different pizzas. In a purely vegetarian Italian restaurant. You can almost give up on ordering yourself unless you're a connoisseur of Italian cuisine, or have lived in Italy sometime in this or a recent birth - you can hardly understand any of the names.
And did we mention the dishes all taste good?
If you are one of those who thinks Italian meant bland mayonnaise, cheese and pasta, Little Italy will deliver a knockout punch. Many customers would delightfully opine that the pizzas are better than any Domino's or Pizza Hut whip up, and hyperactively recommend the Sicilia Pizza. There's no shortage of spicy dishes - you just have to hint it to the head waiter, and he'll gleefully perform a fox trot.
The menu has about 25 "Antipasti Starters", with all the popular Italian ingredients like mozzarella, avocado, aubergines, capers, parsley, farmer's bread, olive oil, oregano, mayonnaise, crostini, artichokes, asparagus, olives, mushrooms, capsicum, garlic and, of course, cheese.
17 salads and 10 soups later, you hit a 2-tiered main course menu, consisting of, of course, pastas (lasagnas) with a range of sauces, and brown rice dishes (risottas). Tagliatelle, Spaghetti, Penne, Fusilli, Gnocchi and Ravioli form the pasta core, and 38 sauces form the wardrobe. There's a Mexican sub-menu too, with all the staples - nachos, tacos, salads, onion and capsicum rings, baby corn longs, enchiladas, quesadillas and mashed potato based dishes.
Tiramusu is the only exotic dessert - the rest are chocolate brownies and ice-creams. Several liquor-based ice-creams dot the dessert section. Plus, you have an elaborate wine list, and 30+ juices, to choose from if you are looking for something to wash it all down.
With its food, Little Italy is a class act. Pardon them the long waiting time and rather sloppy service at peak times - they've earned it.