Cut to August. There's a cozy Italian restaurant on Chowringhee in Calcutta called Casa Toscana that I'd been wanting to visit for a long time. Finally went there last weekend. It's a restaurant I fell in love with the moment I entered it.
Pali Village Cafe, Bandra (Mumbai)
Casa Toscana, Chowringhee (Calcutta)
...yet there's a world of a difference between them in terms of the service and dining experience. I would definitely recommend Casa Toscana to someone looking for a nice Continental restaurant in Calcutta. Not sure I would recommend Pali Village Cafe to anyone.
The food at Casa Toscana is awesome, definitely the best Italian food I've had in Calcutta outside of 5-star restaurants. (You see, there are a lot of restaurants in Calcutta that claim to serve Continental food but haven't a clue what authentic Continental food tastes like!) The menu is a little limited though and service is a tad slow but that doesn't seem to deter people from patronizing the restaurant as was visible from the crowd. Some people might argue the restaurant is a little expensive by Calcutta standards - a (non-vegetarian) starter would cost you between Rs 180-Rs 220, an entree (non-vegetarian again) between Rs 240 - 340 and a dessert around Rs 180. We paid around Rs 1400 including taxes for a meal for two that included 2 starters, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, a beer & a Breezer, so I'm inclined to believe it's a moderately priced restaurant. Cheap even, by Mumbai standards.
Casa Toscana is not a lounge-around kind of place. It's a place you'd like to visit with your spouse/partner/family for a nice dinner on a weekend, or on a date. And get lost in the aromas of Italy.