Dario’s is indeed one of the topmost Italian specialty restaurants in Pune. The only reason why I would not call it “THE” topmost in Pune or consider it as part of one of the topmost in the country is because it is “Pure Veg”.
Dario’s is named after Dario Dezio – Chef & Owner, a person who has long experience in India, having helped grow The Little Italy Group and later consulted Intercontinental HotelGroup.
Nestled behind Hotel Sunderban – Lane No 1, off North Main Road, Koregaon Park, the location is definitely top notch and enviable for other restaurants.
The website of the hotel is neatly done but not updated. While on the left, one would see the locations as Koregaon Park & Fatima Nagar, the dropdown at menu shows the menu at Koregaon Park & Amanora town center – an outlet they closed some time back.
The website could be enhanced to let the user reserve table from the website and may be even select which table to reserve.
I booked a table for 4 and this was handled effortlessly by the staff. The booking was done promptly and I am happy that Dario’s is flexible with timings unlike so many others in Pune these days, which opt for only two time slots, till 7:30PM or after 9:45PM.
For keeping the booking option flexible and adhering to the promise of table in the outdoors, definitely a thumbs up for the Dario’s team.
The restaurant has Valet Parking service available and limited parking inside its premises. The valet service was efficient and the car came back without the seat adjustment being changed, which is a big plus.
Ambience, Décor & Seating
The ambience of the place is nice & relaxing. The restaurant provides open air seating as well as covered. The covered seating has good wooden chairs along with the tables and the seating outside is a mix of wooden sofa/bench with wooden tables or with plastic chairs, which are the least comfortable of the lot, but certainly not uncomfortable.
The outdoor section, essentially a patio, is good in all seasons except monsoon, when it was closed. Some bit of mosquito menace can be expected though, since the seating is nestled in the midst of trees and lawns. The tables are arranged just right, so that you do not hear the conversation of the table next to you.
The décor of the indoor section is dull, with some paintings hanging around and the bar section nearby. What adds to the dullness is the tables which are too close to each other and people going towards the outdoor section transiting through this area.
All said and done, once you are out there, you completely forget that you are in Pune and certainly one of the best places in terms of seating in the city.
We visited Dario’s for dinner and while being seated outside, there hardly was any music audible. The music being played in the indoor section was some good Italian music including opera.
The drinks menu is as elaborate as the food menu with a lot of options in wines, cocktails and mocktails – for the non-alcoholics. We opted for 1 cocktail and two fresh lime soda and had no complaints about the drink.
The menu is exhaustive to say the least and certainly a welcome thing. It gives you more options and a lot of variety. It doesn’t end here, if you know what exactly you are looking for, you will also get things outside the menu, which is exactly what I did, requesting a Penne Pesto which the waiter said would be available and was done perfectly.
Menu comprises sections devoted to “All day breakfast”, “Sandwiches & Burgers”, “Starters”, “Salad”, “Soup”, “Risotto”, “Pasta”, “Main Course”, “Pizza” & “Desserts”
After a lot of deliberations, we ordered two starters, CREMA DI SPINACI (Rs. 260) – Spinach and fresh cheese dip with parmesan, served with warm pita bread. The dip was refreshingly different from the normal dips and the pita bread was just right. Our other starter was NACHOS MESSICANI (Rs.300) – Mexican style nachos with cheese sauce. The standard plane Nachos – with right amount of cheese and Bell Peppers and fresh salsa. An assortment of food, followed as main course, starting with the Penne Pesto (Not part of menu) which was superb! The pesto was right and so was the pasta – boiled to perfection. Another dish on the table was TORTA PIPOLINO (Rs. 430) – Home-made tomato and cheese tart with basil, served with sauté baby potatoes, onion and tomato with oregano. Nothing to complain here again, just one tip – if you ever order this dish, ensure that you take a portion of each of the ingredients and eat it together to get the best of taste from this dish. The portion of Pasta and Torta Pipolino were enough to be had as One Dish meals. The last on the table was the pizza – SICILIANO (Rs. 470) – Spicy Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, garlic & bell peppers.The pizza was tasty, stomach full and had all the ingredients in right quantities.
The 12” Pizza was sufficient for two, and was perfectly done wood fired thin crust pizza. I have heard good reviews about desserts at Dario’s but I could not try it this time, so there would be one more visit to Dario’s for the desserts.
The staff is friendly and helpful, but is not around when you have to place your order. The service is quick and efficient right from the complimentary bread basket till the cheque.
Dario’s is on the expensive side and a meal for two without drinks, one starter and two main dishes plus a desert would cost you 1400 + taxes.
If you want to try out Vegetarian Italian food in Pune, you should not look at any other option but head straight to Dario’s. If you are looking for a perfect candle light dinner, this is the place again. A must visit place for Italian food lovers.
Its time they seriously look at offering Non-Veg options at this outlet and increase the size of the table, which does not fit in food for 4 people with the cutlery, glasses & serving dishes.
Lane No.1 Koregaon Park
· Due to candle light dinner, we could not get good snaps of our food and hence this review does not contain any pictures of the tasty food we had
· The restaurant was not aware that I would write a review of my experience
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