Ate. Drank. Didn’t quite love. ***
The best-friend had been making quite a fuss about a certain Pear & Galangal Martini. So as soon as the sun set on my first night in Pune, we began preparations to hit the place that served it. Tertullia, a place most definitely on the city’s list of the hip and happening.
Being a saturday night the place was full of party-people high on the good life, so we were pretty lucky to get a table. We were met by a lovely hostess with darling dimples who sat us down. The drinks were ordered and the aforementioned Martini lived up to the praise it had received. I highly recommend it, and not just for the ladies.
A small black board at the entranced mentioned a Tapas menu, so we tried a few. First to arrive was a plate of Chicken wings with a Blue Cheese dip, which incidentally we hadn’t ordered. They were consumed non-the-less, very unapologetically. They were delicious, so was the dip which could have done with a bit more zing, something sour an acidic. The Portabella Mushrooms stuffed with Bacon and Cheese were also fairly good. The Karari Roti which was at every table is clearly a crowd pleaser, but has a very distinctly south asian flavor which felt out of place at an otherwise european inspired menu.
My main course of Lamb and root Vegetable ragout with buttered Spaghetti was delectable. My only complaint; one small lonely piece of potato was the only root vegetable on my plate. I also tasted the Vietnamese Fillet of Basa, which was perfectly cooked and laid on a bed of sautéed vegetables. Unfortunately a rookie mistake of serving bitter zucchinis ruined a few bites. Otherwise it was lovely.
As we were finishing our mains, the owner of the place came over to exchange pleasantries. He made some very convincing desert recommendations that had our mouths watering. Our plates were cleared and we waited, and waited and then waited some more. No highly spoken of desserts arrived. The manager forgot to place our order ! And this wasn’t their first slip in service. Service all night was sloppy, we kept having to repeat, prompt, push, non-verbally suggest, sternly look at watch, etc. Which, I must admit, the dimpled hostess made a huge effort to make up for.
Finally the Croissant Pudding arrived with a whiff of warm Bourbon and sugary raisins. Though I’m not a lover of bread pudding, this one had me floored. This rendition was absolutely stellar. The limp coconut cheesecake with a soggy barely-there crust was completely ignored.
Tertullia did give us some memorable dishes but missed top marks in my books for careless mistakes and sloppy tiresome service. I would need the promise of good company to visit again, for the restaurant itself didn’t charm me enough to revisit.
Damages: Approximately 800-1000 Rs without alchohol for a hearty meal.
The name had me curious: the Spanish word ‘tertullia’ is a social gathering of people, usually artists, writers, political activists, poets and other people of refined taste. Similar in meaning and usage to the French word ‘salon’; where people of like-minds come together to share an evening to spirited conversation and revelry.