By Daphne Charles
When it comes to some good Italian food, Il Ponte at The Hilton, Colombo, has to be a natural choice.
With access from Lotus Road, the restaurant has ample parking – a pre-cursor to a hassle-free dining experience. Tucked away between the hotel’s fitness and recreation facilities, is the restaurant that dishes up some fine Italian fare.
As you enter, the sound of the club singer’s voice slow-dancing its way across the open spaces welcomes you. Should you choose to sit outdoors by the pool, the slowly descending dusk is a rewarding experience. Seating can be in the air-conditioned private room, too – a perfect place for a private gathering.
The menu boasts a wide selection of wines and cocktails and a selected list of starters. Our favourite was the garlic bread, with its thin crust and topic of garlic and parsley in just the right proportions that kept you reaching out for more. Other sides include platters of cheese and meats, all sourced straight from Italy, thereby maintaining the authenticity of the tastes.
If choosing a main from the menu is a challenge, the chefs are only too happy to help. After much deliberation, we decided to stick to some of the fast-moving favourites at the restaurant. We were not disappointed. The Pizza Prosciutto di Parma e Rucola, with Parma Ham and Rocket, along with shavings of Parmesan cheese and homemade tomato sauce was perfectly crusty and delicious. The pizza looked appetizing and tasted good, without any of the fussings of overt toppings.
If you’re a seafood lover, the Squid Ink Tagliatelle will be your winner. It is sea-food through and through, with home-made squid ink pasta tossed in a rich marinara sauce and generously endowed with locally sourced sea-food. The dish is bursting with the flavor of seafood and herbs and it’s easy to see why it’s a fast-moving choice.
One must not walk away from a hearty meal without dessert. And one certainly cannot eat Italian cuisine without savouring the classic Tiramisu. The soggy spongy layers with their sweet mousy fillings topped with bitter cocoa frosting was the perfect finish for the dining experience. Light, bitter sweet and oh-so-good.
Friendly, attentive service that allowed enough privacy to enjoy our meal without having to ‘catch’ the attention of the staff made the dining experience all the more enjoyable. All in all, I would say that was a perfect evening spent at Il Ponte. (Leisure Plus – Sri Lanka)
Pictures by Easwaran Rutnam