Hyatt Regency’s Italian restaurant La Piazza turns 25 this year and has launched a new menu to mark this celebration. In conversation with Restaurant India, Gregorio Lostia, Chef de Cuisine of La Piazza talked about the new menu, which has an addition of non-vegetarian version of the much revered Pizza La Piazza, how it is imperative to keep on changing the menu with the ongoing trends and why Pizza La Piazza is his most favourite from the menu
What made you launch a new menu? Are there some additions to the menu or have you given the old menu a twist?
The La Piazza menu has undergone a lot of changes over the years. The last menu change was in April 2019 and with La Piazza completing its silver jubilee this year, we couldn’t think of a better occasion than this to introduce a new menu. The new menu showcases an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Italian delicacies as a quarter of the menu is being changed to include the finest of Italian dishes. It has been especially curated with my signature dishes like asparagus and smoked salmon salad, shrimp morsels and Tagliolini with baby lobster and artichoke, amongst others. We have launched the non vegetarian variation of the much loved Pizza La Piazza (PLP 25) with lamb sausages. For the diet conscious, we also have vegan and gluten-free options that include dishes like Fusilli in black olive pesto and creamy garlic sauce and healthy dessert options such as sugar free Tiramisu.
How necessary is it to refresh or change the menu today especially when the customers have a gamut of options to choose from?
Gone are the days when people preferred simple food. Today guests are demanding more complex and innovative food items that please their palates. Food fads get into mainstream dining really fast. With innovation being a key trigger, visionary chefs, restaurateurs and mixologists work on unique offerings to entice and entertain diners consistently. Our patrons love to explore and experiment with their food choices and our new additions to the menus have received a lot of appreciation. The set menus available at our restaurants work best as they keep the classics that people know and love along with innovative dishes. The chefs try to reinvent these dishes by playing with textures and flavours and they present them differently.
The new additions to the menu bring seasonal and regional twist to the Italian classics, focusing on fresh and seasonal produce, just like in Italy. Also, with people becoming more aware of what they eat, and taking the healthier route, it becomes essential to keep changing the menu to cater to the needs of the people. For instance, there is a gluten-free menu available at La Piazza that consists of dishes like lentil macaroni, saffron quinoa and vegetables. We have also introduced new dishes like Fusilli in black olive pesto and creamy garlic sauce. The gluten-free menu excites people as it lets them eat out and not mess their diets. They also taste different than the normal dishes, which add to the appeal. We also have sugar-free Tiramisu.
To take a retrospective look at La Piazza’s journey of 25 years, what are the dishes which are being revered the most?
Over the years, La Piazza has been instrumental in introducing India to an authentic Italian dining experience. It is one of the few restaurants in the capital to have celebrated its silver jubilee – a journey synonymous with authentic Italian produce, fresh ingredients and some of our most memorable dishes along the way. Some of the dishes that have been revered the most are the Pizza La Piazza, sun-dried tomato and basil-stuffed chicken and pan-seared sea bass, amongst others.
What dish is your favourite from the menu and why?
My favourite dish from the menu is definitely the PLP 25. The lamb sausages give it a very distinctive flavour which makes it unique and it’s definitely a ‘must have’ from the new menu.