April Rain is the made over renamed and rebranded what was once known as Esca. Esca was a mistake from the start till it lasted.
Chef Milind Sovani has given his touch of grace nad poise to the restaurant. Thankfully everything was good from the start. The place has a valet parking and valet who are at your service. Not like many others who just have a valet parking but no valet.
The place is a 2 storied establishment with the ground floor is more to cater to the folks who are interested in the bar and the screen opposite it. The first floor is more for the serious eater.
The upper portion is about 10 tables with the ones near the wall - mostly sofa seating and the others being the chairs and tables. There are only 2 servers serving the top floor , with one of them acting as a standby steward. Unfortunately for him, he needs to brush up on the menu and its contents.
All along the walls one would see a lot of oldish posters of liqueur and alcohol with one show case for the wines they store and another one , under the staircase holding the famed Chivas regal and what i thought was benedictine.
the labels of the manuf date were carefully removed so i could not tell if this was properly aged or not.
Menu wise, its very extensive - from malwani to continental to Lucknowi to Hummus . One can find a lot of variety to choose from.
In many restaurants you can find almost every 3rd or 4th dish to have a chef's hat or a star indicating them to be the Chefs specialty or a signature dish. In the menu at April Rain, i found only 1 - Strip Tenderloin steam in red wine jus.
For the soup and starters we orders
Green Globe ( Broccoli, Zucchini and Spinach soup )
Trio or Bruschetta
Corn and vegetable tempura in wasabi mayo
The green globe for that price was a killer soup. even after we had shared it, it was pretty creamy and nice.
The trio of bruschetta was a baguette of 3 types x 2 peices each. One had a diced olive and lettuce . other had mixed veges from an indianized sandwich and the third one i dont remember.
One major flaw with this was, it was lacking the dizzle of balsamic vinegar + olive oil. That made the dish entirely flat. The flavour the balsamic + olive oil gives would have made the dish complete.
The baby corn and vegetable tempura was like a typical tempura. I generally choose not to eat aubergine/eggplant but today was an exception. The tempura was in itself nice and crisp. But I had major issues with the wasabi mayo. It dint taste anything like wasabi. To me it looked more like a mixture or white mustard, horseradish and food coloring and it was tangy and lacked the kick of the wasabi.
Had it been labelled mint mayo, it would have had a problem. Just because i saw wasabi mayo, i ordered it and it fell flat on my face.
For the main course , we had ordered
1. Young chicken steak with mushroom and boiled vegerables in red wine sauce
2. wild mushroom risotto
3. Pasta Arrabiatta - penne
The steak was a big may be 1 pound patty glazed with a dark barbecue like sauce with a hint of bittersweet. The mushrooms were nice and juice and seemed to have been tossed during the final stages of the sauce making so it was delicious. The boiled veges were nice cut in a trendy chopper so it had all sorts of grooves.
The patty was grilled well but somehow felt it a little rawish in the middle ( not even rare ). The sauce could have been served in a separate bowl and poured at the last moment so we could see the char marks on the patty - but that dint happen . Also it was a little less for my liking. The last few bites were basically eaten as is.
The wild mushroom risotto came with 2 asparagus sticks panfried in pepper and salt with butter. The risotto was nice and warm but as soon as it started settling down, it became drier and drier to eat. It should have had some more sauce to it to be able to retain the creamy texture till the last spoon. I had to leave some of it in the plate because it was simply to rice like ( of course i did polish all the mushrooms in it ).
Personally would have liked more of Shiitake mushrooms and a little more sauce to the dish.
The pasta Arrabiatta was what my wife approved. It was mild, it was in decent portion and it was hot.
The dessert menu was limited and i did not find any sundaes in it for sure. but a molten lava cake seems to be catching up on al ot of menus.
we dint order any desserts because we were already full.
In the entire dining experience there were a few things that i liked and there were a few that i dint, but the fact that for 3 of us, the bill was only 1210 made me smile.
It could be a billing error or it is a routing thing. If its a routing thing, mind you - its a kickass thing to do. I could order another dish or maybe 2 desserts in the tax amount.
All in all, April rain gets a thumbs up for the good food, good portions, attentive albeit a little ignorant staff and a happy me.....
One thing I and my wife noticed is that many of the dishes are similar to the menu from Out of the blue ( although OOTB lacks the Indian part ) but the portions were larger and the price was lower - happy happy !