May 2008: Established in 1965 by Peter Boizot in London, PizzaExpress is one of the world’s most iconic and well-loved food brands over the years. Represented in India by the forward thinking hospitality group Gourmet Investments PvtLtd, the brand reinvented itself for the Indian context earlier this year with a revolutionary new undertaking, The Project Series, to offer its patrons across the country a dynamic sensory and hyper local experience.
“The first in this series of new destinations was The Bandra Project by PizzaExpress that opened in Mumbai in July last year. This was followed by The Runway Projectin Mumbai and New Delhi and The Market Project at Kurla Mumbai.”We are committed to creating spaces that are more than just restaurants and bars, but are addresses that are hyper local, while always being about curated experiences and settings that stimulate conversations” says Ramit Mittal, CEO, Gourmet Investments Pvt Ltd.
“Each of our openings in India will be a communal hub of sorts known for great hospitality, distinctive design, whimsical decor and memorable times” says Deepinder Batth, COO, Gourmet InvestmentsPvt Ltd.
Ramit and Joey (as Deepinder is popularly known) now unveil the next destination in their line-up: The Poona Project by PizzaExpress, fittingly located in Pune’s retail& lifestyle hotspots, Phoenix Marketcity in Viman Nagar. True to its name, this outlet will take forward its signature hyperlocal experience, highlighted with the old world charm of Pune. The idea is to curate an immersive design and city-centric experience that mirrors the ethos of not just its location but also the community it is created for.
The Poona Project by PizzaExpress is a concept eatery located on the ground floor at Phoenix Marketcity. It is a ‘part bar, part kitchen, part picnicking spot’ – this intuitive and adaptive concept aims to celebrate Poona’s heritage and weather through food (with local-inspired dishes on the menu) and drinks.
The Poona Project’s space with its simple, contemporary decor reminiscent of Poona’s association with Gymkhanas, makes it a good go-to destination for fun family meals, brunch with friends or a romantic date night.
An unusual highlight isthe ‘Picnic Feasts’ that are served in actual picnic baskets – built for 2, 4, or 6 people – intended for the outdoor section only. This is really an exciting element for diners who want to enjoy the pleasant almost all year round Pune weather with a customise picnic basket with all their favourites from The Poona Project by PizzaExpress.
There’s also their all-day breakfast spread – which features items like a ‘breakfast pizza’, pumpkin pancakes, waffles, and more. Pizza fans will be happy to know there’s an extensive selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian pizzas available in ‘classic’, ‘Romana’ (extra thin), and ‘Calabrese’ (their iconic rectangular-shaped) crusts. The menu features Italian classics, as well as Indian-style dishes customised for Pune like the ‘Penne Paneer Makhani’ (also available with chicken), ‘Murgh Risotto’, and even Puneri favourite Missal Pav (served with house-made dough balls). Pasta, lasagne, risotto, burgers, sandwiches, sides, salads, small plates, and of course – an indulgent selection of desserts round up the food menu.
Diners will truly love the vintage Gymkhana-esque vibe of The Poona Project!Poona, the “Oxford of the East”, gained its nickname from the amazing institutions that dot it’s leafy avenues. Poona’s temperate cool climate attracted the ruling British leadership to set up their garrisons and cantonments, with rest houses and sanatoriums populating its confines, along with it’s neighbouring hill stations. The Poona Project references this amazing time in Poona’s history, inspired by the iconic Poona Gymkhana, and the elevated culture that surrounds it.
“At the Poona Project we’ve referenced this lively town, with a huge green picnic inspired outdoor, full of local plants and greens, to let our guests avail of Pune’s beautiful year-round weather. The shaded cabanas and pavilions allow an elevated outdoor dining experience, in the Poona Project’s garden. This restaurant is a small vignette of Gymkhana culture, with passing references to Badminton and the stylish deco-inspired environs of the oak-panelled, timber and cane card-rooms of vintage Gymkhanas”, says AyazBasrai of The Busride Studio who has designed the space.
Gourmet Investments Pvt Ltd, which represents the iconic PizzaExpress chain in India is proud to announce celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani as the new Corporate Chef & Culinary Director. The tastefully prepared menu by Chef Vicky Ratnani and his team reflects the sensibility of the space with dishes that are not only delectable, but also lay focus on stylish presentation and portions.
“At Poona Project restaurant, we serve Italian food with added options for the local community. Besides our authentic Italian food, burgers and all day breakfast, we are excited to present our take of the local special Vadapav, Missal pav and even dishes with the local Goda masala with an Italian touch!”, says Chef Vicky Ratnani.
The Poona Project
Address: Phoenix Market City, Ground Floor, Unit no. 69, Viman Nagar, Pune
Timings: 11 am to 11.30 pm
For Reservations please call 020 71967538
Cost for a meal for two Rs1,500 + taxes (approx.) with alcohol