As soon as you enter the gates to Roxie in Bengaluru, there is a gorgeous brick and mortar boulangerie whose glass cases filled with sweet treats and pastries are framed by climbing vines and blooming bougainvillaea that draws you in - setting the scene for indulging in delectable pastries and treats like bamboloni - the way an Italian Nonna would make.
Set in an old mansion, Roxie exudes an air of whimsy and romance that one would associate with the Amalfi Coast and the many Italian movies and music that we have heard and seen. You could almost expect “That’s Amore” to play as you walk through the arched entryway.
Channelling The Romance of The Amalfi Coast in Bangalore
Spanning three floors and 35,000 square feet, the palatial mansion is divided into different segments that capture different moods. There are high ceilings, opulent booths and a grand stone-cladded bar that serves as the focus in the main dining hall, and sets the scene for an elegant time for those looking for the fine dining experience. But when you make your way outside to the alfresco dining area, the courtyards and gardens are lined with small tables in wrought iron that is perfect for those looking to lean more into the playful Italian spirit - to gorge on pasta, have a drink, perhaps a smoke and laugh over spilt wine and stories with a friend or two.
The first floor, is a true brew house that features craft brews from some of the best brewers in the city. This open area with wooden tables and benches can host bigger groups out for a celebration, especially with the Amalfi-style balconies for to gaze out at the stunning garden and vine-covered trellises. They also have dedicated areas for couples who make their way to Roxie. During the evenings, the open areas on the second floor and the mezzanine are set out with candles - designed for romance, as is the Italian way.
Roxie’s House of Curious Flavours
The themed approach doesn’t just stop at the architecture and decor at Roxie. Leaning into the Italian’s love for crafting beautiful narratives, all their communications from the brand (from menu to social media) is narrated through the sojourns of Roxie - an Italian adventurer who delves deep into her roots, but has also traversed the world, dabbled in the best of craft cocktails and gastronomical experiences and brings the wealth of her culinary knowhow and life experiences to Bangalore.
With the expertise of Chef ViveQ Pawar who is a savant at combining aspects of culture, history, tradition and experimentation in gastronomy, Roxie’s menu is a treasure trove of finely crafted food and drinks, meant for those who are seeking to satiate their epicurean interests. Their Korean Garlic Bread of Brioche stuffed with Philly Cream Cheese and Garlic Butter is a crowd favourite, as well as their Genovese Star Pizza and Chicken Larb Gai. But their Chateaubriand Royale: Rosemary Wine Elegance and Farm Fresh Burrata Salad are unassuming dishes that serve are a testament to the Haute Cuisine that they serve.
The Chateaubriand is a classic French dish that features a front-cut fillet of tenderloin that is grilled to perfection and served with an accompanying sauce. At Roxie, the melt-in-your-mouth meat is served on a bed of creamy mash, with ribbons of fresh carrots and zucchini cooked to perfection, and drizzled with a sauce whose flavours capture the notes of rosemary, shallots, compound butter with parsley, and white wine.
A little research into the makings of this sauce would reveal the amount of skill that is required to serve up a dish whose flavours one might have only expected to experience in a celebrated restaurant in Europe. With great attention to detail at every turn, their array of desserts includes a Pull Me Up Tiramisu (what is an Italian menu without it, after all?) and an indulgent Belgian Chocolate Cake. But the standout star is the Burnt Basque Cheesecake that strikes the perfect balance of richness and sweetness that is not cloying, and makes for the perfect finish to a great meal.
Cocktails Crafted For The Adventurous and The Whimsical
But in talking about the best of Roxie, their craft cocktails and drinks need to be discussed. Delving into history, culture, and emotions, the drinks menu at Roxie has been crafted with flair by renowned mixologist Karthik Kumar. With flavours and descriptions that would pique one’s interest, the cocktail menu ranges from Tom Yum on the Rocks to Jasmine Negroni. But the stand-out stars are truly the Italian Blood Orange Martini and ‘The Solution’.
While the latter is a more mellow drink with gin, elderflower, blood orange punch, floating butterflies and a garnish of Baby’s Breath, the Solution takes one on a much more complex journey. From the storytelling aspect - described as having been a beloved drink at Roxie’s favourite speakeasy back in the Amalfi coast during the Prohibition era - to the presentation, a bright yellow drink with a side that is crusted with chilli flakes and sesame seeds is an experience to behold. Featuring Tequila, Jalapeno, Passion Fruit, Orange, Thyme and Lime Juice and topped with a few strands of chilli, the drink offers a complex and inspired experience. The initial sip starts sweet, transitions to the tang of the tropical fruits with a hint of the earthiness from the Tequila and finally finishes with the slight heat of the Jalapeno and chilli that cuts through it all. It is truly a whimsical but adventurous sojourn of flavours.
It is especially worth mentioning that Roxie is one of the few places that serve up Craft Cocktails that has also ensured that teetotalers have an equally great experience and is not forgotten about. Their array of mocktails are just as varied as their cocktail menu and have been crafted with equal care, and not as an afterthought, as is typical in most places.
Founded by Pravesh Pandey, Ajai Satnur, Venkatesh Prabhu and Vishnu Priya, Roxie is a great escape for those who are seeking solace from the fast pace of Bangalore, at least for a little while. The romance of the architecture, the craft of the menu and the whimsy of the cocktails come together to offer a great way to delve into a momentary delusion of having an Italian vacation. Perhaps get yourself The Solution and kick back, relax and make lasting memories at Roxie’s House of Curiosities.
You can learn more about Roxie and follow them here.