As new couples around town go, we admit we wouldn’t have called this hookup.
Diva, the elegant lady of GK-II’s M Block market, is classic in her aesthetic, indifferent to trends and whimsies. PCO was once the new kid in school, mysterious, bringing in fresh game and always encouraging us to try new drinks.
Curious about their collaboration - this new bar is called PCO-Diva Agenzia - on opening weekend we find ourselves under PDA’s giant rainbow “We Celebrate Love” sign. The first floor of Diva is now dimly lit with shadows, fuss-free marble topped tables with easy chairs, a giant red velvet sofa against a wall, umbrella fixtures for ceiling lights, and a vintage candlestick phone with a crank, should you need to call your girlfriends then and there to gush.
Introductions are made with a 30-page cocktail picture book where each drink gets its own shout-out. We start with a Happy Hickey, as one does; a vodka martini where the sweetness of passion fruit and sparkling wine does not overwhelm and cayenne pepper is only the slightest scratch in the back of your throat. (Rating: lip-locked). Flirting Collins, an interpretation of the classic Tom, is made sweeter by addition of red wine syrup and Perrier fizz; it’s zesty, but we admit we need more Perrier to balance the sweetness. (This one’s a sweet, awkward, sweaty handhold; he’s just nervous, it’ll get better the next time around).
The first floor of Diva is now dimly lit with shadows, fuss-free marble topped tables with easy chairs, a giant red velvet sofa against a wall, umbrella fixtures for ceiling lights, and a vintage candlestick phone with a crank, should you need to call your girlfriends then and there to gush.
PDA isn’t stingy with the alcohol in its cocktails, so we decide to retroactively line our stomachs. The food menu is made of solid basics, with a substantial pizza section. Fig onion jam and goat cheese bruschetta is our immediate favourite. Bitter rocket leaves play off the sweet and creamy ingredients so well you’re wishing they had more than three to a serving. (Rating: serious necking). The calamari cone, even with well-done meat, is weaker in its outer crunch; the tang of the salsa rossa can make you forget that.
Our Lips Are Sealed
Marinara pizza, for all we know, may have been surreptitiously flown in from Naples for its focused roasted-tomatoes-to-pepper balance and flavour. We opt for it on a millet base, and discover it tastes as good as white bread. (Rating: big, fluffy hug). Our Cotto pizza is denser: the nutty bite of the artichoke against the ham bounces off well, but the richness of the cheese makes this a tricky one to scarf.
In place of dessert, there are more drinks: we round off our night with Love in The Back Pocket SeelBach and an old-fashioned. With both starring well-mixed bitters and bourbon, the SeelBach is fizzy, the sweetness whispering breathy promises in an immediate buzz. We tip our hat to the old-fashioned. Heady, with the slightest tang lent by the orange peel, we’re ready to go back home with this drink.
Getting there: PDA, on the first floor of Diva Italian, M-8A, M Block Market, GK-II. A meal for two with drinks costs Rs 6584.
Accessibility: A 3-step walk-up with no ramp availability.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This review was contributed by Kakul Gautam who blogs at www.hypberbolemuch.blogspot.in
Image credit: Eeshaan Kashyap.
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