Rating: 5 / 5.00 on Zomato
Tonino for us is one more in a list of restaurants that have chosen to grow in terms of numbers of covers and size with time and as a result have lost that sit back and enjoy factor that comes with many single outlet restaurants that develop a justified reputation over the years. We have been here for parties with friends, meals that were for important occasions and more recently we were there for a quick bite and a beer on a sunny afternoon before the boss left for an extended trip abroad.Most importantly, a dear friend who is no more threw a brilliant party here over a decade ago, which we still remember because Tonino had just about opened then, and we had almost the whole place to ourselves that evening. And they really really looked after us very well too.Memories are made of this. So. Can't blame a restaurant for getting the most important part, the food, right, and then becoming popular and therefore crowded but me, I like my peace of mind while eating what is called Italian food in what used to be rural surroundings, but are now approachable even by Metro train!And therefore, here's a tip - consider this, don't take your car, because the valet parking is something I don't agree with, and if you don't, then that's one point. And then knock the wine and beer part without worrying, eat heartily, after which take a nap in a taxi on your way home.Next, go on a weekday for lunch, when hopefully they are not so crowded. And you can sit in peace. And really enjoy what they do well. Which is simply, the food. Otherwise, on weekends and evenings, be prepared to be part of a huge crowd. Which we don't like.Because, simply put, we do like the food there. Again, also since we prefer to stay and eat vegetarian when we eat out, unless we "know the fish". In my case, most of the Italy we've done has been coastal, so the fish is from the sea, has a name, and is fresh. Fresh sea fish, and fresh means caught at dawn, brought into port in the morning, and served for lunch, is not going to happen in Delhi that easily.Which is where Tonino turns out a wide variety of surprises. In vegetables and the way they are cooked as well as presented. There are also some very helpful whole wheat options both in spaghetti as well as pizza base which work for us. And at the risk of repeateing and belabouring our favourite, a wide range of brilliantly coloured vegetables.Vegetables vary with season, obviously, and it is best to leave it to the serving staff to decide what they put on the pizza or the pasta, so maybe this is not what Tonino is famous for, but we go there for the vegetarian choices and on that specific basis, give it a very high ranking.I'm sure they do great pork, mutton and poultry, which is what the crowds are there for.And I wish they would do one more thing which I haven't seen in India in a while - add anise to the tomato sauce they use. Or a red wine with vodka in it. Going to ask next time.+++Visited Tonino again, April 2014, invited to a party on their terrace. As always, great food, brilliant service. Contunue to rate them at 5.0 and here's why too -# Later in the evening when the demands for baked beans and specific bread came from a friend, it was done.# I wanted my sole fish tossed with bacon with pasta (ravioli) and that was done too, very well.# The booze as served is no-nonsense and the bar-tender was just correct.# The terrace itself is one of the better locations in town if you want to throw a party.# Valet parking handles your car gently and makes a gentle suggestion that you take a taxi instead of driving back. Rightly so too.