Saturday, May 12, 2012

Olives & Cheese, Ristorante Italiano

This restaurant with its raving reviews has been on my radar for a long time. When I eat out, I am usually in a fine-dining mood and hence had never ventured there. It is situated at Trimulgherry beside the RTA office.
It is a tiny place beside the Axis bank and opposite ‘mom & me’. Just about 15 tables, all placed close together. I went at 2:50 pm and there were only two tables occupied at the time. I had called and asked whether it was the 'downtime' for the restaurant as is the norm in all Hyderabad restaurants and I was assured that they have service running from 11 am to 10 pm, every time preparing food afresh. Well, the ambiance isn’t much to speak about. Looks more like an artist's studio with little pictures from/of Italy hanging around. One part of the ceiling is painted yellow and has cheese-like holes in it.
I was full of expectation and my order didn’t let me down. There were 10 sections to choose from: soups, salads, appetizers, breads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, cold and hot beverages, milkshakes and desserts. As I went alone, I ordered just two of these: one was the salad Mexican supreme. This consisted of a bed of lettuce, jalapenos, olives, corn , topped with nachos and mayonnaise dressing. This had a crunchy taste rendered to it by the crisp lettuce and topped by crispier nachos. Priced at 129/-. I didn't find any distinctive taste of spices and feel that it was the mayonnaise that had rendered the flavor.
My second order was a Hawaiin pizza topped with olives, red capsicum, paprika and pine apple. The pizza base was quite good. There are choices of deep pan and thin crust pizzas. It was slightly spicy though.
Each order took about 20 minutes to deliver. The quantity of salad was overwhelming. I could have only half of it and got the rest packed. The pizza also priced Rs. 129/-, was about 7 inches across. After having eaten the salad , I couldn’t finish the pizza either and had to get that packed as well. The bill came to 270/- with taxes.
The waiter at my table was polite and answered all my questions about the menu. And when I wanted extra cream or nachos, he helpfully brought them instantly. But he was not proactive in informing about the various pizza bases or explaining about various pasta choices or speaking about the cream choices for the salad. Also, tomatoes were substituted for red capsicum in my pizza. In the salad, corn was missing. Upon asking I was told that it was over. The basic idea of having a salad is that you go for all ingredients mentioned and not with some of them missing. The pizza toppings were rather frugal, though the base and the cheese used were awesome. So, if you are a person who is well-conversant with Italian food, you'd better customize your order because whatever you order, the taste is quite awesome.
It no way compares to Little Italy. Do not even attempt to compare, yet in its own way, it presents some decent food. Also to be remembered that the price is at least one-fourth of what you spend in the big one. I wouldn’t call it a must-have experience but by not eating here, you are sure going to miss some great Italian-Italian food.

ps: When microwaved the next day, the pizza tasted as though freshly prepared and hadn't become tough like the ones we get from other (bigger) outlets.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tao of positive expectations

Had this forwarded  to me and I feel it is too beautiful to keep it all to myself...

Dr. Robert Rosenthal of Harvard University conducted this experiment in a San Francisco Bay area school:
At the beginning of the school year, the principal called three teachers into his office.

He said to the teachers, "As a result of your teaching excellence over past years, we’ve come to the conclusion that you are the best teachers in this school. As a special reward to you, we’ve identified three classes each with 30 of the brightest students in this school—the students with the highest IQ’s. We're going to assign them to you to teach for the entire year.

"Now, we don't want to be accused of discrimination, so it's very important that you don’t tell these children in any way that you know they've been selected for a screened class. And second of all, we're not going to tell their parents, because we don't want to cause any complications there. I expect you to teach exactly the same way you normally do, using exactly the same curriculum. And I expect you to get very good results with these students."

The results: At the end of the school year, these students led not only the school, but the entire school district in academic accomplishment.

Calling the three teachers into his office, the principal said, “Well, you've had a very good year."

"Yes, we have. It was so easy!" replied the teachers. "These children were so easy to teach. They were so eager to learn. It was such a pleasure to teach them."

"Well, maybe I'd better tell you the truth," said the school principal.

"This has been an experiment. These 90 children were chosen out of the school population at random. When I assigned them to your class at the beginning of the year, I had no idea what their IQ’s were at all."

"That's incredible!" exclaimed the teachers. "But how could it be that they scored so high? They did so well. They got such good grades. Ah hah! Yes! It must be because we are such excellent teachers."

At which the principal said, "And I think I should also tell you the other side of the experiment. At the beginning of the school year, we put all the teachers' names in a hat, and yours were the first three names that were drawn."


You can understand why these average students did so well if you understand the Tao of Positive Expectations: you achieve what you expect to achieve and what others expect you to achieve.