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Hot List 2008

Prego, Chennai

Address: 37 Mahatma Gandhi Road

Tel: 91-44-6600-2827

This polished restaurant in the Taj Coromandel is single-handedly trying to move Chennai's conservative eaters toward lusty Italian cuisine, starting with footwear: When making a reservation, diners are informed that sandals and shorts—ubiquitous in this steamy city—are not allowed. There are no pizzas on the menu; instead, you'll find homemade pastas and imported salami and cheeses, herbed lamb chops, and outrageously priced French foie gras ($80). Chef Giovanna Marson has worked in Japan and has a light touch, especially in vegetarian dishes such as a frothy duo of porcini and asparagus and a spicy layered aubergine. The wine cellar is one of the finest in India. Skip the tiramisu for the excellent pistachio soufflé or the chilled bitter chocolate mousse (entrées, $15–80).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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