An Art Gallery with a Restaurant
Vida Heydari Contemporary is Pune’s newest concept, which combines an art gallery with a restaurant, aiming to deliver unique cultural experiences to its patrons. The gallery will be the heart of the space with its beautiful high ceilings, warm lighting, and impactful exhibits, while the restaurant will echo this mood through a curated culinary journey. Situated in the lush by-lanes of Koregaon Park, VHC is a pause in this bustling city that succeeds in creating a moment of artistic appreciation. The restaurant at VHC perfectly complements the art gallery. “The food is an extension of the art,” says Vida Heydari, the founder, who has over 14 years of experience in the global art world.
VHC opens with a special art show, ‘Origins of a Perennial Bouquet’ curated by the celebrated artist and curator, Bose Krishnamachari on December 16th. The show has works from five of India’s noteworthy names from the world of Indian contemporary art, namely: Benitha Perciyal, Manish Nai, Sudarshan Shetty, Sumedh Rajendran and Tanya Goel. This diverse array of artists represents VHC’s credo to exhibit artworks from reputed and immensely promising artists from all over India and the globe.
The entrance to the gallery is a sweeping staircase. Upon entering, guests experience an effect that is grand yet simple, with subdued colours and greenery all around. The gallery has many alcoves and spaces for art displays. This space uses the natural curvature of frontage and beams to its advantage and the matte grey flooring completes the dramatic canvas for the artworks to come. Vida Heydari, the promoter and owner, has succeeded in creating a haven for the aficionados of art. The space is largely open-air with a beautiful topiary of trees in this quiet lane. An ikkat-inspired green wall borders the restaurant, creating a sanctuary that shields visitors from the hustle and bustle of the streets. The seating blends in with the contemporary aesthetic while providing ample comfort.
This experience is enhanced by the culinary offerings where guests can relax, converse and have another mode of connecting with this space. Each dish and drink is created by accomplished chefs and mixologists, who use the best ingredients, equipment and practices to create new, fresh flavours. The menu, created by celebrity Chef Ajay Chopra, is extensive and also has a lunch special section. Guests will observe that a variety of dietary requirements and moods, with healthy, gluten-free, vegan, indulgent, comfort food options all have a place on the menu here. The brunch will launch with the arrival of the New Year and will be an amazing weekend addition.
Chicken Rillette Crostini, Roasted vegetable quinoa salad, Tomato fennel broth, Slow-cooked Belgian pork belly, Marinated kale pizza, Braised New Zealand lamb shanks, Lemon cremeux are some of the dishes to watch out for on the menu.
The restaurant can accommodate 80 guests at one time. However, under current government policies, VHC will be operating at 50% capacity to provide a seamless and safe experience to all the guests. Some of the measures include air menus, digital payment options, sanitization of all touch points and a high level of kitchen hygiene and safety. Additionally, all elements including the garnishes are cooked with staff temperature being recorded at set intervals. The use of masks and gloves, as well as social distancing, is stringently observed. Reservations are recommended.
“Pune as a city has given me so much and now that I live here, I thought, what better way to give back to the city than to facilitate a platform for contemporary visual art and create a special culinary experience in a space that represents the beautiful Koregaon Park landscape that I love. There is an abundance of great art and art lovers in Pune and we want this to be a space of expression, conversation and thought, with a tastefully curated selection of food and drinks for the city and our guests from all over the world.”says Vida Heydari.