Posts Tagged ‘italian food’

an enchanting dinner at l’incontro

In eating in manila on October 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

thanks again to deal grocer, we were able to get a good deal on a 7-course italian dinner at l’incontro. it’s a charming restaurant along reposo, slightly away from the crazier hustle of CBD. and, after tasting their food, we highly recommend it.

they started us off with a glass of prosecco each. it was quite good. nice cold sparkling wine to get the digestion going.

first dish, mussels cooked in white wine with parmesan cheese and bacon

this was good largely due to the freshness and plumpness of the mussel. the natural flavor really came through. i’m not sure the wine did much for it. and maybe a few more sprinkles of bacon wouldn’t hurt. but all in all it was nice and lovely with the prosecco.

next was a squash soup

thick, hearty, and sweet. they used a good piece of squash for this one. it was nicely spiced too. very warming.

the next dish was, according to them, a restaurant bestseller. a thin crepe with ham and a creamy mushroom sauce

now this was really delicious. full, rich mushroom flavor. the crepe just right to stop it from getting overwhelming. totally got our tastebuds a-tingling.

after this was gnocchi with a gorgonzola cheese sauce

finally! good gnocchi! everytime we watch cooking shows, we always hear about gnocchi being soft, fluffy, like a pillow. but all the gnocchis we’ve tried in the philippines have been tough and even a little crumbly. here at l’incontro, it was as it should be. and it is indeed a testament to the skill of a cook to get this texture just right. and the sauce? perfect. our only nitpick was that texturally this dish was too similar to the one previous. but with both being so delicious, it was quite alright.

after a sherbet to cleanse the pallet, out came a slightly deconstructed osso bucco

basically the meat was taken off the bone and stewed separately. very tasty, melt-in-your mouthy. then the bone was roasted. see that bit in the bone? that chunk of marrow? now that is just pure heaven.

last, dessert. a white chocolate panna cotta with chocolate shavings

perhaps the least impressive of the courses. it wasn’t bad, but nothing special either. the flavor was a little weak and it wasn’t as creamy smooth as it could have been. so far, nothing has even come close to the panna cotta at angelina’s in malapascua island.

the wait staff didn’t have to, but they gave us a shot of limoncello each at the end of the meal. the regular price for this would have been P2500 but we got it for half that. and it was truly well worth it. l’incontro is a great restaurant. great food, a decent wine selection, a well-trained staff. a true gem.

a celebration at galileo enoteca, mandaluyong

In eating in manila on June 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

it was the anniversary of the day we met and a special dinner was in order. and some good wine. location was also a factor, we wanted something not far from the ortigas area. we settled on galileo, a place camille and i love but haven’t been to in a while.

one thing i’ve always loved about galileo is its cellar-y feel

the perfect ambience to try some oldish-world food starting with some crusty bread and cheeses

we’re not sure if it’s because we said we were celebrating or because they’re just really nice, but they gave us soup and plate of prosciutto on the house before the pasta arrived

there were actually like 6 slices of the ham, but we were so excited to eat we forgot to photograph while the plate was actually full. in any case, this was a very welcome surprise. the ham wasn’t full melt-in-your-mouth quality, but it was still quite good.

we had pasta for our main dish. camille had seafood in olive oil

and i had stewed tomatoes with parma ham

we really appreciate restaurants that understand the simplicity needed in pasta. don’t put too much stuff. one of the main reasons is that in italy, pasta is really a prelude to the protein so it shouldn’t stand alone. and while in this case we did have it as the main, given all the other food consumed prior, minimalist is still best.

all this we washed down with a pinot from lombardy, in northern italy

not a mind-blowing wine, but enough to hold its own with the meal. it had a bright fruitiness that went well with the oil of the seafood and the ham.

for dessert, a panna cotta

this was actually nowhere near as good as the one we had in angelina’s (see a couple of posts back), but wasn’t bad either and did nothing to ruin the mood of the night.

last of all was a complimentary shot of limoncello that made us really really mellow and everything around us seem magical. wonderful stuff.

galileo still has it.


angelina’s: is the best italian restaurant in the philippines 600 km from manila?

In places on May 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

we arrived in malapascua starving. and since there was an italian restaurant right beside tepanee, we decided to have lunch there.

just looking at the menu was a fun experience. there were some dishes not typically found in manila italian restaurants and since the owner and chef is from bologna, we decided on 2 pastas local to that part of italy.

one was tagliatelle al ragu or fresh noodles with a traditional meat sauce

the other one we tried was tagliatelle with shrimp and asparagus

these were stunningly delicious. and, admittedly, surprisingly so. first of all, they made their own noodles – not what you’d expect on a remote island. and the flavors were so rich and full – better than almost all the big franchise names in manila. at around P320 per plate it wasn’t the cheapest of meals, but it was so incredibly good, it was more than worth it.

we knew we were on to something good in that restaurant, and we certainly have more to say about their offerings in posts to come. but really, it’s almost worth going all the way to malapascua just to eat here.

C’s italian restaurant in angeles city

In places on October 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm

needed to go on a drive and pampanga seemed a logical choice. first, i’m from angeles and, second, i’d been hearing about this place called C’s which is famous for its italian food, primarily this apparently funky pizza contest.

C’s is right outside clark. if you are in clark, take the exit to friendship highway then turn left. C’s is about a couple of hundred meters to the right.

so, to munch on while waiting – complimentary bread and pesto in olive oil

we ordered the panizza – of course. we went with the primavera which had anchovies and mushrooms and artichokes (P595). each order of panizza comes with a bowl of arugula and alfalfa.

notice how the pizza is very thin and cut into strips. the idea is to take a strip, lay down some leaves, then roll and eat

first, this is very very good. the pizza alone was quite tasty and i really appreciate the technique that went into making the crust that thin. the added flavors of arugula and alfalfa brought in a nice fresh dimension and texture. very yummy experience. perhaps a little pricey at P595 (more for other pizza toppings), but the novelty of rolling makes it ok at least the first time around.

we also had a pasta. penne with chicken, sun dried tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, and roasted garlic (P350)

also an excellently flavored dish. rich and balanced. the serving wasn’t particularly hefty so i’m not sure about that price tag, but as far as the food itself, there was nothing to complain about.

i’d certainly like to go back to C’s and try their other dishes. maybe there’s no need to do the panizza again, but there are a lot of interesting items on their menu that, even if a bit expensive, will surely be delicious.