Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

costa nostra, bidding farewell to a malate institution

In eating in manila on June 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm

camille and i are thrilled that we are classmates with bambi harper. she is one of the classiest and wittiest ladies ever and we aspire to be like her someday. right now though, we have to content ourselves with being able to hang out with her and a couple of weeks ago we did just that – a 3 hour lunch at her malate restaurant, cosa nostra.

cosa nostra is a small place, a very elegant and charming hole-in-the-wall italian restaurant

while waiting for our food, we ate up the cheese dip that was already on the table. not on the menu, but a blend of cheeses that our gracious hostess brought over

the wine was homenaje rosado from navarra, one of our favorites that we brought over for the occasion.

for lunch proper, we started with a cosa nostra favorite, pesto pizza

what makes this pizza yummy is that slab of mozarella cheese in the middle of each slice. fantastic.

we had 2 pastas, first was penne with roasted vegetables

the picture says it all. this dish was loaded with veggie goodness, nothing scrimped. and very very flavorful.

the other pasta dish we had was spaghetti with taba ng talangka

if you must die from a cholesterol overload, this is the way to do it. this dish isn’t unique to cosa nostra, but they do it best. oozing with crab fat, with crab sticks thrown in for good measure.

cosa nostra will close in 2 days, after 30 years of serving wonderful food. i myself only started going there this year so most of the restaurant’s legacy is not something i am privy to. but i will still miss it, and now feel some regret about not having gone sooner.

on behalf of all the people who were well-fed by cosa nostra i want to say, bambi, kuya lito, ate tess, maraming salamat.


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.