Then there's the food. Glorious Italian food! Who doesn't love Italian food? I doubt that you can find more than a handful of people who are not enamored with Italian food!
Having professed (for the nth time, actually) my love for Italian food, I guess I should now say how I am always on the lookout for good Italian food in Manila. There are a couple of decent restaurants that I regularly visit, but it is always a great adventure to find a new place that offers something better. And believe me, I think I just found the ultimate Italian restaurant in this part of the world.
I know I am not the best judge of how authentic Italian food tastes, but I do know awesome food when I taste it. And trust me, my experience last week was one that will make me come back for more.
Casa Nostra. That's the name of this gem of a find. It's located along Pasong Tamo extension in Makati, tucked in the corner of a quiet building. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)
Upon entering the premises, you will not fail to notice the cozy atmosphere and the attentiveness of the staff. Despite the fact that I had already taken a look at their menu online, it still took me a while to decide what I wanted to eat. (No surprise there!) The staff was very patient about it.
|View of the bar from the booth|
Oh, I just remembered - one big reason I got distracted from ordering was the bread basket that was served very soon after we had sat down. You will immediately notice that Casa Nostra does not skimp on the bread as some Italian places do (if they even serve free bread at all). There are several different kinds of bread. The usual baguette is there of course. I really like the crostini-like bread, which they actually call Triangle Pizza, and is also similar to naan. There's even a huge soft pretzel thrown in. What hit the sweet spot is the trio of spreads/dips: olive oil and balsamic vinegar; tomato salsa; and chicken liver pate. I seriously would have asked for more of the pate if I weren't thinking of what to order!
|L-R: Olive oil and balsamic vinegar; tomato salsa; chicken liver pate|
|Carpaccio di Manzo|
|Selvaticci di Spinaci|
|Costata d'Agnello Piccanti|
I also tried the Costata d'Agnello Piccanti - pan grilled lamb chops with spicy herb, tomato, and balsamic sauce. Yup, I am a carnivore, and lamb is something that I consider a treat. I was not disappointed with the flavors of this dish. It kind of paled in comparison with the ossobuco, though!
The entire meal was made even nicer by a bottle of Spanish wine: Trio Gran Reserva. I hadn't tried this wine before that night, and I guess I can say I have a new favorite.
Now for the perfect end to the meal: dessert!
At first, I was convinced that I was going for tiramisu. It's a no brainer, isn't it? Well, I did get tiramisu.
This, however, is the bestest dessert I have ever had. Tartufo Cioccolato con Gelato. Bliss.
|Tartufo Cioccolato con Gelato|
menu to see other dishes - which I certainly will be trying this Friday.
They are located at:
G/F Ecoplaza Building
2305 Pasong Tamo Ext.
Makati, Metro Manila
And you can call them at:
Tel. (63 2) 403-9854 to 55
Mobile (0917) 593-7521