Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Going Back to the Basics of Italian Dining

Authentic Italian concept developed for Philippine market!   That's how I summarize my description of Piadina Italiana.   Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of dining at their Greenbelt branch with a dear friend.   While talking about future business plans and some catching up with each others uncertainties, we shared with the packaged meal which I bought using Ensogo vouchers.   
With this phrase that caught my attention: "Manila’s Finest Italian Resto: Set Meal for 2 feat. Soup, Insalata Piadina, Pasta, Calzone, and Panna Cotta (valued at P980),"   I didn't make a wink and instantly bought the voucher.
I knew that my friend have acquired a gourmet tinge from traveling and working from the rich nation of Dubai down  to the exotic resort of Marakesh in Morocco, so to make sure our lunch would be rather hanging on to that taste and play safe, I brought her here.  Included in the meal for two package are:  Soup of the day, Insalata Piadina, Pasta of your choice, Il Calzone di Carne, and Panna Cota for dessert.   Need to mention though that a hot bowl of soup each was served first, to recall, I think it was Cream of Potato soup.
Insalata Piadina is a fresh salad featuring mixed greens, bacon bits, garlic mushrooms and blue cheese drenched in balsamic and olive oil dressing.  To give it a kink, caramelized walnut bits were added.

Next, served really fast albeit dining in the their rather small table, worried that big plates would soon pile up our table and yet we still on with savoring their Zuppa del Giorno.  We chose to have the vegetarian pasta, Pasta Barese, which features broccoli bits, anchovy flakes sautéed in garlic and tomatoes with garlic oil.  Simple yet healthy Italian dish just the way we both like it.
A humongous serving of Calzone followed as we were halfway on our pasta.  A Calzone is actually a pizza (which is likened to a closed, folded pie) folded halfway.  When Merna had first cut it, the stuffing just oozed out, and the aroma of a perfect tomato sauce seasoned richly with basil wafted off our table.    The stuffing is made up of ground beef which I think have been marinated with some herbs and spices first, mixed then with garlic, mushrooms  and all smothered in tomato sauce.  Some  flaxen of melted mozzarella cheese are spotted alternating with the sauce, giving the sauce a slightly creamy and chewy tweak, just like eating our fave pizza.
To cap off our hefty lunch we were served  with a cup each of Panna Cotta.  The classic Italian dessert with its  gelatinous-creamy sweetness, slithered down my mouth.  And with the chocolate ganache top, the silky mouth-feel of this dessert really made my day, though this may not be the best panna cotta I have tried, this sufficed for that day.
Since it's expansion from its first branch in Greenbelt Food court, it took me time to try them again even with the knowledge that my sister love this restaurant.   To date this is just my second time with Piadina Italiana.   You may want to try their Piatto Speciale (single serve choiced plate) with complete meals ranging from
P 170 to P 210 which comes with a drink.  I have tried their Pollo Alforno Con Pasta.  It's a plate with a cut of chicken which is baked, served with Pasta of the day and Piada bread.   I didn't like my first with them, where I found the chicken to be raw near the bone and a bit dull and bland.  But you see it was like years already.  So maybe we can try it again and see if they have made improvements with their baked chicken.
So far, I can say that everything we had were awesome, priced reasonably high though more affordable than other nearby Italian restaurants and the service of the staff is okay.
Also, I recommend Bistro Ravioli for their top-notch fresh ravioli, pizza and more pasta.   We had our lunch there during my youngest daughter's birthday.  Another delightful Italian joint to get your fill of gastronomy from one of my favorite cuisine-Italian.
Thanks to the couple, Merna and Didier Deroet for the treat, by the way

Piadina Italiana Restaurant – Greenbelt Branch
Address: Greenbelt 1 Paseo de Roxas, Legaspi St. Ayala Center, Makati City
Contact Number :    02- 752-5019

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