MONALISA RISTORANTE..

Monalisa Ristorante

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy pizza, and that’s the same thing.” ~unknown~

Holding such admiration to the diversity of cuisines from different countries. There is one particular country that I truly admire. Italy. Not to miss mentioning the beauty of their country gifted by God with such a vast pulchritude, breathtaking landscapes and naturally loving people. A country which I long to see with my own pair of hungry eyes. It has been a dream for years yet unfulfilled.

I also have a special liking and amazement for their food. Though they aren’t a big fan of risotto. And ironically, even if I am a typical Filipina who can not skip rice in my meals, but I can do if it’s pasta and/or pizza.

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I must admit, I am a pizza junkie. While I was pregnant, I craved for pizzas the whole time. I go for any brand. Even those stalls that sell cheaper pizzas topping it with just ham and cheese. We even bought ingredients once and did our own. We called it pizzacho. Because we already have a name for the baby in my womb. We named him Echo.

Having Alabang as my rendezvous, I keep on searching for a new and cool Italian restaurant until I came across Monalisa Ristorante. It is tucked in a corner at the second floor of Commerce center. And not the typical artisanal pizzeria, theirs is authentic Italian.

Commerce center is a mall sandwiched by two other malls: Festival mall and Alabang Town Center. There is something very special with Commerce Center. When you can’t breath due to the stream of townies either at Festival mall and Alabang Town center. Check it out and you’ll appreciate the ambiance of the whole place. There is privacy as well though it isn’t as big like the two malls that I’ve mentioned.

I kept falling in love with Alabang every now and then. As a teenager, I grew up there until Festival mall spawned. Alabang Town center did several expansions too, still, there are other options to choose from when you’re in Alabang. There is Civic drive where popular restaurants like Neil’s kitchen, Kanin club, Contis among others are situated. And several hotels for a cozy shop to sip coffee or teas plus your favorite cake or pastry or a spread from their “Eat all you can” menu.

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My knowledge of Commerce Center is accidental. Due to traffic, I opted to walk from Festival mall to ATC and in passing, there it is quietly sitted across Acacia hotel. The name: Monalisa Ristorante sounded very interesting. And from afar, you can see that the interior of the place is impressive. The murals in the ceiling is visible and enticing too.

As we’re about to enter this place, a huge reproduction of Monalisa will greet you with her famous mysterious smile. There are more murals inside. Some of which are paintings from the Renaissance era.

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Like a habit that’s hard to break. I took photos while we’re waiting for our food. Jen is already used to it. I take photos of my own too which is called “selfies” or photos of what we’re getting are “food porns”by the millennials. Sometimes, Jen take my pictures too.

 

 

And when there is an available attendant to take our pictures, we normally asked them to capture us together.

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We asked the RM to tell us about the “Create your own pizza”.

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Their best sellers and if they have Stellas per Jen’s request. Well, they don’t have that beer from Belgium. Jen was offered to try the wines. They have a nice cellar just across their kitchen counter.

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We opted for that “Create your own pizza” thing. You will choose 4 toppings and these are our choices:

– mushrooms

– pepperonis

– bell peppers

– cheese (a special kind)

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For pasta we had Pollo pizimente as recommended.

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It’s just good to know that each place we visit has something special to offer. At Monalisa, I like their dough, it is a bit gummy and tasty. And it’s made from wheat bread which made it a healthier treat. Their cheese (s) are awesome as well.

From the ambiance, excellent service of their people, taste and presentation, Monalisa Ristorante is my kind of Italian restaurant. I will visit again one of these days. 😊 They have zuppa, seafood pasta, house specialty and calzone!

PS

And they bake their own breads too. Their complimentary bread came with three different dips: butter, pesto and tomato sauce..=)

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Monalisa Ristorante is located at: Building 1 Commerce Center, Commerce Avenue Corner Filinvest Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781 Metro Manila .You can contact them at: 556 – 0708.

Aglio Olio pasta…

Aglio Olio Pasta…

“Nothing brings people together like good food.”

I used to like this Aglio olio thing with pizzas. Then I learned, it can be done with pastas too.

So I tried making one at home. And it was a winner. It is healthy and for a change, we were able to veer away from the usual red sauce base kind of spaghetti.

aglio olio
My version!=)

This “for a change” menu is ideal for a family who loves pasta a lot. I can offer them variety. Carbonara, Marinara, the simple pasta we used to prepare when everyone is lazy to cook – sauteed tuna in olive oil and dried tomatoes, baked macaroni, lasagna and this one.

Below is the recipe:

Ingredients

– Salt & ground black pepper to taste
– 1 kilo spaghetti
– 1 bulb of garlic, all cloves minced
– 3/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil)
– 1 tablespoon of butter
– 1 bulb of white onions
– 1/2 kilo of black tiger prawns, medium size (remove the head)
– a pinch of red pepper flakes
– 2 tablespoon of chopped celery leaves
– 2 tablespoon of chopped celery stalks
– 2 tablespoon of chopped red and green bell pepper
– 1/2 cup of chopped button mushroom

Directions:

– Boil 2 liters of water and salt it
– Once it’s boiling, add the pasta, add 2 tablespoon of oil (just so not to allow them to go together once cooked)
– On the side, heat the remaining oil and butter
– Stir fry the prawn’s heads (for the juice) and remove them after the juice comes out
– Saute the garlic & onions, when the onions are already translucent add the rest of the ingredients
– This usually takes about 10 minutes to cook
– In a colander or big bowl, add the drained pasta and mix the sauce evenly
– Add freshly ground pepper before serving, it enhances the aroma
– Topping it with Parmesan cheese is an option

Isn’t it so easy? =)

Bon Appetit!