Dean and DeLuca

Dean and DeLuca

Courtesy of: https://www.coolfunnyquotes.com/author/anonymous/friends-buy-food-best-friend/

I am visiting my niece’s booth at “The Good Neighbors” at Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Makati City.

It is just a little across Edades Tower and Powerplant Mall. We arrived a little earlier, and when I saw Jen’s eyes, looking at her left and her right in random, she was either saying something like Powerplant mall or Dean and
DeLuca? Instantly, she asked: “Coffee?” And of course, after checking the time in my watch, I just said: “Come on!” =)

As planned, we ordered for our coffee: Cafe Dulce de Leche (the dulce served separately) for Jen and Caramel Machiatto for me.

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We had two kinds of desserts to match it. It was unlikely that we didn’t get blueberry cheesecake this time.

I was totally enticed by that Dutch apple pie,

and as usual Jen had her salted caramel cheesecake.

Over varying topics while devouring on what we’ve ordered, we realized they were too sweet we had to get something like a stasis to balance our palates.

We opted to choose the Pasta E Pomodoro, it is an organic pasta with fresh tomato, basil, garlic in olive oil. It came with a garlic bread which Jen and I shared equally.

The attendant asked if we wanted it with chicken or meatballs, and we both decided to have it done meatless.

It surely balanced that sweetness from our desserts and drinks. Jen liked it a lot, (she consumed all those Arugulas) since it was cooked the Italian way, as her preferences are pastas that are never sweet.

Her salted caramel is something we can tagged as “TDF” (To die for), it is one of of the best salted caramel cheesecake we’ve tried so far, and my apple pie is really good too.

These epicurean treats definitely made us want to go back and we already know what to try next time, we intend to try their branch at Eton Tower, Legaspi Village, Makati City, which happens to be nearer from Jen’s workplace.

Dean and DeLuca, on its’ 40th year originated from lower Manhattan, USA. At present, due to demands, they were able to put up branches across USA: New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte, North Carolina, Leawood, Kansas, Napa Valley, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. They are also in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

In our country, Dean and DeLuca has two branches: the one at Edades Tower, Rockwell Makati and the one at Eton Tower.

Everything you’ll ever need is at Dean and DeLuca. They’ve got choices for Starters, Salads, they have Quinoa too, they have soups, they offer a wide range of Main delicious dishes, from Sushi and rolls, Grain bowls, Burgers, Sandwiches, Tapas, Pancakes & waffles, Pastas and sourdough Pizzas and of course Desserts, even organic ice cream!

Beverage list is almost endless from Cocktails, coffee and teas, milk shakes and wines (red and white).

They have gourmet and gift items too.

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I’m not wondering why Tatler voted for them. Everything at Dean and DeLuca is sumptuous. =) It instantly became our favorite! =)

 

 

 

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CANTINA SICILIANITA – Bringing me near to Italy…

A Taste of Italy at Shaw Boulevard…

My work is located at Shaw Boulevard. For several times, I have dined in this little place called:

Cantina Sicilianita: Coffee Shop · Winery & Vineyard · Italian Restaurant.

counter
Counter…

And it never occurred to me or did I think of writing about it during the many times I had my lunch there. Sometimes with my boss, during meeting, most of the time, alone. When my soul buddy isn’t around come lunch time, it has always been my choice to have my lunch as it is so quiet there, my privacy is something I really treasure sometimes, the wonder of solitude and their choices of magazines is another thing I really like. Either Cantina or that pizza spot just right the other block. I normally enjoy my solitary moments. Not until I read about Chef Marky Buhain.

Marky buhain
One article about this restaurant.. There’s the Chef on the lower left. ps He is already taken! =)

This time, my foodie buddy have been itching to visit Cantina. She is Ms. Pasta remember? She drooled each time I tell her how authentic the pastas that Cantina creatively arrange on their huge ceramic plates. Not to forget that she likes the Italian flavor that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness on it. On the other hand, I am so Filipino, siding more the sweetened pasta.

Not to forget mentioning the ricotta cheese, home-made by the Chef. He shared in an article that an old lady, I forgot where exactly in Italy taught her how to make ricotta cheese. And with pride, he willingly brought the recipe back home.

canelli
Cannoli Courtesy of: http://www.spot.ph/gallery/2570/check-it-out-cantina-sicilianita-at-shaw-boulevard-pasig-city/article/52719#photo-1-4

From the outside, I find the facade not that attractive to lure guests to try their offerings. Only their signage, a colorful hand-written circular script logo and yellow texts especially when lighted is just the one that I find amusing. It has been sitting there for years now.

cantina
Source: https://www.facebook.com/CantinaSicilianita/photos/a.486102441405284.129542.486102301405298/654305691251624/?type=1&theater

Upon entrance, two murals of Sicily will welcome you. It gives you the feel of the venerable provinces of Italy.

xici

sicily

With those mosaic tiles on their tables,

mosaic
Very Italian..

some chalk written menu situated in a wooden easel,

chalk-written menu
New offerings…

some reading materials on a corner where a shelf is located, the tiled floors. I definitely felt being transported to somewhere else.

corner
On a corner..
chands
Chands by twos…
map
I must assume Chef Buhain have been all over here…

They’ve got lots of wine.

wine bar
I don’t drink wine…ehehe

The place is conversing.

sun
Does it mean a Sicilian girl?

Or much to my surprise, it makes me wish to be able to also see Italy one day in the flesh, better yet, smell the air and taste their authentic pasta or pizza or gelato ala Liz Gilbert (played by Julia roberts) from the movie Eat, pray and love. The place was inspiring.

One visit I recall, the attendants are wearing flower crowns on their hair,

crowns
Courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/CantinaSicilianita/photos/a.486102441405284.129542.486102301405298/654305691251624/?type=1&theater

and I am so amazed because I’ve been wanting to wear something like it! It’s just that i do not know what would be the perfect occasion when to be donning it.

During our last visit, the one that they’re just wearing are the sweet smiles on their faces, canned each time a guest enters this very interesting restaurant.

menu
Take your pick!

Consistently, foodie buddy ordered for pasta.

jens
Pasta Alla Norma…

I’ve tried this before, I especially liked the fried egg plants slices, they’re creamy.

And I’ve had my usual pasta with that meat ball! It’s a must try! =)

mine
Mine!

I can’t help but ask which of the menus includes the home made ricotta cheese. For I’d really love to try it. It is the Cannoli. It looked like a “turon” (sweet banana fritters wrapped in spring roll wrappers). Or a rolled ice cream inside your favorite cone wafer, only that it isn’t ice cream inside but ricotta cheese. This kind of cheese is slightly sweet. There’s pistachios too! Yey!

menu 1
Drinks choices..
drinks
No dessert? We just had these… Caramel for her, Coke for me! ❤

To my foodie buddy:

Have you seen this? (–,)

caramel
A big dispenser of caramel and chocolate! Yum! ❤

Cantina Sicilianita is located at Unit N, Facilities Center Building, 548 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Telephone: 570-2905/ 369 3575
Email address: mark.buhain@sicilianita.com

AMICI – Learning Italian…

AMICI-Learning Italian

“I’ve never met a dish of pasta I did not love.” ~Unknown~

The tagline “Its more fun in the Philippines” is all true to me. Especially for foreigners. Why did I say that? The country caters to different dishes from almost every nationalities. Be it Japanese, Italian, Mexican, French, American, Swiss, Thailand, Vietnamese, to mention a few. You will likely prove it by the foods that Philippines offer to their visitors. Probably why a lot have made their sojourn in the country since they won’t have a hard time looking for their favorite food back home should the craving attacks.

One of which is Italian food. It is actually available almost anywhere. Even when I was in Tacloban. I used to have my dinners at Giuseppe’s, an authentic Italian restaurant where the owner who hailed from Italy mans the place himself.

One restaurant in Mandaluyong – Cantina Sicilianita’s chef even learned how to make home-made Ricotta cheese in Italy and brought the recipe here.

I’ve tried a lot of pizzas and pastas and gelatos. And I am having difficulty to choose who among them is the best.  Because each offers a different twist and you will definitely fickle making a choice when it comes to which one is the best for you. It benefits you from the endless alternatives to choose from.

One of which is Amici. Specialty: Italian food. Pastas and pizzas. And an ice cream parlor to go with it – Caramia.

amici
Elegant menu..
amici 5
Amici/ Caramia – ATC..
amici 2
Pizza. Pasta. Gelato.

I was lucky enough to taste all the variants because the Store Manager of their branch in Alabang is a former colleague of mine.

cara
Courtesy of: http://caramia.ph/

My favorite from the many flavors she had me tried, a teaspoon full for each, is the pistachio, sansrival and of course blueberry cheesecake! (–,)

sans
Sansrival… courtesy of: http://caramia.ph/
Blueberry-Cheesecake-Gelato-Small
Blueberry cheesecake. She knew it and had me try this first…<3 courtesy of: http://caramia.ph/
pistachio
Pistachio as recommended. Promise it’s good! Courtesy of: http://caramia.ph/

Amici originated back in 2001 with their pilot branch situated in Don Bosco, Makati. It was managed by the Salesian priests and started small until they became famous. My passion for anything vintage captured by their mosaic floors in this branch. And that tree that they didn’t cut and became part of the interior is just so amazing. It was extraordinary to me because personally I can not cut a tree. The place for me acquired a soul.

Their best seller is Spaghetti Al Tesori Del Mare. But I especially loved the Spaghetti Al Promodoro which is tomato-based. They made it so creamy I could just pull the sauce all off from the pizza and eat them on its own. For pizza it’s Pepperoni (as always) with three kinds of cheese (provolone, mozzarella and parmesan). During this visit, we tried Napoletana..

amici 3
We tried Napoletana for a change..

For pastas, I like their Raviolis too. The pasta is al dente and I can right away separate the taste of the fillings (we usually get pesto or shrimp) and I’m already good. =)

My health buff bff would never get tired of her Aglio olio e pepperoncino.

amici 2
Too oily yes, but as my BFF said. It’s still healthy.. ehehe

One friend commented that it is too oily though she justified that the oil is as well healthy. Amici uses olive oil in all their dishes.

I also like Italian restaurants with free-flowing parmesan cheese. I use it to take the place of salt. It makes my palate creamier. So less star for me if an Italian restaurant doesn’t have it. Additional star for the freshly ground pepper. And another additional star if the attendant volunteers to ground the pepper for you usually with a wooden pepper grinder. Amici have all of these. And I don’t mind dining there again and again. This picture is actually my 5th visit to Amici. And I’m looking forward for more visits when my “Amici” (friends) and I craved for Italian restaurant in Alabang. =)