Beef Stew in Chocolate Cream is simply fantastic | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Filipinos, like a lot of  foodies around the world, love all types of noodles or pasta dishes, such as native pancit,  Chinese stir-fries, saucy Italian spaghetti, macaroni salads. In Italy, a pasta dish is served as main course after the antipasti. Diners in the Philippines, however, usually go for a noodle dish taken with slices of pizza.

A few days ago, we went Italian—in two restaurants—and relished every bit of the meal. Both used freshly made pasta. Each had a delicious selection of specialties that made dining  pleasurable and filling.

Tuscano Wood Oven Pizza and Italian Restaurant

Fort Residences Tower, Second and 13th Sts., Burgos Center, Bonifacio Global City. Tel. no. 4787503.

Dining area—This high-ceiling restaurant is very spacious and has the colors of Italy (red and green) in the uniforms and décor. There is a simulated veranda typical of Italian country homes with louvre windows, flower boxes and a sprinkler. Diners waiting for their orders can check the wall rack of Italian books (cuisine especially)  and the display of high-end coffee Illy, the brand the resto serves.

One can see the Pizza Wood Oven area from the open counter where bags of flour are lined up.

Service—Guests are welcomed at the top of the stairs leading to the dining area. You are presented a menu card by an amiable attendant. There is not much waiting time once orders are taken.

Staff—Neat and readily available. A man, presumably the supervisor, quickly  attends to guests whenever a staff misses their signal.

Suggested orders—Tuscano takes pride in its pizzas; you may have a 12-inch-diameter one done in the wood oven. It could be the Quatro Cheese Bianca (white) or the Flambe of Wild Mushrooms. One’s appetite may be challenged to try other specialties. Get the Tuscano Signature Salad, a luscious combination of fresh arugula, prosciuto ham, sweetish cherry tomatoes, grapes, pine nuts, artichokes and walnuts, laced with balsamic dressing. Very refreshing.

Take a glass of wine, then order Spaghetti Con Popette (goat cheese) and the excellently done char-grilled Bistecca Tuscan-style US Angus beef with Marsala sauce and Potato Gratin.

We would not mind going back for the perfectly cooked  Beef Stew bathed in Chocolate Cream. While you cannot imagine meat with chocolate, Tuscano does this and it’s simply fantastic.

Tiramisu and other Italian sweets plus coffee are offered to cap a truly delightful meal.

Service and government taxes are added to your bill. Senior cards are honored.

Rating **

Buono Vita-Ristocante Italiano

Greenboro Bldg., Daang Hari, Las Piñas City. Tel. no. 3841571.

Note that this restaurant will be relocating very soon to the Molino Center at the corner of Acacia and Commerce Ave., Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

Dining area—This place is small but cozy and has gained loyal clientele. The chairs are in cane wood, the tables of hard dark wood. Wall racks display bottles of Italian wines. There is al fresco dining when the weather permits.

Service—A uniformed male attendant greets guests, leads them to the table and hands the menu. Breadsticks, loaf slices are placed on the table with two kinds of dip, basil and tomatoes in olive oil.

Staff—Unobtrusive, courteous, quick.

Suggested orders—The head waiter suggests we start with an antipasti of thumb-size chorizos wrapped in bacon plus breaded yet crispy calamares. These should whet the appetite. Maybe get a zuppa (soup of beans) or a salad. You must try Le Pizze Margarita, perfectly thin and crispy crust with fresh basil leaves.

Spaghetti Bolognese, perhaps one of the most popular pasta dishes, is done here to its full flavor, with a rich  tomato-based sauce.

The Tagliata a la Creme or ala Brace (with cheese or red wine sauce, the latter gives the beef an added lift) has two grilled tapa-thin slices of sirloin beef served with gorgonzola and  mashed potatoes. For a non-beef eater, this is an ideal dish because it is not too heavy or overwhelming.

Tiramisu is the perfect dessert. The serving may be shared by two.

Service charge and government taxes are collected. Senior cards are honored.

Rating **

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