Sunday, September 26, 2010

La Piadina (La Cucina Regionale Italiana) at Glorietta 4

I was among those invited to preview La Piadina's authentic Italian dishes hailing from various regions of Italy last Sept. 21, 2010.

Cappuccino at La Piadina, Glorietta 4While waiting for the other guests to arrive, I decided to have a cup of Cappuccino (P95, pictured above). Excellent coffee, I must say. I didn't even feel the need to add any sweeteners.

I Crostini with Liver and Tuna Pate at La Piadina, GloriettaWe were served with I Crostini with Liver and Tuna Pate (P230, pictured above) to start us off. Several buttered slices of toasted bread was laid out alongside two small bowls of flavorful pate. I couldn't decide which one was better as both were delicious.

I Cappellaci at La Piadina, Glorietta 4The first of many main dishes we were to sample was the I Cappellaci (P300, pictured above). Homemade ravioli pasta is filled with a mixture of pumpkin and ricotta cheese. It is also topped with fresh tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Giorgio Matera, the owner of La Piadina and the culinary master behind all of the dishes couldn't stress enough that there are no shortcuts in this restaurant. Most of the ingredients are imported from Italy to boot. The ravioli is made from scratch and re-heating is a no-no. And my word, it was indeed the best ravioli I've ever tasted. It was chewy and al dente at the same time. The filling, the sauce, and the garnishing all had a fresh and light taste.

Piadina Pollo at La Piadina, Glorietta 4We were then served with piadina, the dish that launched 12 years of business in the Philippines for the Piadina restaurant chain. A piadina is an extremely thin and crusty type of bread which you fill with a variety of ingredients and then fold. Piadina Pollo (P200, pictured above) contains roast chicken slices, mushrooms, and mozarella cheese. Don't let the size and thickness fool you. It's quite filling.

Le Linguine ai Funghi Con Olio di Tartufo at La Piadina, Glorietta 4Next up was Le Linguine ai Funghi Con Olio di Tartufo (P320, pictured above). I swear, I could smell the truffle oil as soon as they laid the dish on the table. I loved how the sauce was both creamy and light. The mushrooms were very juicy and flavorful too. This is a great alternative to the usual carbonara most of us order when hankering for some pasta with white sauce.

Il Risotto al Pesto con Scampi at La Piadina, Glorietta 4Il Risotto al Pesto con Scampi (P340, pictured above), or Italian-style rice cooked in pesto sauce with shrimps, was brought out after the series of bread and pasta dishes. Matera explained how difficult it is to cook risotto properly, since it can easily come out like porridge if certain details are neglected. Talk about carbo overload!

Il Trancia di Tonno alle Spezie at La Piadina, Glorietta 4
Il Trancia di Tonno alle Spezie (P370, pictured above) was the final dish in the series of savory offerings. Seared tuna fillet seasoned with herbs and drizzled with olive oil is served with baked potato and side salad. I liked it, the fish was tender, juicy, and tasty... lol, I make it sound like a hot dog don't I?

Il Tiramisu at La Piadina, Glorietta 4We were graciously offered dessert after our hearty lunch. I was already full but I settled for a piece of Il Tiramisu (P150, pictured above). That is not the actual serving portion, I requested for a smaller piece since I just wanted a taste. I was amazed at how different it tasted from the tiramisu I'm used to. It was somehow cheesier, I attribute this to the use of richer and more flavorful marscapone cheese.

Giorgio Matera and Tetta Ortiz-MateraApart from the amazing meal, our conversation with the Materas (Mr. and Mrs. Giorgio and Tetta Ortiz-Matera) was just as lovely. They even shared their love story. :)

La Piadina transcends the usual Italian restaurant stereotype, going beyond the usual meatballs, carbonara, and pizza. It's good to know that we can now have authentic Italian food from various regions simply by visiting Glorietta -- and they're all painstakingly prepared with no shortcuts.

La Piadina (La Cucina Regionale Italiana)
2/F Glorietta 4 (across Jollibee)
Ayala Center, Makati City
501-3788

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