Monday, September 10, 2018

Aside from Korean and Japanese food, one of my top go-to foodie experience is Italian. A simple pasta and pizza dish might excite me. But just recently, within the outskirts of San Juan, I discovered an authentic Italian food destination, Francesco's Kitchen

I remembered one Gilmore Girls episode when Sookie St James, the resident chef on said series went to a restaurant reviewer because her "to die for" risotto was paired with a wrong wine, that it entirely changed the consistency of the taste of food. Back when I was younger, I wouldn't care much about these things, but I guess when you age, you'd get to appreciate food more. 

Chef Francesco Rizzo
In Francesco's Kitchen, the chef, Francesco Rizzo, makes sure that all the food that they serve is made from scratch. Bringing along traditional recipes from Italy, he makes sure to fuse them into Filipino flavor, which most of Italian food are similar that it seems local. 

Now let's head on to our Italian journey at Francesco's Kitchen, shall we? 

For appetizers, we had the La Polpette Di Mama (My Mum's Meatballs). This family recipe traces from Chef Francesco's grandmother, who was passed on to them like a family heirloom. The flavors are very distinct with tasty tomato sauce and lots of melted parmesan cheese.

Next, we had the Polopi Alla Grigila condito al salmoriglio con patata e fagiolini (Chargrilled octopus, baby potato, haricot beans and salmoriglio dressing). I don't know much about long Italian names, but this appetizer is perfect as the chargrilled octopus is very chewy and tender. 

When the Burrata con varieta di pomodori arugula, olio extra vergine d'oliva e basilico was served to us, I cared more about the presentation than its taste. And of course, I had to google what burrata is. Turns out, this big white thing is cheese made from fresh Italian Cow Milk. It is soft and tasty, and perfect for the greens that come with the salad. 

Last on the appetizer list is the Cappesante e Portobello, pancetta croccante, vinaigrette al tartufo (Roasted scallops and portobello mushroon, crispy pancetta ham truffle vinaigrette). This one was my instant favorite because of the crispy pancetta ham. Though also, this is perfect for seafood lovers because of the sumptuous scallops and the truffle sauce. 

Before we get to the mains, what is an Italian restaurant without pizza? We had the famous serving of Parma Pizza and Puttanesca Pizza. Between the two, I ate the Parma Pizza with such delight because of the hefty servings of meat, while being balanced by the veggies and cheese. 

Puttanesca Pizza
Parma Pizza
Casarecce con pesto e salmon
Spaghetti di Gragnano
On to the Main Course, we were served with the Casarecce con pesto e salmon first, then the Spaghetti di Gragnano. These pastas are unique in their own way. The pesto was flavorful with the salmon, while the spaghetti was not just creamy, but very tasty with the stracciatella cheese. I think both dishes will be loved by any one, at any age. 

I am quite sure I haven't tried risotto before. So imagine me gushing over the Guangla di manzo brasata con risotto affumicato al parmigiano. The braised beef cheek is very soft and sweet. I wanted more that I had to take this home. 

Just like our famous caldereta, the Ossobucco in gremolada con fettuccine alfredo is a completely different experience. Here in the Philippines, you get to enjoy caldereta with rice, but this dish makes you love it with the fettuccine alfredo pasta. 

Also one of their bestsellers is the Filleto di cernia al forno von guazzetto di vongole e fagioli bianchi al vermentino. This seafood delight is filled with over roasted grouper with clams, white beans and vermentino broth. I thought that this was way salty, but the broth balances the hefty serving of seafood. 

Espresso Martini

Francesco's Kitchen also serves drinks like the Espresso Martini (their famous drink) and desserts. The tiramisu is not too sweet, and just right for dessert lovers who are watching their diet. 

Overall, I loved the vibe in Francesco's Kitchen. It is that one place you can go with your family or friends with, to enjoy good food and a relaxing ambiance. They even have a Happy Hour from 4-7PM to cap off a busy week. 

Francesco's Kitchen is located at 863 A. Mabini St., Addition Hills, San Juan City. You may also visit their facebook page at for more details. Bon appetit everyone!

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