Italian

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Trattoria da Gianni Cebu

This new restaurant in Banilad is home to great Italian home cooking, and with a backstory that will melt your heart. Trattoria da Gianni which translates to “a small Italian restaurant by Gianni,” is the Guidicelli Family’s way of honoring the memory of their partriarch, Gianni Guidicelli, who always expressed his desire to put up a restaurant.

Sadly, time caught up with food-loving Gianni, and he passed away last year, leaving two of his helpers, Antonia and Jean, with no one to attend to any longer. Since then, the idea of putting up a family restaurant has always hung over the head of Gianni’s son, Gianluca. As a result, Trattoria da Gianni was created. Spearheaded by father and daughter tandem, Gianluca and daughter Giorgia Guidicelli promises to serve only the best Italian home cooking with time-honored recipes right from the Guidiceilli’s kitchen. And now, Antonia and Jean have something to take care of now that their beloved Gianni is gone. It’s the family’s way of thanking the two woman who have served them for more than two decades.

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Trattoria Da Gianni

The Ambiance and Food

Trattoria da Gianni is casual and unpretentious. The moment you walk in, you’ll already notice the warmness from the servers. Plus, the cozy interiors gives out an even more inviting feel. As per the owners, that’s how guests are received at an Italian’s home – with a warm-hearted welcome.

One thing that sets Trattoria da Gianni apart from opart from other Italian restaurants is that they serve a wide array of bruschettas instead of pizzas. Trattoria da Gianni makes the Italian staple more exciting than usual with the use of premium toppings ranging from parma ham with figs and fresh ricotta, to Taleggio cheese with apricots.

For Italian food lovers, you’d get treated to freshly made pastas with homemade sauces, different kinds of Mozzarella cheeses, a variety of fresh salads, traditional cold cuts and cured meats, premium cheeses, hearty soups, and of course, desserts! The house also serves Gianni’s personal favorites like minsetrone, spaghetti with pesto Genovese, ragu della Nonna and tiramisu.

My top favorites would be the Sautéed shrimp bruschetta, Fresh Pasta with Ragu and the melt-in-your-mouth Tiramisu!

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Bruschetta: Mozzarella and garden basil, Parma Ham and Sautéed Shrimp

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Trattoria da Gianni’s Lasagna alla Bolognese

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Trattoria Da Gianni’s Fresh Pasta with Ragu

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Trattoria da Gianni’s US Beef Tenderloin

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Trattoria da Gianni’s Tiramisu

Trattoria da Gianni is located at Crossroads Mall in Banilad.  You may contact them at 091778422786 or 09988464996.

La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana Cebu

La Nostra Napolentana Pizzeria Cebu

Address: Streetscape Mall Paseo Saturnino Banilad Cebu City 6000, Cebu Philippines

Parking: Yes (Arcade parking)

Mode of payment: Cash

Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays 12noon to 2PM | 6PM to 10PM | Closed on Mondays

La Nostra 1

If you’ve been wondering how authentic Neapolitan Pizza tastes like, good news because Cebu is home to the only Approved Vera Pizza Napoletana or AVPN Certified pizzeria in the country.

 

Each La Nostra Pizza has a crust made from a dough made with highly-refined Italian wheat flour, fresh brewer’s yeast, water and salt – kneaded and formed by hand. The dough is topped with raw, pureed tomato, mozzarella cheese from cow’s milk and fresh and all-natural ingredients. Then baked in Volcanic Brick oven with wood fire.

La Nostra 12

As the pizza is removed from the oven, an intense smell of baked bread and fresh grassy scent from the basil and oregano envelopes the room. The crust has puffed up with burnt spots on the edges, giving the pizza that slightly smokey flavor. And you would also notice how your hands wouldn’t get all oily when you pick up slices of La Nostra Pizza.

La Nostra Pizza has more sauce than cheese, leaving the middle of the pie a bit wet and soggy and the best way of eating a slice is folding it and take it down one bite at a time. 😉

La nostra 5

 

Margherita, La Nostra and Nutella Pizzas are my current favorites on the menu!

Margherita Pizza is made with tomato sauce, fior di latte cheese, basil, extra virgin olive oil in Neapolitan crust.

Pizza La Nostra is made with cream sauce, parmesan cheese, fior di latte cheese, ham, butter and basil.

La nostra 10

 

A dessert pizza, Nutella Pizza is made with Neapolitan crust topped with Nutella and powdered sugar.

La nostra 14

 

La Nostra Napoletana Pizzeria serves no fuss pizza, made with fresh and quality ingredients. For some of us who are still not that familiar with Neapolitan Pizza, we don’t have to fly to Naples just to get a taste of authentic Neapolitan pizza. Head to La Nostra Napolitana Pizza in Streetscape Mall for the only AVPN Certified Napoletana Pizzeria  in the country!

And if your wondering what “La Nostra” means, it translates to “our.” So La Nostra Napoletana Pizzeria” transcribes to “Our Neapolitan Pizzeria.” 😉

Have you dined in at La Nostra Napoletana Pizzeria already? We’d love to hear your review! Drop ’em below.

La Bella Pizza Bistro Cebu

La Bella Pizza Bistro

Branch Address: The Gallery, Juan Luna Avenue, Mabolo Cebu City 6000

Operating Hours: 12noon to 10PM daily

Contact number: 032-4120200

Parking: The Gallery Arcade Parking

 

Formerly La Bella Napoli, the well loved Italian bistro has been constantly adding more entrees to their menu to entice the Cebuanos (and international guests) even more with authentic Italian dishes. Now La Bella Pizza Bistro, they stay true to their promise of quality and only the best ingredients in every course they serve.

iLuvCebu team recently visited their 35-seater al fresco branch at The Gallery Mabolo and took the liberty of sampling  the newest addition to La Bella Pizza Bistro’s carte.

La Bella 1

 

Enjoyed a glass of Spritz (150php) as I watched the pizza dough being kneaded, topped and baked on the traditional wood fired-brick oven. Spritz is a wine-based cocktail made with wine, Aperol and soda water.  A great aperitif to prepare me for the feast to come.

La bella 3

 

And yes, all pizza doughs are made fresh – moments after you place your order. All pizzas are then topped with premium ingredients and baked on classic wood fire- brick oven for less than 10 minutes. And for mozzarella addicts, the selection served with fresh mozzarella are must-try pizzas.

 

La bella 2

La bella 5

 

For our appetizer, we had Parmigiana di Melanzane (Price:300php). A lovely combination of baked tomato, mozzarella and fried eggplants that melts sumptuously together in your mouth. Yum!

La bella 4

 

And then a serving of pasta to share – tortelloni alla bolognese (320php). The pasta looks very similar with tortellinis but a bit larger. The fresh handmade ring-shaped pastas are stuffed with mixed meat in Bolognese sauce.

La bella 7

 

And oh boy,  the delicious smell of freshly baked pizza as its been taken out of the oven! uuuhrg!  (gets you real giddy! ^_^) Principessa had me at mozzarella (and arugula.. tehee)!  Made with tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella, parma ham and fresh arugula – it’s currently my new favorite pie at La bella Pizza and Bistro!

La bella 8

 

“Eel pran-zoh erah de-lee-zee-oh-so, grah-zee da-veh-roh La bella Pizza Bistro.”

Do you love La bella Napoli/ La bella Pizza Bistro too? Tell us your favorites, we’d like to try ’em too! 🙂

You also can enjoy authentic Italian fare at their other branches at Koa Tree House in Gorordo, Piazza Elisea in Talamban and Karancho in Maribago.

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola

Address: Gourmet Walk of Waterfront Lahug Cebu City Hotel and Casino

Operating Hours: 11:00AM – 10:30PM Daily

Contact Number:32- 232-6888

Mode of Payment: Cash/ Card

Parking: Hotel Parking (have your ticket validated when paying bill)

WiFi: Yes (Hotel WiFi)

 

Treat yourself to a Mediterranean fling with La Gondola’s expanded menu selection showcasing Mediterranean flavors. La Gondola has been known for serving great Southern European – Mediterranean cuisine like delectable brick-oven baked pizzas and appetizing pastas. Serving mainly Italian, now La Gondola broaden the restaurant’s  Mediterranean zing with North African gusto from the region of Morocco and more southern European zest from Spain and France.

 

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

 

The Mediterranean feast started with a salad and some appetizers. Shaved Vegetable Salad with Herbs and Vinaigrette is refreshingly light with vertical shaves of cucumber with caballero, clitoria, passionfruit and bouganvilla flowers and baby rockets. If youhave been to Bohol Bee Farm, it would resemble more like the BBF’s Flower Salad. 🙂

Shaved Vegetable Salad with Herbs and Vinaigrette. La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

I then moved to the next starter. Hummus, Babaganouj and Tahina with warm Moroccan Bread. We are all familiar with hummus ( mashed chickpeas blended with olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic) But what is a Tahina?  Tahina is sesame seeds combined with chickpeas. So hummus is zesty tangy while Tahina is nutty in flavor. Babaganouj is a levantine dish made from eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and seasoning.

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

Calamares is believed to have originated in Spain, but some say it’s from Italy. This Southern European comfort food is widely famous around the world and very much loved by Filipinos.  Calamare  (Spain) or Calamari (Italian), however you say it, it’s no argument that this is one of the world’s favorite appetizers.Below is a photo of  La Gondola’s Fried baby Calamari with fresh tomato salsa.

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

Creamy mushroom soup with Parmesan Foam and Truffle Oil. An American classic infused with a Mediterranean favorite, truffle oil.

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola’s Mushroom Risotto with fresh thyme. The hearty Northern Italian dish made with Italian rice cooked with broth into a creamy consistency would take away the gloom in any stormy day.

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

 

La Gondola’s Black Paella with Garlic Lemon Sauce. A Valencian dish made with white rice,  mussels, shrimps, baby squid rings made black with cuttlefish/squid ink. And to subtle the “fishy” taste and to avoid the ink to overpower the other seafood components of the dish, garlic and lemon are added.

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

Grilled Angus Beef Tenderloin Steaks with rockets, aged balsamic and roasted potatoes. Yum!

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

And for dessert, Chocolate Coulant ala mode! A popular dessert in France, with a toasted outer layer, then soft cake on the inner layer and oozing gooey chocolate on the inside. Choco Lava as we locally call it. 🙂

La Gondola Cebu

La Gondola Cebu

 

Herbs are used mostly on Southern European Cuisine while spices intricately flavor North African food. But whichever culinary region Mediterranean food belongs too, vegetables is constitutional ingredient in Mediterranean dishes.

Taking advantage of Cebu’s land and sea’s bounty, La Gondola can recreate limitless  healthy and flavorful Mediterranean dishes. With the dishes I have sampled so far, I would say my fondness for Mediterranean food grew even more. Can’t wait to try La Gondola’s other  Mediterranean offerings!

 

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Pick + Mix by Giuseppe Genco

Address:  Salinas Drive (across Golden Cowrie) in Lahug, Cebu City

Operating Hours: Daily from 11AM-10PM

Contact Number:  0998 552 0667 | (032) 266 3397

Parking: Yes

Mode of Payment: Cash/ Card

 

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Who doesn’t love pizza? And don’t you think it’s more awesome when you are given the freedom to create your very own pie? Well, Pizza Republic gives you the free rein to pick and mix your ingredients and have your dream pizza baked and prepared for you in just a few minutes.

 

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

 

So here’s how to create your very own pizza masterpiece!

  1. See your dough prepared fresh. Pizza size is 10”
  2. Choose you sauce, white or red. You can mix them too.
  3. Choose your cheeses.
  4. Choose your meat
  5. Choose your veggies
  6.  Choose your herbs
  7. Pay 245php per pizza
Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

 

You can put as many toppings as you want, but remember that the overall taste of the pizza would depend on how you properly mix and match the ingredients. So we would advice that you conceptualize your pizza ingredients before dining in to better enjoy and be happy with your creation.

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

Pizza Republic Cebu

I tired to replicate my favorite Robertino’s pizza at Michel Angelos unfortunately I think I overdid my pie. Hahaha. Nonetheless it was a good try.

Will soon be back to try my shot again into making my very own pizza perfection.

 

I’ll end my blog with one great pizza creation from fellow foodie Justinne Go.

Babe For Food’s Ultimate Italian Pizza:

Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmesa, White Cheese, Coppa Ham, Italian Garlic Sausage, Ground Bacon, Smoked Chicken Fillet, Funghi Famigiola, Caramelized Onions, Fried Garlic, Fresh Basil, Chili Flakes, Dried Oregano and Pesto

 

Felice di mangiare!

 

 

 

Haven Cafe at West 35

Restaurant: Haven Cafe at West 35

Address: KM 35 Transcentral Hiway, Gaas Balamban 6041 Cebu Philippines

Telephone Number: 032-520-2633 / 032-541-3262 / 0933-9953245

Mode of Payment: Cash

Food: American/ Italian / Filipino

Operating Hours: Monday- Thursday : 8AM – 8PM

Friday – Sunday: 8:00AM -9PM

 

Haven Cafe at West 35

Haven Cafe at West 35

 

When I get so stressed out, I got 3 places in mind to go and unwind- the beach, the mountain or ice cream/FroYo parlor. And gladly all 3 are just a few minute drive from anywhere in Cebu City.  4PM, with good friends Nickolai and Remz, we drove up the mountain of Balamban to have dinner. The drive particularly reminded me of a bus ride to Genting (Malaysia) with my brother Edd and backpacking friends Geof and Ken 4 years ago, where the fog literally covered the street and all we can see is the yellow line separating the lanes. This is not  normal by the way, the habagat caused a decrease in temperature, making it way colder, hence too much fog.

 

The extremely foggy condition took us an hour to get to West 35,  which normally is a 30- 45 minute drive  from Lahug Cebu. West 35 is an Eco Mountain retreat where you can enjoy a great view of Balamban Mointains, have your kids play around the playground, ride the zipline, trek to Gaas Waterfalls or enjoy a good lunch or dinner at Haven Cafe.

 

West 35

West 35

 

Due to the bad weather that day, Haven Cafe closes at 6PM and gladly, we made it just in time. I was starving so I ordered for myself one of Haven Cafe’s specialty dish “Grilled Boneless Chicken” and hawaiian pizza for the 3 of us to share. The food took around 25-30 minutes to prepare so we had time to look around and chill at the viewing deck.

 

Haven Cafe atWest 35

Haven Cafe atWest 35

 

Haven Cafe is a great cozy place to chill even the weather was a bit gloomy, it was a good place to talk and catch up with friends. And check out the view from my restroom photo, that’s how foggy it was that time. And since the Balamban mountains wasn’t visible from the viewing deck, we opted to take a photo of ourselves instead. hahaha. And yes it was pretty cold and you’d see how pale we were on the photo. 😛

 

Haven Cafe at West 35

Haven Cafe at West 35

West 35 Restroom

West 35 Restroom

Picture picture at the viewing deck. That's Remz on my left and Nickolai on my right!

Picture picture at the viewing deck. That’s Remz on my left and Nickolai on my right!

 

Haven Cafe is so off the beaten path that you just can’t help but expect the food to be superb. So as I mentioned earlier, I had the “Grilled Boneless Chicken” which as per the waitress is one of their specialty dishes and the Hawaiian Pizza for us to share.

 

Grilled Boneless Chicken, 210php. 2 chicken breast fillet with creamy pesto sauce, 210php. The chicken fillet , I think it was missing a dash of pepper or marinade to make the meat tastier. The chicken tasted like it was defrosted, rubbed with salt and then grilled. The creamy pesto sauce gave a bit of light to the grilled chicken though.

 

Grilled Boneless Chicken at Haven Cafe, West 35

Grilled Boneless Chicken at Haven Cafe, West 35

 

Hawaiian Pizza, 325php. Sliced ham, pineapple chunks, mozzarella cheese, pomodoro, olive oil and onions. It could’ve been perfect if the crust was crispier.

Hawaiian Pizza at Haven Cafe West 35

Hawaiian Pizza at Haven Cafe West 35

Haven Cafe has 2 specialty drinks, Westy Minty Lemonade and Cucumber Quencher, both at 155php a pitcher/55php a glass. We ordered the Westy-Minty Lemonade for it was highly recommended by our waitress. Lemonade flavored juice with ginger extract and mint leaves. Refreshing!

Westy Minty lemonade

Westy Minty lemonade

 

 

Well, the food didn’t meet my expectations, but it was an awesome experience nonetheless. I have to commend the friendly waitresses for a wonderful service. I’ll be back real soon to try some of the other food offerings and next time, I’ll be there on a sunny day. 🙂 See you again real soon Haven Cafe!

 

La Tegola Busay

Restaurant Branch: La Tegola Busay

Address: Upper Busay Cebu City  (Just before inclining to Tops, look at your right if coming from the city of Cebu)

Food: Italian

Phone: 032- 419 2220

Mode of Payment: Cash/Card

Open until 11pm

 

Romantic and cozy, La Tegola Busay branch would be a perfect spot for a Valentine dinner date. Dine at the lower floor and get a view of the city lights and  feel the cool mountain breeze.

 

 

 

La Tegola Busay

 

4

 

Food here is great at reasonable prices, a great deal for Italian food actually. Starting the dinner with this free appetizer with free tomato salsa in olive oil. Yum

La tegola Busay

 

Here are some of our La Tegola favorites that you might like. Spaghetti Al Cartoccio (288php), Spaghetti pasta with assorted seafood, tomato sauce (or request for a white sauce which we love) wrap in aluminum foil baked in oven.

 

La tegola Busay

 

 

Spaghetti Alla Lategola (270php) Spaghetti with assorted vegetables, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, wrap in aluminum foil baked in oven.

6

 

 

Quattro Stagioni (295php) Tomato sauce, cooked ham, salami, mozzarella cheese, olives, mushroom & herbs.

2

 

 

Tutta Carne (480php) Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Sausage, cooked ham, pepper salami.

La Tegola

 

Other La Tegola branches are in Ayala Center Cebu (Idea Italia) , Moalboal Cebu (Cusina Italiana), La Tegola Lahug, La Tegola Mactan.

 

Until our next piggin out session! 🙂

Chillage Urban Living

Store: Chillage Urban Living

Address: Ground Floor Andama Building North Reclamation, Mandaue City Cebu

Food: Pasta, Salads and Desserts

tel: (032) 238.2730

Mode of Payment: Cash/ Credit Card (Credit Card requires a minimum of 3,000php )

Parking Space: Yes

Wifi: Yes

 

Chillage is a urban lifestyle store where you can shop for unique stuff or chill at their cafe. The place has this Cebuano-artsy-metropolitan feel to it, exuding a positive urban vibe – a great place to hang out and be artistic. It was 7-ish when we dropped by for a light dinner. And parking is no problem, easy breezy just like Parking4less.com .

 

Chillage

Getting inside the Chillage Cafe, you get to see awesome fashion and beauty items that are hip and cool!

Chillage

 

Chillage Urban Lifestyle

Food prices range from 70php-120php and drinks from 35php-90php. Really affordable. Here are some of Chillage’s offerings we sampled.

Chillage’s Chips and Spinach & Cream Cheese Dip

Chips with Spinach and Cream Cheese dip, 70php. Tortilla with spinach greens and peppered cheese dip.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad, 110php. Chicken strips and veggies with sesame oil and crispy wonton.

 

Homegrown Pasta

Homegrown Pasta, 100php. Olive oil roasted vegetable & brown rice fusilli.

The Local Mermaid Pasta

The Local Mermaid, 110php. Spicy Spanish sardines with angel hair pasta.

Taparoni Pasta

Taparoni, 110php. Beef Tapa mcaroni with red sauce and cheese.

 

That’s about it for now, check www.iLuvCebu.com again soon for more of our piggin out sessions! 😉

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant

Restaurant: Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant

Address: Bagumbayan Uno Maribago, Lapu-lapu City

Food: Asian, Filipino, International

Telephone Number: 032-495-0245 | 09153308432

Operating Hours: Open everyday from 11am to 12midnight

Wifi: Yes

Dining Type: Casual Dining

Mode of payment: Cash/Card

 

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant

 

With Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant‘s chic look, you’ll get the impression of it having a ritzy priced menu. Just along Maribago where so many world class resorts and hotels are, they offer international and asian flavors that both locals and tourists would enjoy. Parking is no problem for they have ample parking space on the property. The walkway to the restaurant gives you that excitement to look dine in and the water wall is elegant!

 

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant

You can either dine at restaurant’s main dining area or at the VIP rooms where you can have a lovely family gathering or an intimate date. At the VIP rooms, there are doors which you can close to make the dinner more private. A buzzer button is provided at the VIP rooms for you to be able to get a waiter without you going out of the room. 😉

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - Main dining area

 

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - main dining area

 

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - VIP Room

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant -VIP room

 

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - VIP Room

My brother Edd and I,  started  the meal with an appetizer – Honey Cured Bacon in Prawns, 255php. Special bacon with honey and prawns served with cantaloupe salsa and balsamic reduction. This is really good!

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - Honey Cured Bacon in Prawns

 

For our main course, we had Crispy Pata, Grilled stuffed squid and mixed seafood curry.

 

A filipino favorite, Crispy Pata – 395php. Front pork pata deep fried sided with papaya pickles.

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - Crispy Pata

Mixed Seafood Curry in Coconut Shell, 240php. Dory fish, squid, shrimp and braised in red curry served in a coconut shell. I love curry and this one is mildly spicy and the coconut meat cleanses out the curry aftertaste, just awesome.

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - Mixed Seafood Curry

 

Grilled stuffed squid, 245php. Squid stuff with tomato, onions and scallions sided with cucumber, lemon and pickled papaya. Served with plain rice.

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - Grilled stuffed squid

 

And finishing the meal with a dessert! This dessert is not on the menu, it comes complimentary for first time guests. 🙂

 

Gold Mango Grill and Restaurant - Dessert

 

Not all posh restaurants have expensive priced menus. 🙂 Thank you for reading our blog! Join us again next time for another piggin out session!

And don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this article with your friends.

 

Text: Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje | Food Photos: Edd Buenaviaje

 

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La Bella Napoli Delivery

La Bella Napoli Delivery Service 

Contact Numbers:

Mactan (Karancho Marbiago) – 032- 494-0199 / 033-3187130

Gorordo (Koa Tree House) – 032- 4122046

Talamban (Piazza Elisea) – 032-412-0539

Mabolo (The Gallery) – 032- 412-0200

 

Cebu is blessed with great Italian restaurants that serves delightfully great pizzas and pastas but at affordable prices. La Bella Napoli is one of our personal favorite Italian restaurants in Cebu. With them having 3 branches in Cebu City and one closer to home in Mactan,our pizza cravings is satisfied with just a phone call away. 😉  Delivery charge is at 50php.

 

La Bella Napoli

 

 

La Bella Napoli Arugula Pizza (Family -15" at 315php)

La Bella Napoli Arugula Pizza

 

La Bella Napoli Menu

Tavolata Cebu

Restaurant: Tavolata

Address: Design Center of Cebu P. Remedios St. A.S. Fortuna Mandaue City, Cebu

Food: Italian

Type of Dining: Casual

Mode of Payment: Cash/Card

Telephone Number: +63-32-505-6211

WiFi: Yes

Operating hours: 6pm onward, last seating is at 10:30pm. (For the Soft Opening)

 

Text by: Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje | Photos by: Reymond Buenaviaje

Tavolata Cebu

A.S. Fortuna boasts the rise of a new commercial property – Design Center of Cebu. The black glass finish of the complex gives it a chic and classy look. The arcade proudly sits at the vicinity of the famous pinetree of A.S. Fortuna along P. Remedios St. that some people would call the area “pinetree.”

Aware that the bistro is owned by the Abaca Group, we know that we are in for a treat at Tavolata Cebu. Tavolata, an Italian word for tableful or a gathering at the table, it sure is a great place to dine with friends,  family or a date with your better half with it’s cozy and intimate ambiance. And we would advice that you make a reservation. 🙂

Tavolata Cebu

 

Travolata Caesar (395php). Egg, lemon, romaine and Pecorino toscana.  No frills salad yet flavorful.

Tavolata Caesar

 

Tavolata is proud of making their pasta fresh everyday using the finest ingredients.

Squid Ink Fettucini (495php). Sautéed shrimp, squid, octopus, tomatoes and chili on squid ink fettucini. (iLuvCebu.com recommends this dish)

Squid Ink Fettucini

 

Campanelle (445php).  “Little bells” with fennel sausage, braised greens in cream.

Campanelle

 

 

Herb Crusted Parmesan Chicken  topped with marinara and mozzarella sided with spicy broccoli and arugula.  (695php)

Herb Crusted Parmesan Chicken

 

Slow Roasted Pork Belly  with risotto milanese and gremolata.   (795php)

Slow roasted Pork Belly

 

Tavolata Pizzas are interesting for they don’t come  in perfectly round shape crust. An indicator that each pizza is made and hand tossed just right after you ordered.  If you are planning to have pizza at Tavolata, we would advice that you order it first and have the order prepared at the kitchen for it will take time for them to prepare it and have the waiter come back after he forwards the order to the kitchen.

 

I just love Arugula on my pizza, so this was my first choice – Proscuitto pizza (455php). Arugula, tomato and mozzarella on a Tavolata crust. The crust is crunchy on the outside but is soft and a bit chewy on the inside, yum! 🙂

Proscuitto Pizza

 

Truffle Pizza (455php). Ricotta, mozarella, brocolliand asiago.

Truffle Pizza

 

That definitely was a gastronomic adventure! Thank you for reading and join us again on our next piggin out session guys! 🙂

 

 

The Loft Cebu

Club: The Loft

Address: 2nd Floor, CJRS, Asiatown IT Park, 6000 Cebu City

Operating Hours:  Mon-Thurs 6:00pm-12:00am

Fri -Sat        6:00pm -4:00am

Payment Options: Cash/Card

Type of Dining: Casual Dining

Food: International Cuisine

 

Last week, I had the privilege of sitting down and dining with 4 great people – Chef Moreno Benigno – Chef Manager of Giuseppe,  two of Cebu’s top food writers Jigs Arquiza of The Sunstar and Dr. Nestor Alonzo of the Freeman and of course our host and club owner Charles Osmena. Well, these people are like at the top of their games and I felt like a noob sitting with them on the Chef’s table. But as per Sir Jigs Arquiza, I am the best Cebu food blogger he knows – so like a boss, I dined with them! haha. 😛

 

With the finest ingredients, Chef Moreno, together with Giuseppe, creates great Sicilian cuisine at The Loft! Chef Moreno shares a bit of what his country is about with the food he prepares to every guest dining at the newly renovated The Loft.

 

Appetizers at The Loft

Looks great right? Wait til u have a taste! 😉 Fresh and fine ingredients, just awesome! Well, with such a delectable first course,what’s coming next just makes you feel giddy!

Salmon Carpaccio with Arugula and cheese and truffle sauce

Alas! My friends know that I love Arugula and when this was served, It was like angels’ trumpets were playing, but of course I have to keep my cool so I calmly watched the waiter set it on the table, I took a few shots and booom! HAHA. And the dinner made me really happy for I am on a low carbo, high fiber/protein diet. ^_^ Thin slices of  Salmon/Salmon Carpaccio with  the fresh arugula, cheese slices and a dash of truffle sauce – the flavor – starts with a sweet sour taste from the truffle sauce, then the arugula’s semi bitter taste blends with the fresh salmon carpaccio and lightly salty cheese. Highly recommended, a must try! Well, for those who love bitter-ish greens, at least. 🙂

 

Polenta With Bolognese

Polenta is a coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal.  Polenta is a famous farm dish/ peasant food in Europe as corn is one of the top crops grown and is topped with herring or salted anchovies and maybe some sauces.Chef Moreno recreates a Sicilian dish by forming a loaf from Polenta and then adds bolognese sauce on top.

Roast pork Tenderloin

 

Roast Pork Tenderloin was so smooth and tender it melts in your mouth, seriously! And a twist that surprisingly blended well with the tenderloin is the tuna sauce.

 

aglio olio pepperoncino al bottarga

Simple yet really good! One of my favorites during the Loft dinner, classic! – Aglio Olio Pepperoncino al bottarga

 

Couscous

Couscous is among the healthiest grains. ^_^ Not to mention a good source of protein. Healthy and delizioso!

Bruschetta Tartufo

Rich and flavorful paste on top goes well with the bruschetta and with the truffle sauce and salsa – perfect!

Costolette Di Agnello

Baaaaah, here comes the lamb! Tender meat with a light tasty sauce with potatoes, zucchini, eggplant and bell peppers. This one, is my ultimate Loft favorite! – Coslette Di Agnello

 

Tiramisu

Push deeply until you reach the bottom, that’s how you spoon a tiramisu! ^_^ Yum!

 

Wines and grapa were served. Unfortunately I can only consume a little bit of alcohol- low alcohol tolerance here ,boohoo. Yeah i know i know, am such a flimsy drinker! hehe.

 

Great food and learned so much about food and European culture from the people at the chef’s table that dinner. To Chef Moreno, Charles, Sir Jigs and Dr. Alonzo, Grazie molte!

 

And to everyone, until next week’s piggin out session! Together, let’s pig out and be merry! ^_^ And be sure to check out The Loft’s offerings when you guys get a chance to drop by! 😉

 

Plantation Bay Mactan Restaurants

Restaurants: Fiji and  Palermo

Address:Marigondon, Mactan Island Lapu-lapu City Cebu 6015

Phone Number: 63-32-505-9800

 

Plantation Bay Mactan was our third stop  during the 1st day of the 3 day  Sooo Pinoy Food Trip sponsored by Uniliver Food Solutions and Department of Tourism. (Read about our 2nd stop here: http://www.iluvcebu.com/shangri-la-mactan-tides-pork-lau-ya/). I would have to admit that it has been 2 years since I last dined at Fiji and Palermo and being reacquainted of good memories here is such a delight. 🙂

 

Romantic Dinner for 2 at Fiji

 

We started the meal with one of Fiji‘s favorite dishes “Kissing Cousins”. Pairing crustaceans, prawns and lobster chunks, hence the name “Kissing Cousins,” which also adds notoriety to the dish. And for those who familiar with Elvis Presley movie “Kissing Cousins,” the name adds even more fun to the dish. I highly recommend this dish!

 

Fiji's Kissing Cousins

 

The next dish served was Palermo’s Spaghetti Al Nero. Though this is an Itilian dish, Palermo uses ink from Cebu squids to marinate the pasta overnight giving the pasta a naturally black and sea salt taste without staining your teeth. ^_^ It has squid, mussels and pepperoncino which adds excitement to the flavor!

Spaghetti Al nero

 

I had been dieting for 2 weeks for my Boracay trip and I think I had bulked up extra pounds in a day! haha. Nonetheless, food trips are always fun and educational! \m/ Next stop, Chikaan! http://www.iluvcebu.com/chika-an-cebu/

 

Pizzeria Michelangelo

Restaurant: Pizzeria Michelangelo

Address: #1 Paseo Saturnino, Old Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad Cebu City

Food: Italian

Contact Number:  Pizzeria Michelangelo Dining Reservations: 032 236 4297  Pizzeria Michelangelo Deliveries: 032 236 4301

Wifi: Yes

Mode of Payment: Cash

 

It’s crazy  I haven’t blogged about Pizzeria Michelangelo considering that my family and friends enjoyed a lot of lunches and dinners at this Italian restaurant. The pizzeria, seats around around 40 people, is warm and intimate. The pizzas at Michelangelo are to die for and a real steal for the prices are inexpensive , ranging from 220php-360php.

The ambiance

 

After running some errands for our dad, Edd and I had a sudden craving for cheese and arugula and chorused on eating dinner at Pizzeria Michelangelo. We ordered our favorite Robertino pizza made with tomato, mozzarella, farmer’s ham, arugula and parmesan cheese. iLuvCebu.com  recommends Pizzeria Michelangelo be one of your food stops when visiting Cebu!

Robertino Pizza

 

Text: Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje   | Photos by: Edd Buenaviaje

Acqua’s Antipasti Buffet

Restaurant: Acqua

Address: Poolside Ocean Wing, Shangri-La Mactan Punta Engano Lapu-lapu City

Food: Italian

Type of Dining: Casual

Mode of Payment: Cash/Card

Wifi: None

Telephone Number: 032-2318224

Hours

Breakfast: 6am – 10.30am
Lunch:     noon – 2:30pm
Dinner:     6pm – 10pm

 

Text by Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje | Photos by: Edd Buenaviaje ( Food Shots) & Doyzkie Buenaviaje (Restaurant Shots)

 

Acqua’s Chef Marco Ghezzi creates a buffet of antipasti for everyone to revel in every dinner for the whole month of February. The buffet includes a variety of Italian cured meats, olives, artichoke, salad, carpaccio, fish and other Italian antipasti. The antipasti menu is different every dinner so you can treat oneself in different antipasti every night and sample each of Chef Marco Ghezzi’s  Italian antipasti fare. Enjoy a delightful selection of antipasti to whet your appetite for 590++ per person.

Chef Marco GhezzΩ

Acqua's Antipasti Buffet

 

Acqua's Antipasti Buffet

Acqua's Antipasti Buffet

Acqua’s Antipasti offerings are best enjoyed with a glass or two of choice wines. Acqua’s Antipasti Buffet is available daily every dinner for the month of February.

Acqua Bar

 

Everyone can still delight into their Acqua favorites on the menu during the run of Acqua’s Antipasti buffet.

Acqua Shangri-La

 

Indulge in Acqua’s thin crust Italian pizza fresh from the brick oven!  (Pizza not included in the antipasti buffet, See Acqua’s menu for the price)

Brick oven Italian Pizza

And who doesn’t love pasta? Acqua has a great Italian pasta options. And if you can’t decide, ask the waiters to recommend something for you. (Pasta selection below not included in the antipasti buffet, See Acqua’s menu for the price)

Acqua's Pastas

 

Acqua's Carbonara

 

And live a little and give in to Acqua’s dessert selection. Pistachio gelato and Acqua’s Tiramisu are my personal favorites! (Dessert not included in the antipasti buffet, See Acqua’s menu for the price)

Gelato

 

Seasonal Fruits with Lemon Sherbet

 

Treasures of Tuscany

Italy is a country full of affection and  passion, which is evident in almost all Italian dishes. In Tuscany, food is a way of life, prepared with utmost details and taste.

Treasures of Tuscany

Acqua’s Italian Chef Marco Ghezzi had prepared a Tuscan feast for Cebuanos and guests of Shangri-La Mactan. “Treasures of Tuscany” features Chef Marco’s recommendations from his favorite region in Italy, Tuscany! I was really excited to go to Acqua for lunch that day so drove fast to Shangri-la with me forgetting to bring my DSLR’s memory card, hehe, so pardon my photos because I have to use my handy dandy Iphone camera to shoot the oh-so-luscious Tuscan offerings. 🙂

Classic Tuscan appetizer

For starters, we had classic Tuscan appetizer served with crostini. Thin slices of  parma and Fennel Salami hams which we paired with crostini with duck liver paste . The duck liver paste had a mild earthly taste which was perfect with the crostini.

Caciucco alla Livornese

Traditional Tuscan seafood soup was then served. “Caciucco alla Livornese” is a fish stew made in the Tuscan port of Livorno. Chef Marco recreated the dish and added shrimps. The taste of fresh plum tomatoes with a dash of chili that sipped deep into the fish chunks that made the fish taste juicier and tender.

Bistecca alla florentina con Fagioli Cannellini

T-Bone steak Florentina with cannellini beans. A whopping 800g of grilled T-bone steak. I had my slab of meat done “medium well” just right not to dry out the taste of beef and retain its tenderness. You have an option to have it “well done.” Best paired with a fine italian red wine! If you are more like of a pasta person, then you can have ‘Pici all’ Aglione’ for your main course. Freshly -made flour pasta with tomatoes, garlic and parsley.

 

Cantucci con vin Santo e Crema Pasticcera al Pistacchio e Cioccolato

 

Pistachio & Chocolate Cream

Cantucci cookies served with vin Santo accompanied by pistachio and chocolate cream. I had a bite of the Cantucci cookies without spreading any cream at first and it was nutty and zesty! The orange rind and sweetness complemented well with the almond and nutty taste of the cookie. Next piece, I had it with the Pistachio cream, smooth and silky cream with crunchy bits of pistachios, aaaah, very addicting.

Be sure to experience this limited menu and have a genuine taste of Tuscany at our very own locale! Call Acqua at 032-2318224 now.

And yeah, a must try at Acqua is their Tiramisu. Yuuuum!

Tiramisu

Know more about Acqua’s Chef Marco Ghezzi here: http://www.iluvcebu.com/shangri-las-new-italian-chef/

Text and Photos by Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje

 

 

10 Dove Street

Click here for 10th Dove Street’s New Address: http://www.iluvcebu.com/10th-dove-street-cebu/

 

10th Dove Street’s Previous Address: 10 Dove Street, Sto. Nino Village, Banilad, Cebu City Philippines (Closed)

Click here for 10th Dove Street’s New Address: http://www.iluvcebu.com/10th-dove-street-cebu/

Telephone: (6332) 346-0618

Operating Hours: Open Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Food: International Cuisine

Wifi: No

Mode of Payment: Cash

Another one of those hidden food factories in Cebu. 10 Dove Street is a good place if you are up for a haunt or you simply want to impress your date! It’s an inky winky restaurant located inside Sto.Nino Village in Banilad, Cebu City. Want to know its exact location – its name will bring you there! It has privacy and coziness at its peak the moment you enter the 20-seater resto. If you want it more “private” for your functions you can book the entire café and can still choose from well-priced set menus.

The interior is finely french inspired that gives the first impression of what menu they are serving. The table wares are very exquisite. And you have to admit these details add flavors to the food! The restaurant is the craft of three sisters who decided to share their menu to the public. For only Php 185 you can have your choice of salad, soup, sandwich or pasta, and cake from a pretty extensive menu!

Broccoli and Cheese Soup – French Onion Soup

We started our dining experience with the soup as part of their set menus. Just an enough serving to make the mouth warm for the meal. Recommended to have are the French Onion and Creamy Squash soups!

Fandango Salad

Fresh salad made of lettuce, walnuts, mandarin oranges, cheese, croûtons, and raspberry dressing. This is a must try!

Harvest Apple Salad

It’s like freshly picked and sliced! And its served chilled! A compilation of diced apples, grapes, walnuts, golden raisins, and maniature marshmallows all in clasic Yukon dressing. My favorite that night.

Macaroni and Frankfurter Skillet (served with toasted bread)

iLuvCebu author Noe ordered the Macaroni and Frankfurter Skillet meal made of the first two ingredients mentioned and chopped pimiento. Big in serving and will definitely fill you up but i must say it’s almost the same as the instant baked Mac and Cheese we can buy in the supermarket.

Sausage and Slaw (served with potato salad and toasted bread)

iLuvCebu author Doyzkie’s order. The hungarian sausage was BIG although juicy inside, the outside skin was a little overcooked. Probably the fire was too big when it was dunked in to the pan.

Mama Mia (served with potato salad and toasted bread)

This has always been my choice since I first discovered 10 Dove Street way back college. It’s a big order made of penne, mushrooms, and ground pork or beef depending on the availability. For those who have just enough appetite like I do, I personally recommend to order this one out of the three set menus.

Cappucino, Dose Leches, and Choco Decadence Cakes

The last course of the set meal is a slice of any of these for dessert. The owner, Marisol’s passion for pastries and cakes are a reflection of these cakes specially the classic Chocolate Decadence made from Belgian Chocolates and bit-size harvard squares!

I don’t know what happened in the kitchen that night but the food was just too salty not only for me but for the rest of the group. Or probably there has been a change of chef through time since I wasn’t able to go back since 2009. Nonetheless, the place is still ideal for those dates or functions you have in mind. And yes! don’t forget to bell when you go inside so the waiters from the back can hear you coming!

Simply J’s Cafe

Restaurant: Simply J’s Cafe
Address: #10 Apitong Corner, Escario St. Kamputhaw, Cebu City
Food: Mixed Ethnic
Type of Dining: Casual Dining
Mode of Payment: Cash/Card
Contact: (032) 505-8315  / 0922-8651956
WiFi: Yes
Zup peehgs? With guests from outside Cebu and the day of hearts,  iLuvcebu.com and friends have been pigging out around Cebu for the past weeks, gaining some extra pounds in the process. hehe. Well we, the peehgs, have decided to dine at Simply J’s  Cafe in Escario. For some it might be tricky to find this restaurant because there’s no sign or awning. It’s the restaurant beside Diamond Hotel. 🙂

Simply J's Cafe

Getting inside, you’d get that warm and country feel, very homey and accommodating.  And yeah you would notice there are price tags on the chairs, the tables, frames, lamps and everything, except the utensils and waiters of course. We started the meal with an appetizer.

Tortilla Chips with Dip

Tortilla chips served with salsa or cheese dip. priced at 130php. Well, the salsa tasted like it isn’t fresh, just like those dips you can pick up from the grocery counters.

Taco Salad

Following the Mexican craving is the Tortilla Salad. Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, seasoned ground beef with taco chips and taco dressing. Price is at 150php. Fresh greens drizzled with over- the- counter- tasting taco dressing.

Lasagna

Layered Lasagna Pasta with white cream sauce and tomato meat sauce. Price: 150php

Chef's Signature baby back ribs

Chef’s Signature baby back ribs priced at 190php. Grilled baby back ribs brushed with honey mustard sauce. Personally, it tasted dry we have to ask for extra honey mustard sauce and the meat is not that tender too.

Salsa Cream Dory

The Salsa Cream Dory, I definitely enjoyed! Fish fillet pan-fried topped with tomato and herb salsa. Price: 160php. Soft velvety fish fillet infused with light herby flavors! Yum!

Guava Lemon Cooler

Refreshing Guava and Lemon drink for 30php.

text by: Doyzkie Buenaviaje Photos by Nike Cagulada.

Shangri-La’s New Italian Chef

Restaurant: Acqua

Address: Poolside Ocean Wing, Shangri-La Mactan Punta Engano Lapu-lapu City

Food: Italian

Type of Dining: Casual

Mode of Payment: Cash/Card

Wifi: None

Telephone Number: 2318224

Text and Photos by Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje

Joining Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu’s team of international chefs is Marco Ghezzi, the resort’s new Italian Chef!  A native of Milan, CHef Marco is backed by more than 16 years of professional culinary experience. He had loved cooking since he was 6 years old. He has worked for several iconic establishments in Italy including the Restaurant Trigabolo, famous for being one of the restaurants to introduce Nouvelle Italian Cuisine.  He had cooked for celebrities like Victoria and David Beckham and Julia Roberts.

Chef Marco prepared a 5 meal course for iLuvcebu.com writers/bloggers Chai Rico and  I, Doyzkie Buenaviaje, together with one of Cebu’s best food writer/critique Aissa Dela Cruz. This had been my 3rd time dining at Acqua and I have to say every visit is different from the other, making me fall in love with Acqua over and over again.

For starters, we had thinly sliced then diced salmon fillet drizzled with citrus dressing and shaved fennel salad. The fennel tasting a bit like licorice goes well with the lemony taste of the salmon.

Thinly sliced salmon

Barley soup was then served. Tomato based soup with barley pearls and smoked ham. I just love the fresh and clean taste of barley.

Barley Soup

The next course is not just intriguing but delectably good as well. If I remember it correctly, this was Miss Aissa Dela Cruz’s Favorite in the coursed meal. Squid ink noodles with cream peas. Chef Marco prepared the squid ink and had noodles absorbed it overnight.

Squid Ink Noodles

The main dish was my personal favorite! Rack of lamb on grilled polenta and ratatouille of vegetables with rosemary. I had my lamb done medium well.

Lamb

Lastly, the dessert! White chocolate and Cinnamon Parfait with prune compote. Light and not that sweet dessert was just heavenly!

White Choco and Cinammon Parfait

Ti AMo Roma Mia!

Restaurant: Roma Mia, Ayala Terraces

Restaurant Type: Casual Dining

Food Class: Pasta, Pizza, Grill (Italian/American)
Mode of Payment: Cash/ Card
Wifi Zone: Yes
I love Roma Mia’s Godfather Chops in herb Sauce so I suggested we eat there. We have eaten at Roma Mia countless times but this is the first time I blog about Roma Mia. hehe
I and Sinjin ordered Godfather Chops in Herb Sauce(Price: 198php), Shake ordered Godfather Chops in Gravy Sauce (Price: 170php) and Edd ordered Mobster Meal(Price: 160php: an IT Park Exclisive) Baby Back Ribs with Iced Tea (Price: 70php).

If you like herbs then you will love Roma Mia’s Godfather Chops in Herb Sauce. Minced Herbs (probably Thyme, Ground Pepper and Oregano) in olive oil! The tender meat of the chops compliments well with the herbs. Side dish are a corn slice, 2 short carrot sticks and 2 short bean sticks. I ordered a glass of refillable Iced tea with my chop.
As for the Godfather Chop in gravy sauce, tender chops in a bed of semi sweet gravy. Side dish is corn slice, 2 short carrot sticks and 2 short bean sticks.

Baby Back Ribs grilled but not overdone and brushed with sweet barbeque sauce! Side dish is 2 short carrot blocks. But would personally prefer Tara’s Cafe Version over Roma Mia’s Baby Back Ribs.

I just love Roma Mia’s Godfather Chops. I have ordered both chops(in herb sauce and gravy sauce) at their Ayala Branch, though their’s a little inconsistency with the porkchop size and quantity of the sauce, and would say have to say both are my favorite chops of all time! hehe
But of course, not everyone loves herbs right? If you don’t like herbs, then definitely you’d not be pleased with Godfather chops in herb sauce. Order the Godfather Chops in Gravy sauce instead. : )
Service at Roma Mia would sometimes go lousy though, which i think is the downside of the resto. Nonetheless, would go back for those yummy and flavorful Chops!

Mr. Lion The tiger sitting in the cozy Roma Mia IT Park Branch!
Blog Entry created August 6, 2009.