Italian cuisine never fails to come up with new ideas to make ancient recipes sparkle with wonderful flavor.
Known for its simplicity, it can yet boast as one of the richest and most varied cooking in the world. Not surprisingly, many Italian dishes have only four to eight ingredients that make up the basic fare.
I am always on the look out for authentic Italian restaurants. It is a delight to discover some of them in my foodie explorations. Caffe Puccini is one such truly homey Italian cafe with its unmistakable lovely and romantic ambiance.
Together with my lively friends, we tried out this enticing joint. We started our meal with a basket of freshly baked bread served with liver pate. The smooth and rich liver pate served to our liking was a great complement to the light and airy bread. It was enough to sate our appetites. But voracious eaters as we were, we yearned for more.
We became excited to try something new and opted for the Arugula and Mango salad with balsamic vinegar. Arugula, which has a fresh peppery mustard flavor, is an herb that’s gaining wider acceptance as a key ingredient in fresh salads. The mango added in it gives a sweet, juicy and refreshing kick to the dish. Far from filling our hungry tummies, it served to tease our appetite instead.
Then came the more difficult part, that is, to choose from among the wide array of pasta being offered to the delight of the group. Being a pasta lover myself, I had to decide first which to choose from, what with the tempting choices being presented before me all craving for my attention. The choices consisted of whether I would have a tomato-based, or cream-based, or oil-based pasta. Without much ado, I settled for Fettuccine with mushrooms in truffle oil. It turned out to be a great choice because mushrooms really do go well with pasta. The pasta itself was well-seasoned, cooked al dente and had a rich and full-bodied flavor.
Caffe Puccini is also known for its risotto, a rice dish flavored with a variety of ingredients cooked with broth. This is a nice spinoff from the usual plain steamed rice or fried rice. It is a playful mix of cream, seafood, cheese and spices simmered in perfectly cooked rice that made it aromatic and flavorful. Indeed, it would be more difficult not to be truly enamored by this dish.
The menu says it all from classic pizza and pasta dishes to seafood and steak. A distinguishing feature is the “make-your-own pizza metro” with length that can range from .5m to 1m long. Overall, the experience was worth the money we spent as all our expectations were met. Now I know why it remains on top of many people’s favorite list of Italian restaurants that offer authentic Italian cuisine.
Caffe Puccini Unit 12, The Fort Strip Bonifacio Global City Taguig City, Metro Manila Philippines (02) 816-3055 http://www.caffepuccini.com Disclosure: Nothing to disclose, we paid for our meals.