CHECK IT OUT: Aria Cucina Italia at Bonifacio Global City

Boracay’s famed Italian restaurant opens in Manila.

Aria Cucina Italiana
East Superblock, 30th Street, corner 7th Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel. No. 623-0119
Open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily

Modern Italian fare at Aria. Click for more.

 

(SPOT.ph) Four walls, yes, but there's that feeling of infinite lightness. Inside, a palette of taupe chairs, white walls, and off-white accents fill up the space, and a curious wooden web divides the dining area, creating an intimate but open atmosphere. Indeed, when Aria Cucina Italiana opened in Manila in January, it was like a piece of Boracay landed in the city.

 

As one of the most popular dining spots in the country's top beach destination, Aria did not mess with its primary selling point-a combination of good food and terrific ambience. Restaurateurs Juan Elizalde and Paolo Occhionero retained the original Boracay menu with a few additions specially crafted by Aria Cucina Italiana-Manila's chef Marino Leonardis. Leonardis hails from Leguria, Italy, ensuring that he serves straight-up, authentic Italian fare. "I always make sure to use only the best ingredients, always fresh," he says. "Plus, I make everything by hand, from scratch. Even the pesto is made the original way-with a mortar and pestle."

 

For starters, go with either the Rotolino marchigiano (P390), a wood-fire, oven-baked pizza generously stuffed with tomato sauce, mushroom or ham, and mozzarella, or the Gran misto aria (P435), a vegetarian plate of tomatoes and mozzarella, grilled bell pepper salad, eggplant mash, and deep-fried zucchini. If you're eating healthy, opt for the Insalata tartufata con parma ham (P480)-that's a grilled eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, ham, and cheese salad.

 

Complete your Italian meal with pizza and pasta: you can’t go wrong with classics like the al dente Marinara (P450) and sample Pizza al metro (P1,300), a hefty combination of three pizza flavors. Sample more flavors with the Risotto con porcino, mantecato al mascarpone (P620), a creamy concoction of porcini mushrooms with with mascarpone and parmesan cheese. Another must-try, as Aria patrons attest to, is the Salmone al pepe verde (P650), a gorgeous dish of fresh salmon fillet served with a creamy green pepper sauce.

 

Photos by Sasha Lim Uy

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