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Nicanor Garcia Street, more popularly known as (and formerly named) Reposo, has a history as colorful and mystifying as the murals that border it. In 2008, Cebu Smile featured a detailed history of Reposo. During the early years, Reposo (meaning repose) was a cemetery and a park—“making it literally a place of rest. From a hushed route lined by rice fields and some vintage houses, Reposo evolved into an active stretch with factories and residences that shared the area in the 70's. By the 90's, Reposo started to develop into the arts hub it is today.
The present N. Garcia doesn't sell itself short to the past Reposo. Just outside the Ayala Center business district, the short road provides a serene escape from the loud and dynamic Makati life. Today, the lane is dotted with showrooms, galleries and restaurants that merge to create an aesthetic Reposo experience.
Italian restaurants are everywhere, but the first-rate ones are hard to find. In Reposo, three authentic Italian restaurants prove to be tough competitors—“L' Incontro, Caffé Caruso and L' Ambasciata d' Abruzzo.
L' Incontro, owned by Italian chef Gino Martinel, has been around for a decade proving its superiority in Italian cuisine. The restaurant has a plump menu filled with Italian favorites like risotti, grilled steaks and fish, pastas, ravioli and pizzas. Among the many must-try dishes are the T-bone Steak (P980) and Pescatora Pasta (P330). Aside from the dishes, the restaurant has an extensive wine list containing white wines, red wines, French wines and sparkling wines.
Another certified Italian, Dario Gardini owns Caffé Caruso. The thick menu contains 98 dishes including an impressive line of house specialties. Among the must-try specialties are the Octopus in Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon and Fresh Salmon with Lemon and Orange Flavor. Red wines, white wines, sparkling wines and champagnes are also available.
The youngest among the three, L' Ambasciata d' Abruzzo, takes pride in its Italian home-style pizza and pasta dishes. A must-try pasta dish is the Linguine Alla Scoglio (P320)—“contains clams, mussels, squids and shrimps in white wine sauce. Among the pizzas, visitors should try the simple yet delectable Quattro Formaggi/Four Cheese Pizza (P340). The menu also has a long list of house wines.
While the Italian restaurants may provide classy dining, other bistros in Reposo offer exciting combinations.
Caffé Ricco-Renzo mixes the culinary and visual arts. Services like framing and painting restoration are offered. There are also numerous artworks to view while enjoying the dishes of Caffé Ricco-Renzo. The menu is packed with dishes for breakfast all the way to late-night snacks. Among the must-try meals are the Filet Mignon (P580) and Moroccan Pasta (P320).
Le Coude Rouge inside Alliance FranÃ§aise de Manille combines learning with dining. This restaurant serves authentic French cuisine with prices ranging from P100 to P550. Diners can enjoy the various French dishes served by the friendly and French-speaking Filipino staff.
The Wine Depot and Purple Feet combo is the perfect spot for wine enthusiasts and foodies. Wine Depot has a top-of-the-line wine collection sorted by variety and region. Inside the wine shop is an open restaurant called Purple Feet where diners can choose their dishes from the blackboard menus. Somewhat hidden (without any outdoor signage whatsoever), this restaurant continues to gain patrons through positive word of mouth. Among the must-try dishes are the Portobello Mushrooms with Stilton Cheese (P550) and Mixed Seafood Spaghetti (P400).