New Restaurant Alert: Cuore Bistro & Social Lounge at Jupiter Street, Makati
The sangria goes straight to your head, but the food is from the heart.
Cuore Bistro & Social Lounge
Valdelcon Building, 20 Jupiter Street, Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City
Open daily from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) You might have trouble finding Cuore along densely populated Jupiter Street, but if you speak a smattering of Italian (we credit all those years of scouring trattoria menus), then you would know that you just need to find the "heart." The small neon sign marks the location of college friends Kate So and Mau Aguasin's first business venture together—a cozy lounge that serves their take on comfort food and libations. "Our friends and I don't really know where to hang out anymore," says the retired party girls, who have joined up with family and friends in the business. "So, we decided to open our own place where we can just chill."
Very intimate vibe
This is what you're looking for.
It reminds us of a fireplace.
Kate explains that cuore comes from the old Italian word meaning "heart," a word Mau picked up from her travels. "It's the perfect name for the lounge," Mau explains, "since we really put a lot of love into the conceptualization of the place, the menu, everything." The interiors set the mood for either date night or the beginnings of a rowdy get-together—intimate, dimly lit, with a well-stocked bar as centerpiece.
Sweet Stolen Kisses (P340 to P540) with Parma ham, arugula, and a raspberry vinaigrette
Mozzarella and tomatoes in the Skinny Love (P220)
When Our Eyes Met
The One Who Got Away
The menu reads like the pages of a romance novel, with each dish attached to a sweet memory. We suggest you start with When Our Eyes Met (P260)—fried baby squid calamari with both marinara and aioli dips. The crispy batter is well-seasoned enough on its own that a mere squeeze of lemon is enough to round out the dish. Their nacho fries are called The One Who Got Away (P295), and aptly so. Forget about the calories because you'll probably be thinking about these fried potato wedges smothered in cheese sauce and salsa late at night, wondering, "What if?" Just go for it.
My Kind of Man
Although Cuore is not officially an Italian restaurant, the owners' love for pasta and pizza makes it the focus of their menu. Chorizo lovers will find satisfaction in the Second Date (P345 to P575), which is a pasta bowl of al dente fusilli pasta tossed with chorizo, cherry tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan. As for Cuore's interpretation of My Kind of Man (P360 to P640), they hit the nail on the head with a creamy, meaty carbonara. "We like 'em chunky," Mau laughingly reveals.
Hangovers are eased by the Mornings After (P485), which is their interpretation of a breakfast pizza. The thin, chewy crust is topped generously with bacon, runny quail eggs, and spinach. They finish the meal strong with the Dolce Maria (P280), which are pillowy churros coated in cinnamon sugar, swirls of salted caramel, and vanilla ice cream. "We haven't met anyone who doesn't like this dish," Kate says.
They'll come out for Cuoretails, too!
Gin and Tonic
The young owners encourage diners to linger, sharing that they call Cuore a "social lounge" for a reason. "We're hoping that people come into the lounge to interact, not just with their group but with others," Mau says. For those who need liquid courage, the Sangria (P280) is a bestseller. Not only is it fruity and refreshing, it gives you the right buzz to get social.
Open until late, Cuore has that neighborhood joint vibe which is laidback enough for a casual drink yet dressy enough for a date. Charming and approachable—it just might steal your heart.
Photos by Majoy Siason