(SPOT.ph) Pasta may not be Filipino, but we’ve certainly embraced it as our own—arguably, no celebration is complete without a plate of spaghetti or carbonara. We just can’t get enough of this Italian specialty so we’ve rounded up a list of the best spots around the Metro where you can satisfy your pasta cravings—whatever shape, size, or sauce.
For the best pasta in the Metro, check out these places:
Va Bene Pasta Deli
Va Bene was one of Makati’s best-kept secrets when it first opened in 2010—and then word quickly spread that this is indeed the go-to place for authentic Italian cuisine. How could you go wrong with fresh pasta that’s made upon order? Taste the difference when you get the bestselling Organic Eggs Tagliatelle (P440) where the handmade noodles are prepared à la minute with a white-wine cream sauce, Portobello mushrooms, and truffle oil—in fact, we named it Manila's best truffle pasta. Even their stuffed pasta is freshly prepared like the scrumptious Veal Cheeks Spinach Ravioli (P580), which is something you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
See a list of Va Bene Pasta Deli branches.
It looks and feels like home, but see the plated dishes and you’d think that you’re at some gourmet establishment. Francesco’s Kitchen allows its diners a glimpse of Italian culture and design through the dark-wood furniture pieces and red brick walls accented with Venetian masquerade masks. But the food is really the star here, especially the freshly made pasta. Spoil yourself with the Ossobuco in Gremolada con Fettucine Alfredo (P1,280), a hearty veal shank stew with creamy pasta to go along with it. The Orecchiette con le cime de Rapa e Bottarga (P580) is also something special—it might be a tongue-twister but your taste buds will straight-up like the ear-shaped pasta with spicy broccolini, garlic, and anchovies.
Francesco’s Kitchen is at 863 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City.
No need to book a trip to Siargao just to get a taste of Kermit’s Italian cuisine that created buzz all the way from the famed surfing destination. Their Manila branch in Poblacion maintains the laid-back vibe that makes it easy for you to chill and just have a good time even without the waves. Their pizza may be legendary in Siargao, but do leave space for their pasta that’s made in-house. The Tagliatelle alla Tartufata (P420) would meet any gourmand's expectations, especially once you have the aromatic pasta that’s blanketed by thin slices of Parma ham and a sprig of basil. If you chance upon the tagliatelle pasta with prawns cooked in crab fat sauce—usually a part of their weekly specials—make sure to order that for yourself. You won't want to share!
Kermit Manila is at 4636 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Trufa Pasta Bar
Anything with truffle is good in our book, which is why you can’t go wrong with a restaurant that’s named after it. Trufa Pasta Bar is not your average pasta place—it highlights a marriage of cultures and flavors between Italy and Spain. Ever heard of pastaella? They have that here in the form of Pastaella Con Pollo Y Chorizo (P225)—it’s their version of paella that’s made with orzo pasta instead of the usual rice grain, and this particular one has grilled chicken and chorizo. You also have the liberty to make your own pasta dish here: Diners can choose their own salsa (sauce), pasta noodle, and alegria (toppings). Pick their signature Trufa sauce with mushroom ravioli and add pancetta or more cheese, if you want to go all out. Good news for the health-conscious—you can opt for whole-wheat pasta at no extra cost!
Trufa Pasta Bar is at 109 Esteban Street, Planters Building, Unit A, Makati City; G/F Paseo Parkview Suites, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
The famous rib-eye steak might have put Mamou on the map, but really, it’s the all-around wholesome vibe and family-style dishes that make foodies come back again and again. Along with the prime cuts, the pasta offerings have gained popularity as well, particularly Lorenzo’s Truffle Cream (P395), which blends truffle-flavored cream with Grana Padano cheese. For something light yet satisfying, there’s Mamou’s Linguine Vongole (P365) or linguine pasta in a white clam sauce. Pro tip: Bring a bottle of Pinot Grigio if you plan to order these dishes—there's no corkage fee, anyway!
Mamou is at G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City; UG/F, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City; and G/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City.
Da Gianni Cucina Italiana
Fantastic food coupled with a welcoming atmosphere makes the drive down south to Da Gianni well worth the trip. Everything on their menu is as as close to what you'd get in Italy, like the fresh pasta. Cheese fans would die for the Pasta Burrata Cheese (P390), which has homemade tagliatelle cooked in tomato sauce and basil, topped with gooey burrata. Another must-try that’s surprisingly filling is the Gnocchi with Ragu Della Nonna (P380), with pillowy potato dough covered in rich tomato sauce. Get a glass of vino and you’re good to go.
Da Gianni Cucina Italiana is at Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City.
For over two decades now, Cibo has cooked up Italian specialties by Margarita Forés, who was named Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2016. From a modest coffee and panini place, it has evolved into a full-fledged restaurant that combines the use of top-quality products from purveyors in Italy with fresh harvests from local farmers. You’ll see and taste their choice ingredients in their soups, salads, sandwiches, and even pasta. An old favorite is the Penne Al Telefono (P435/solo; P765/family size), with penne pasta that is doused in a delicious blend of stewed tomatoes, cream sauce, and basil. Another must-try is the Linguine Alla Nettuno (P365/solo; P635/family size), seafood pesto made with extra-virgin olive oil.
See a list of Cibo branches.
Nonna’s Pasta & Pizzeria
If you’re familiar with Mama Lou’s, chances are, you’ve heard of their quirky little sister, Nonna’s. Though both showcase their respect for traditional Italian food, what sets this relatively newer restaurant apart is their bold, reinvented Italian fare. With their extensive menu, you’re sure to find something you like, but do zero in on the freshly made pasta that uses a unique dough recipe. Fall in love with the Salted Egg Tagliatelle (P265), a one-of-a-kind offering that blends a salted egg flavor with smoky bacon and creamy Alfredo sauce. Want to indulge some more? The Foie & Honey (P450) won’t disappoint, especially since it brings together mac and cheese, buttery foie gras, and savory-sweet honey. One bite and you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.
Nonna’s Pasta & Pizzeria is at Level 3, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City; and Commune Hall, 3/F Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
The Frazzled Cook
Don’t be fooled by their name—not a thing seems worn out at The Frazzled Cook. It may have an eccentric appearance—with the circular blue entrance plus plates and utensils hanging on the walls—but there’s no doubt that you’ll be satisfied with dishes that focus on international cuisine (think soup, salad, steak, and paella). Don’t miss out on their pasta offerings such as Spicy Shrimp Pasta (P295/solo; P415/family size), a simple dish that highlights the use of quality ingredients. If you’re not afraid of some heat, this spaghetti tossed in freshly grilled sliced garlic and shrimp that’s drizzled in olive oil will hit the spot. Going meatless? Try their version of Truffle Pasta (P325/solo; P515/family size), which has sautéed Portobello mushroom and homemade white truffle sauce. Need we say more?
The Frazzled Cook is at 78 Scout Gandia Street, Laging Handa, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
It’s easy to miss this unassuming restaurant amidst their busy surroundings, but once you locate La Spezia, your palate will be grateful for a taste of traditional Italian eats sans pizza. You’ll hardly miss the pie since you'll easily find comfort with their well-curated selection of pasta dishes. There’s the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (P450) that’s made with a 63-degree sous vide egg, adding richness and creaminess to the dish. With pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano, it’s as close as you’d get to the real thing.
La Spezia is at 90 Scout Lazcano Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City.