Il Ponticello is one of the restaurants on my forever expanding list from many years ago. I was not able to visit it to try their Italian menu and by the time I got a chance it became more of a party/hangout place which is not my scene. I finally got my chance to visit when they reopened under new management and a new culinary team headed by Chef Panky Lopez. Their menu delves into Southern Italian cooking in contrast to the Northern Italian cooking dominant in our restaurant landscape.
We started the preview lunch with some antipasti with the Portobello alla Griglia (P490/lower right) being the most enjoyable.
Mozzarella in Carrozza (P220) was my hands down favorite appetizer during our special lunch preview at Il Ponticello. Small pieces of bread filled with mozzarella, pan fried in butter until golden brown and finished off with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. There’s a surprise sweetness once you get to the middle of the sandwich bite which you’ll find out is a bit of honey which really appeals to my sweet craving taste buds.
Crema di Taratufo (P450). Truffle paste, truffle oil, Porcini mushrooms with fettucine pasta. At first glance, Irene and I thought we would hate this one because we are truffle averse. A bite was all it took to banish all those thoughts away. The truffle is there in aroma but it’s the earthiness of the porcini that is eviden.
Gnocchi Amatriciana (P390). I love gnocchi in general but this just tasted flat to me.
Lasagna Carbonara (P420). A crazy combination of everything good with carbonara and lasagana and topped it with a oozy egg yolk. This is indulgent, with liberal amounts of mozzarella cream, pancetta and Grana Padano to finish.
Pizzas are up next, Il Ponticello’s pizzas are hand made, hand tossed and hand stretched Roman style.
The Pizza Valdostana (P520) was a stunner with generous amounts of arugula on top of Parma Ham, Gorgonzola cream and mozzarella. Our favorite pizza of that lunch, the combination of smoky meat and peppery arugula just can not be beat.
Pizza Tartufo (P520). Porcini Mushroom, Truffle paste and cream and drizzled with truffle oil. This is the pizza equivalent of the tartufo pasta. Good but Valdostana still trumps it because of the simpler flavors.
Rotolo (P480). Small pizza rolls filled with mortadella ham, ricotta cheese, tomato cream sauce with a dollop of pesto. They’ve simplified the rolled pizza and mad it less messy with this creation. I’d still pick the previous two pizzas over this one, even though it was pretty unique.
Chilean Seabass in Bottiglia (P1,400). This dish is quite pricey and a bit hip as it’s served in a mason jar. Pan fried seabass with a seafood broth enhanced by sausage slices, clams, and mussels. The fish was flaky and possessed a spicy piquant flavor.
Porchetta alla Romana (P390/solo, P1,200/1 kg.). Roasted pork belly with a crackling skin and stuffed with fennel and garlic. The solo portion is quite a good deal as it’s paired with some rice pilaf and pommery mustard, all for only P390.
The Presto was rather boring but well executed. Perfectly grilled prawns with cherry tomatoes and a side of trofie pesto.
Flat Iron Steak (P590). A USDA choice flat iron steak that makes up for it’s lack of marbling with lots of meaty beef flavors. Cooked to a nice medium, pair it with the citrus vinaigrette summer salad and mashed potatoes.
We finally got thru the savory dishes to get to the dazzling plates of dessert. I got to try the Caramelo di Semolina (P290), Budino al Cioccolato (P390), Cheesecake Panna Cotta (P290) and the Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel (P290). My favorites were definitely the panna cotta with the playful Cheesecake Panna Cotta topping the quartet, jiggly vanilla panna cotta probably because it had a bit more gelatin but I love it anyway. It has small cheesecake cubes, caramel sauce and crushed graham strewn over it. The dark chocolate should delight chocoholics as it’s less flanny and more creamy, that little bit of salt on top served to enhance.
Cannoli (P290). This was probably the best cannoli I’ve had so far. The cinnamon pastry is so thin and crispy and serves to contrast with the creamy ricotta inside. They add chocolate morsels, nuts and dusted with powdered sugar.
Il Ponticello has grown up with its previous patrons, the place is sophisticated and the food matches up with it. They’ve still got a great looking bar as well as a not finished as of our visit lounge area. Chef Panky’s food is familiar, well executed and possesses a few surprises here and there. The place is a great escape for lunch or a relaxing place to chill after work.
Il Ponticello2/F Antel 2000 Bldg. 121 Valero St. Salcedo Village Makati City, Philippines Contact No.: (632) 553 9971/ (63949) 760-8731 Operating Hours: Mon- Thurs – 11:30 am to 2:30pm, 6 pm to 12 am Fri – 11:30 am to 2:30pm, 6 pm to 2 am Sat. – 6 pm to 2 am
Facebook Page: Il Ponticello
Like this post? Subscribe to Tales From The Tummy by Email
Follow Tales From the Tummy on Google+