When in Manila, come to Italianni’s and get to taste the unique offerings of Italy’s regions through their newest ‘Cinco Magnifico‘ selections! Last night, me and a friend were invited at Italianni’s Robinson’s Ermita branch to try their newly-launched ‘Cinco Magnifico’ dishes. We were warmly received by Italianni’s representatives upon arrival. The place isn’t that packed so everyone on our table was well-attended to. The quaint and relaxed ambiance of the place, made it easier for us to meet each other and have a good conversation.
In a nutshell, Italianni’s is a restaurant that serves Italian-American Cuisine. Some may find their food a bit expensive than the usual but the good food and quality service make it worth your money. Besides, their servings are meant for sharing so you can divide the bill among your companion(s) if you want to lol. However, If you’re looking for “authentic” Italian cuisine, Italianni’s might not be the restaurant you’re looking for. But in my opinion, I’d rather prefer Italian-American since I find it more palatable (I grew up eating Filipino-style spaghetti btw lol).
Then an Italianni’s rep started to introduce ‘Cinco Magnifico’ which means ‘Five Magnificent’ in English. Cinco Magnifico is a selection of five dishes inspired by the regions of Italy. Each has their own characteristic that best describes the produce coming from each region, namely Umbria, Marche, Lombardy, Basilicata, and Veneto.
Then we were acquainted with the dishes through a taste test. I got to taste everything except for the Lombardy. For starters, we ate the Spinach and Artichoke Formaggio which is basically spinach, artichokes, mushrooms and creamy blend of cheeses, served with toasted Tuscan garlic bread. Italianni’s make their own breads daily. Thus, they are always served fresh.
Now it’s time for the main dishes! First up is Basilicata. It is thinly-sliced grilled pork with gravy and pastry shells filled with minced veggies on the side.This dish was inspired by a mountainous region in Italy that raises crops and farm animals, particularly pigs. The meat was well-done and tender but I wish it was a bit juicier. They say that it’s one of their bestsellers. I however, was just okay with it.
Then, we got to taste the Marche, which is inspired by a region in Italy which lies somewhere along the coastline. Needless to say, seafood is their main produce. The dish is grouper (lapu-lapu) fillet served with pesto rice and mixed veggies. It was challenging to get a good angle of this dish. But what I love about it is that the veggies retained their bright color and crispness. The fish is not remarkable but this dish is healthy anyway so…
Next is Umbria, a region known for grilled meat dishes cooked with plenty of herbs. Umbria is grilled chicken fillet stuffed with asparagus and served with shitaake mushrooms and mozarella cheese sandwiched with spinach. It’s served with spring salad and marinara and pasta on the side. This is my favorite among the bunch! The chicken was really tasty and it complemented the marinara pasta. Meanwhile, the spring salad is a refreshing contrast to the two dishes. I enjoyed the harmonious blend of crisp greens and tomatoes drizzled with the sweet tanginess of balsamic vinegar. Go easy on the onions though lol.
And lastly for the main dish is Veneto. It’s a region in Italy that specializes on dairy, crops, and cattle. It’s pan-seared chicken with Romano, Parmigiano and marinara sauce served with spaghetti pasta. I didn’t give in to the chicken since I was quite full at the time. Still, I got to take a little of the spaghetti with mixed veggies and the cheesy-creamy sauce. I would’ve appreciated the pasta better hadn’t I felt like I was about to explode lol just kidding! I scooped some of the tomato, cheese and pesto on the side The taste was nothing new but i like its savory thick consistency.
The Lombardy (which I didn’t get to taste) is a region in Italy that specializes in meat, cheese, rice, and freshwater seafood. It’s fresh sauteed shrimps with assorted wild mushrooms over pasta. From the looks of it, I think you can’t go wrong with fresh seafood!
For dessert, we helped ourselves to New York Cheesecake and Chocolate Eruption. Their cheesecake was bigger than I expected; it’s probably good for 2-3 persons. I love the sweet-sour taste of the cheesecake though I have to exert a bit more effort to get a slice of it lol. It kinda reminded me of refrigerator cake; only this time I can taste the cream cheese. The strawberry syrup is heaven! It made the cheesecake more appetizing.
And this right here is the Chocolate Eruption! It’s chocolate cake with rich chocolate cream shredded nuts, choco chips and cheesecake cubes. It’s topped with chocolate curls, sliced almonds and caramel. It’s a chocolate lover’s heaven! Need I say more? However, it’s as dense as the NY cheesecake so you might wanna share it with your pals because a little goes a long way.
Overall, I rate Italianni’s an 8 out of ten. Good food, relaxed ambiance, excellent service, and the great company made it a great experience for me. Would I take my family and friends out to Italianni’s next time? Sure, it’s worth a try. Besides, it has satisfied my liking for Italian cuisine. I can’t say yet that it’s the best I’ve tried, but i surely was remarkable.
When in Manila, why don’t you try Italianni’s ‘Cinco Magnifico‘ for yourself? Who knows, you might just like it as much as I did!
Check out the other photos I took during the event: