Marikina City is growing to becoming a food hub on the east side of Metro Manila.
However, when people hear Marikina City, Lilac Street is what instantly comes to mind.
Unknown to many, Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue in Marikina City is another bustling street for good food and great places to chill. Insider tip even said that there will be several food parks opening along this street.
Hidden in this strip of restaurants, bars, and upcoming food parks is this charming and unassuming Italian bistro that has a smorgasbord of amazing food served on reasonable portions at reasonable prices, Grissini Ristorante Marikina.
Grissini is the Italian word for breadsticks.
Grissini Ristorante Marikina is originally from Naga City, Camarines Sur. The owners brought it here to give us a taste of Italian food that people from Naga City rave about. Although the Naga City branch has wider selection (they have Laing and Bicol Express pizza flavors there), there is still a lot of choices in the Marikina City branch. Also, the Marikina City branch offers more cakes and desserts that the other branch lacks.
If you want to go on a date here or just hangout with friends, price is pretty reasonable. Their dishes range between P190 to P400, and you can certainly share.
From the outside, Grissini Ristorante Marikina may look small but it can actually seat 100 guests. It has a separate function area if you want to book it for your event.
We sampled their bestsellers and here’s what we tried when we visited Grissini Ristorante Marikina.
Insalata Dello Chef (P210)
A symphony of mixed greens, fresh fruits, roasted nuts, and raspberry vinaigrette. The greens are crunchy as well as the nuts. The fruits add a little sweetness to the salad. The raspberry sauce add acidity to it.
Salmone Rosa Carpaccio (P215)
This is a plateful of thinly sliced pink salmon with capers and onions drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. This is a refreshing dish to start off a meal. The toasted capers add crunch, which makes the dish more interesting.
Zuppa di Ressa (P130)
This hearty soup is pumpkin puree, cream, bacon, and basil oil.
Ravioli Buscaiola (P230) and Ravioli di Spinaci (P220)
For buscaiola, inside the ravioli are mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. It is topped with pomodoro sauce.
For spinachi, inside the ravioli are spinach and Feta cheese. It is topped with cream sauce.
Spaghetti Maremonte (P228) and Pasta alla Vongole (P265)
Spaghetti Maremonte is a pasta dish of spaghetti with mixed seafood, chili flakes, and pomodoro sauce. If you want a seafood spaghetti pasta with a kick, this is the one to get.
Meanwhile, Pasta alla Vongole is tagliatelle pasta in olive oil with clams, Parma ham, spinach, garlic, and chili flakes.
Capriciosa (starts at P250) and Quattro Formaggio (starts at P240)
I liked Grissini’s thin-crust pizzas. The crust are thin and crunchy but still chewy. The crust complement the toppings well without overpowering it. In some cases, thick crust pizza tend to get you feel full with the bread without enjoying the toppings. Not for these pizzas.
The Capriciosa (left) is topped with all the works including Italian sausage, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, bacon, bell pepper, onions, anchovies, capers, Mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese while the Quattro Formaggio (right) is topped with Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and cream cheese. As a big cheese fan, I enjoy the Quattro Formaggio. However, the Capriciosa is a close second.
Salmone Rosa (P385)
When I go back to Grissini, this is the dish I’m definitely not leaving without indulging on again. The two pieces of salmon are heavenly and the pasta on the side complement the salmon well. Salmone Rosa is grilled pink samon, aglio olio pasta, and lemon caper sauce.
Porchetta con Patate (P220)
This is a dish best described as a labor of love. It is roast pork belly stuffed with basil topped with herbed gravy and served with marble potatoes on the side. It takes quite some time to perfect that roast pork belly.
Risotto Nero (P225)
Feeling adventurous? Grissini Ristorante has a dish of rissotto on squid ink, sauteed squid rings, and chili flakes. Order this on your first date and smile with every mouthful. If they still like you, they are a keeper. :)
Of course, leave room for desserts…
Panna Cotta (P65)
Huge fan of this. I finished this with minimal sharing. The panna cotta is not too sweet and it is creamy. The fruits doesn’t only make the dessert look pretty, they make it taste pretty too.
Chocolate Caramel Cake (P130), NY Baked Cheesecake (P155), and Tiramisu (180)
The Chocolate Caramel Cake is most chocolate sponge with caramel custard and rich chocolate ganache. Hearts included. :)
The NY Baked Cheesecake is light and creamy. It lies on a Graham crust. The blueberry toppings work well with cheesecake below it. Not a big fan of the white cream topping though, I feel this cake could do great even without that.
The Tiramisu is homemade lady fingers, Mascarpone, Marsala, and chocolate sponge. It’s sweet and bitter, but not overwhelming.
Grissini Ristorante Marikina is an underappreciated Italian bistro tucked in the relaxing street Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue. I really like its location because that street is line with trees. It makes you feel like an escape from the crowded city just a quick drive away.
Grissini is for foodies who want to try something new without overspending, for friends looking for a comfortable place to hangout, or for couples who want to go out on date night. It is also a nice place for a small gathering.
The place is really cozy and the food is good. Try it!
Grissini Ristorante Marikina
Open: 11AM to 10PM
Facebook: Grissini Ristorante Marikina
*Full disclosure: The meal is complimentary as guests ofGrissini Ristorante Marikina. In order to give you accurate input for your food trips, which is very important to us as always, we made sure the content on this review shows our personal experience and honest opinions.