Il Piccino Trattoria – a quaint house in San Juan serving home-cooked Italian dishes
“Set in 1925, Il Piccino Trattoria is the ancestral home of the Limkako-Mejia family. Although the house has undergone several restorations, its entirety is still as it was when a Spaniard by the name of Primitivo Jason built the house.
“It is filled not only with antique fixtures and furniture, shiny wooden plank floors, wide capiz shell windows, but also tales and stories of the next generations encompassing the Spanish era, Japanese war and American occupation. These have built up Il Piccino’s charm and character as it continues to be a place of entertaining people and hosting parties.”
“A lover of food, resident home chef Natalia Moran opened their home to gourmands and foodies alike who would like to have an enjoyable Italian dinner set in their romantic and unpretentious home. Il Piccino Trattoria opened their doors when Natalia returned from Italy after a culinary adventure at Apicus Culinary School and Ganzo Restaurant in Florence.”
“Il Piccino Trattoria offers simple Italian menus which burst with flavors and character. Dining is always special with excellent food, great company and a relaxing homey atmosphere.”
While waiting for our food, we munched on toasted breads with parmesan cheese, together with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip.
We were each given a glass of unsweetened freshly brewed Il Piccino Trattoria iced tea, which was truly refreshing! Perfect drink to balance the hot summer nights.
Then, we started with Il Piccino Trattoria’s fresh salad, which was livened up with a slice of melon wrapped in prosciutto ham and seasoned with sesame-vinaigrette dressing.
sweet roasted squash ravioli with sage butter
eggplant ravioli in tomato sauce
spinach gnocchi with sage butter
Il Piccino Trattoria’s meatless home-made soft dumplings were cooked al dente. Among the fantastic pasta pillows, our favorite was the stuffed spinach gnocchi. I was salivating every time my fork slices the ravioli open – seeing the juice come out from the finely chopped leaves and bringing the piece of beauty to my mouth was love at first bite. Luckily, Il Piccino is selling frozen products, too, which are available in Connie’s Kitchen Deli (New Manila and Greenhills Stall) and EchoMarket in Serendra. This is such wonderful news for people like me who loves to eat raviolis but do not know how to make them :p So when I am craving for Il Piccino Trattoria’s special home-made raviolis, I will just pop them out from the freezer and ask the husband to boil it for me.
Moving on to the next course, Il Piccino Trattoria’s pan seared fish fillet was moist and tender inside. It had a clean slightly salty flavor that was partnered with fresh tomato salsa, pesto arugula and lemon vinaigrette.
I’ve had plenty of sorbets already. But nothing’s quite as good as a home-made granita to wake up the palate. The large flakes of ice in Il Piccino Trattoria’s granita was very refreshing – like slushies with a crisp melon flavor with more than a hint of ginger.
dijon-rubbed beef tenderloin
We had three delectable Il Piccino entrees. The first was beef tenderloin, which could have been more satisfying if it was cooked medium to medium-well, but the taste was nevertheless fantastic! I liked how the dijon mustard really seeped into the meat and how well it complemented the beef.
rosemary-marinated lamb chops
Most people do not like lamb chops because these are naturally gamy and greasy; but, Il Piccino Trattoria’s version was surprisingly mellow, which made it more pleasant for everyone’s taste, especially when paired with their super yummy long-grain rice pilaf. I love lamb chops and for this food trip, Il Piccino Trattoria’s lamb chop entree was my personal favorite, together with the spinach gnocchi of course 🙂
roast pork roll with mashed potato and veggies
I like pairing grilled or roasted pork with applesauce. When Il Piccino Trattoria’s pork roll arrived, I was delighted to see sauteed apples with it – these sweeties totally rocked this dish.
Capping off one fine evening with the creamiest mango panna cotta was just wonderful! With the homey ambiance, we could have stayed here till the wee hours of the morning. Even the party at the long table outside was having an enjoyable time 🙂
WHEN IN MANILA, bring your friends, a date, or family to come and experience Il Piccino Trattoria. Remember that dining is by reservations only – so you have to reserve at least one day in advance to make sure you get a table. It is also best to pre-order your meals to assure stress-free, total enjoyment of the Il Piccino Trattoria experience.
Il Piccino Trattoria e Gastronomia
162 Alfonso XIII Street, Pasadena, San Juan City
CLOSED on Wednesday
Friday and Saturday: 6pm – 12 mn
Sunday-Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday: lunch/dinner available for group reservations of 6-20 pax
For catering services and/or reservations, please call:
Facebook: Il Piccino
***Menus change per season, and are posted on Il Piccino Trattoria’s facebook page.
WhenInManila photos by JoTan23