Lombardi’s – An Italian Surprise in Manila
When in Manila, it can be a challenge to find an authentic Italian dining place.
Even with the smorgasbord of pseudo-Italian fast food joints, satisfying your palate when it craves for genuine Italian flavors, can be less satisfying that you expected. It’s good to know that at the heart of the bustling city, surrounded by traffic jams, you can find a nice little restaurant that serves an Italian food fare with ingredients directly imported from Europe — Lombardi’s.
Lombardi’s has two branches in the metro, one in Robinsons Magnolia and the other in Shangri-La East Wing.
One Saturday afternoon, we had the privilege to try out Lombardi’s in Shangri-La East Wing and be introduced to Italian flavors without booking a flight to the said European country.
Upon entering, it doesn’t instantly exude an Italian restaurant vibe. It misses the brick columns and the amber-lit surroundings. The Robinsons Magnolia branch, however, has an Al Fresco area that allows customers to dine and wine and wine until the clock hits 12 midnight. Still, Lombardi’s modernized look appeals to us and its ambiance is comfortable enough to hang out with family or friends.
Something we noticed in the restaurant is its live pasta making activity by the door. According to Lombardi’s, they make their pasta fresh in-house. When we checked the pasta-making area, they were crafting the black pasta. The pasta got its dark color with the use of squid ink.
While chit-chatting and waiting for our food, we were served with wine. Wine is a staple drink in Italy, and a healthy one when taken in moderation. Chef Lombardi mentioned that a glass of wine is good for the heart. Two glasses at most for men.
After a few sips of the wine, I started to feel the alcohol. Apparently, the wine we drank has an alcoholic content of 13.5%. Chef Lombardi told us that a good wine has a rating of at least 12%. Some even go as high as 14%. Wines with 11% or below aren’t good wines, he added.
A few minutes into the drinking session, our food arrived one by one.