It was my second time to be here, a three story restaurant, hidden mostly to the publice eye. It is situated in the compound of Padre Pio Church, making most of its regular patrons church goers.
Hopefully this review will persuade you to visit them as well. It’s like a giant hole in a wall offering Italian cuisine with a Filipino touch.
I met again here, owner Ms. Mary Rose Pena, a passionate food entepreneur and a compassionate person. For one, she employs individuals with special needs. The foodies and I had a chance to meet Paolo and Ibarra. They are tasked mainly inside the kitchen, and sometimes they are given the green light to serve and interact with customers.
For the food, we shared quite a feast with only a handful of us present. It started with some refreshing greens, The Roasted Veggie Salad, a relatively simple bowl of romaine, bell peppers, cucumbers and unfamiliar alfalfa.
It got sinful right after with a plate of crunchy Lasagna Fritti, a deep fried lasagna, shaped and looking like fried chicken fingers. I highly recommended this for your starter.
For more filling mains, we got three types of Italian’s cornerstore dish, pasta. We had delicious sets of classic Meatball Spaghetti, upscale seafood Frutti di Mare and my favorite, Pesto with Grilled Chicken.
If there’s pasta, pizza is around as well. Our team had two kinds, a really cheesy one dubbed as Tres Formaggi Pizza, a three cheese combination of mozarella, emmental and fermented blue cheese; and the uniquely made American inspired, Breakfast Pizza which had crunchy and smokey bacon, ham and perfectly prepared poached eggs.
And we weren’t done just yet. Next were meats, and the table welcomed both pork and beef. We had screaming tender and well-seasoned 14-Hour Porchetta, topped with caramelized nuts and for some spicy kick, garlic confit. This celebrated best seller also came with three dips, all distinctly different in mix, olive-fig tapenade, au jus gravy and staple, balsamic vinaigrette.
Osso Bucco arrived and it got everyone’s senses going. And this too was one of my top picks that late morning. The tasty beef was super soft, almost melting in your mouth! The secret behind its texture is a 72-hour slow cooking process. The patience to make this masterpiece is mind blowing! You gotta have this with rice as well, since its rich tomato sauce with loads of olives added even more flavor to it.
Finally dessert arrived and it signified that all our savory journey has ended. Cucina’s Apple Pie Ala Mode was a suitable finish. It was subtly sweet, fruity, creamy and cold. I loved both its taste and presentation.
If you wish you were born in Europe for all the wonderful cuisine they have there, don’t fret as Cucina di Francesco somehow transports you to that continent. Am hoping your experience would be as lovely as mine. Let me know how it goes for you, alright?