10.19.2012

Couples' Night at Il Ponticello

Hubby was away for two weeks for a series of seminar/training in Thailand. I missed him so and was very eager to be with him when he comes back. An opportunity presented itself when emailing OpenRice for upcoming Eats A Date events, I was offered to join their first couples event. When asked about the date, it fit perfectly to our schedule -- just a few days after Hubby arrived! I gamely signed up for it and told Hubby about it, telling him that this would become our first "alone time" after he came back (yes, we would be around other people but we don't have the kids with us so it's technically an "alone time"!).

So last Tuesday, off we went to Il Ponticello in Makati. I've read rave reviews about the food, even encountered the numerous citations from various sites dedicated to rating restaurants around the Metro, so I have such high expectations that night. Upon entering Antel Suites, the receptionist told us to use the stairs going up. I was quite taken aback, I thought it was a fine dining restaurant and we were not allowed to use the elevators?! Or was it just us who were told to do that? Anyway, I didn't voice out my thoughts as Hubby didn't comment anything as were going up to the second floor. A short passageway adorned with mirrors, pseudo-torch lights and black leather couches greeted us; on the end is the doorway leading to the restaurant itself. It was dark and I had this thought that we were about to be led to some secret hideaway.


A huge painting welcomed us as we entered the door. It showed a couple crossing a bridge and on the other side is a different place, an escape where food and relaxation awaits them (perhaps giviing an idea of what's to come?). Turning right, we got a peek of the whole restaurant.


The whole restaurant is illuminated by recessive lighting, giving the whole place a romantic vibe. The candle-lit lamps on the table helped in setting the mood too, perfect for the supposed "couples' night". Stacked empty glass bottles of varying shades of green adorn the walls as accents.



Walking towards the middle, a bust of a woman seems as if she's looking at something on that area. A closer inspection shows that she's staring at the wine bar!


The group settled in our table and as the head waiter finally got the go-signal to serve the food, we were immediately served with this appetizer:


Formaggio Fondante (P230)
Oven baked spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella served with garlic crostini
Creamy mozzarella topped this dish which is half spinach and half tomatoes. I say half and half because it is indeed divided in half. I initially thought that the spinach is mixed in with the tomatoes. But when I looked at the other side of our table, our companions scooped some and got only tomatoes while on our side, they managed to scoop only spinach. So when its my turn to get some, I made sure to get a bit of both on top of my crostini. It was creamy, yes, but the tomatoes and spinach, for me lacked flavor. The crostini too doesn't taste like it was flavored with garlic.

Next served are the main courses. We were given three: two pasta dish and a pizza. Upon putting this pizza in front of me, I asked "Margherita?" but the waiter said it's not, though at first glance it does look like Pizza Margherita, right?


Pizza Picante (P290)
Spicy salami and arugula pizza

The hands-down favorite of the whole group! I was thinking that arugula will not work. Of all the salad greens, arugula is among my least favorite because of its bitterness. The arugula doesn't have any bitterness at all. It worked well with the spicy salami. Too bad, the pizza got cold fast that our companions requested that the pizza to be reheated. But reheating it did not do anything to spoil our appetite; as you would have guessed it, it's gone in a few minutes after reheating!



Asparagina Parmense (P360)
Parma ham and asparagus spears in a light asparagus cream sauce

Not much of a fan of cream-based sauce. I have carbonara once in a while when I had too much of the meat sauce. Still, I'd choose the red sauce over the white one every time. This pasta dish has generous parma ham toppings. Being an avid fan of bacon and other cured meats, I got to taste this parma ham. I thought it would be crispy but chewing on it, I found it to be quite... rubbery and on the salty side. I can deal with the saltiness as it is an unexpected surprise in this dish but the chewiness of the ham is off-putting.



Polpette alla Siciliana (P375)
Meatballs and mozzarella over tomato fettuce

For folks like me who are not as well versed with their types of pasta, fettuce there in the description is not a typographical error in the menu as I have initially thought. Fettuce is a fatter version of the more familiar fettucine. Think of this analogy: spaghetti : spaghettini :: fettuce : fettucine. Okay enough of the crash course in Italian pasta and let's get on with the dish. Two huge meatballs topped this pasta dish. I was contemplating whether this is a cream based pasta or a meat sauce pasta. Well, it is fettuce tossed in red sauce (tomato) then topped with meatballs swimming in mozzarella cream. I found the meatballs lacking in flavors -- perhaps a little salt and pepper can do wonders...

And so it's dessert time. We were given two desserts to sample with.



Torta Al Formaggio (P200)
Traditional cheesecake topped with berries and served with fresh fruits

It's blueberry cheesecake paired with diced oranges and apples. I was left looking for the salty and buttery crust that you get when crushed graham crackers are used. Since I was met with just a soft bottom, I guess they used some kind of pound cake instead. It's okay but the small slice doesn't quite measure up with its price.



Panna Cotta (P210)
Baked cream topped with berries and served with fresh fruits

Panna cotta, again paired with diced oranges and apples (what's with those two fruits anyway?). Silky cream with strawberry preserves. Good but I had panna cotta before which are more memorable than this... Anyway, a companion remarked that a spoonful of the panna cotta goes well with the orange than the apple. I just didn't noticed the difference.


Overall, Il Ponticello provides the romantic setting that only a secret hideaway located within the heart of the city could bring. Upon entering it, you could forget that you're in Makati's Central Business District. As for the food, perhaps picking out other options in the menu with your date will be worth the try. A note though, don't forget to order Pizza Picante for you and your date would surely like it.


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2nd Flr., Antel 2000 Bldg., Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
898-1738 / 898-1864
Operating Hours | Mon-Fri:11:00 am-2:30 pm / 5:30 pm-2:00am | Sat: 7:00 pm-3:00 am
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/il.ponticello.1
Twitter | https://twitter.com/ilPonticello

1 comment:

Berylle Kaye Hong said...

i wanna experience this couple's night at Ponti too :) i'd be happy to try that cheesecake.. i prefer the crusted ones too though :)

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