Verdict: The closest thing to Italy in Makati City.
Budget: P400 – P500/head
Tucked away in San Antonio Plaza is a tiny Italian Restaurant that is very easily missed. With only 15 tables inside, La Nuova is a no frills, neighborhood restaurant that serves consistently good food. Though their prices may be a bit higher than what we usually spend for Italian food, the quality of the food, the ambiance as well as the service is definitely worth the price. Once you are seated inside, it is quite easy to forget that you are still in Metro Manila as this restaurant is exactly what I imagine the local restaurants in Italy would be like. The area may be small but take note of the counter where they sell a wide range of Italian Cold Cuts and Cheeses as well as a display case of cakes.
The servings here are quite big and each dish may be big enough to share but once you get a taste of it, I can’t guarantee that you would still want to share. Every dish that I have tried here has been nothing short of amazing but there are two dishes that I can never seem to stop ordering, the Risotto Colorato and the Tartufo Pasta.
The Risotto Colorato is simply described on the menu as “Italian Rice with Mixed Vegetables,” but let me be the one to tell you that it is so much more. It is a wonderful blend of fresh vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, carrots and even zucchini, and with each vegetable complementing the other, it is difficult not to enjoy this dish. All the vegetables taste very fresh and each flavor is brought out during the 15 minute cooking process without managing to lose the bite. Some of the vegetables manage to stay nice and crunchy while the others find their way into the rice and blend in quite perfectly.
It takes 15 minutes to prepare the risotto so I suggest ordering appetizers should you decide to have a risotto as your main dish. However, should you prefer not to order any appetizers, not to worry because they do serve warm flat bread with tomato dip and pate which is also quite satisfying.
Recommended Appetizers: Prosciutto di Parma con Mango (Slices of Prosciutto and Mango), Parmigiana di Melanzane (Baked Eggplant w/ Mozzarella Cheese & Tomato Sauce), Compozione di Tartufi (Slices of Parma Ham, Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese)
Their best seller, and my personal favorite, is the Tartufo Pasta. The menu describes it as “Tagliatelle Pasta with White Truffle Cream, Porcini Mushroom topped with Parma Ham.” Since they only cook the dishes once it has been ordered, should you prefer to change the pasta noodles or make any alterations to your order, they will be more than glad to oblige. (A+ for their service) However, I do recommend going with it the way the Chef makes it because it is perfection. Once it is brought to your table, the smell of the truffle cream alone will have you salivating and make you regret not ordering 2 of this for yourself. The pasta is cooked al dente and coated perfectly with truffle cream.
Should you prefer to try more of their delicious pastas in one sitting, I would definitely recommend ordering the Trittico Pasta, which is basically 3 kinds of pasta of your choosing (good for 2).
Recommended Pastas: Vongole Al Vino Bianco (Spaghetti with Baby Clams, Olive Oil & White Wine), Aglo Olio Con Salsicce (Capellini with Garlic, Sundried Tomato, Italian Sausage, Chili Flakes in Olive Oil), Pesto con Chorizo (Penne Pasta with Chorizo, Artichokes, Goat Cheese in Spicy Pesto)
Recommended Pizzas: Pizza Due Gusti (Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Spinach, Chorizo & Mushroom), Calzone alla Siciliana (Half Rolled Pizza with Ricotta Cheese, Fresh Tomato & Mortadella)
Pastelleria La Nuova is, without a doubt, one of the best Italian restaurants I have been to in Manila! It is one that I would frequent over and over again even if it is just for the Tartufo Pasta.
Pastelleria La Nuova
Address: Ground Floor, San Antonio Plaza, McKinley Road, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
Phone Number: (632) 817 8568 / (632) 867 2370
Operating Hours: 9:30AM – 9:00PM