Fred of Big Hero 6 said, “There’s nothing better than free food! (Unless it’s moldy)” But my Friday dinner experience leads me to disagree with our ever cool superhero dude.
I had the privilege of being invited to the soft opening of a new food place in Tagbilaran City. Massimo, an authentic Italian restaurant, which aside from serving the mandatory pizza and pasta, serves a selection of soups, salads, and desserts. They also feature Tagliere salumi e fromagi (cold cuts and cheese) something usually seen in the Philippines only in International Hotels and restaurants.
And so to further express my disappointment with Fred, great food with awesome company is better than free food. My fellow gourmets for the night was, the Bohol Bloggers Collective.
Massimo, who also happens to be the Chef Consultant, is proud to be Italian, but also is a proud Neapolitan on top of that. He tells us that his approach to the food is uniquely Neapolitan and not simply “Italian.” One striking example is the artistry and care that he puts into his pizza. He explained that unlike others who shove the pala (the big pizza oven spade) under the raw pizza which he calls the easy way, Neapolitan pizza is dragged on top of the pala. It stretches the dough one last time before it is placed it in an extremely hot stone oven which cooked the pizza in 3 minutes flat. The result was a springier crust which was crisp outside and chewy inside.
The business side of things is run by the formidable young enterpreneur Shobe Uy. She is already an accomplished restauranteur having run the former Dong Juan restaurant. She brings in her millenial marketing savvy to compliment the excellent product of their establishment.
The menu is in itself a lesson in Italian, forget the common pizza names you know, don’t look for supremes or meat lovers. Instead taste the pizza that started it all, the Margherita, and the flagship pizza which the Massimo and instead of a “cheese lover’s” pizza you get a 4 Fromaggi. Capisce?
To my surprise however, the most controversial pizza in the pizzaverse made it to the menu, the loved, the hated, the ubiqiitous, Hawaiian Tropicana. But then again, who am I to judge eh? If the chef wants pineapples on the pizza he puts pineapples on the pizza.
Now, to say that the pasta was good is not doing it justice. The noodles were all restaurant perfect al dente. Every noodle already properly seasoned before the sauce even hit it.
For the tasting, we ordered the basic pasta survey, Bolognese, carbonara, pesto er…sorry the Linguine al Pesto Genovese.
Massimo was conservative on the seasoning, leaving diner to adjust it to their taste and to give them room to partner it with the robust cheeses and wine.
I left the restaurant quite satisfied. But before long I received a text that one of the other bloggers have slipped into a food coma. Dang it! I should have eaten more.
So come over to Massimo, over at Vissara at the corner of Miguel Parras street and end up speaking Italian on your way out. Grazie.
This entry marks my first as an official part of the Bohol Bloggers Collective