Monday, February 22, 2010

Hearty lunch at Cafe Caruso

I love Italian food and ever since my recent trips to Italy for work, I have enjoyed it even more and more. I can't believe that I have never tried out Cafe Caruso, for me now once of my favorite of not the favorite Italian Restaurant in Manila. The interiors are almost the same to any of the Restaurants I've been to in Milan, white table cloth, simple wooden chairs, just the way I like it. The kitchen is open, and on display, the brick oven, where they make one of the best pizzas I've tried in Manila and a mean Focaccia bread, freshly baked as you order.

As soon as the group arrived, we opened our first bottle of wine, my La Villa Roero Arneis 2008. One of the bottles I brought from a recent trip and one of my favorite Italian grapes, Arneis, in the region of Roero in Piedmont.

Our first 2 reds were open, just in time for our Pizza Salsicha. A thin crust Pizza with Tomato and Cheese, Mushrooms and Italian Sausage. I love thin crust Pizzas but very few Restaurants in Manila can do it well, and this was done to perfection.

With this, we had 3 bottles open: Jojo's Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 2000, Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Bricco Gattera 1997 and my bottle of Mauro Sebaste Barolo Monvigliero 2005. My favorite was Jojo's Barolo, a 97 which I think was a good year for Barolo which I saved for my main course. This was slightly tannic but I thought it was drinking very well. My Barolo, which was decanted for almost 1 1/2 hours, was very light in color and still very tannic and young, so this would need major time in the bottle...maybe a 8-10 years more.

Next, Our main courses started arriving: Keiichi had as part of his main, Spaghetti Nero, pasta made with Squid ink. This was lovely and I regret now not ordering this...

For my main, I had Scallopini al Limone (veal with lemon) and served with a side of Spaghetti Aglio olio-Vongole, The Veal was perfectly executed and so soft, it was almost like eating butter. The lemon was not too overpowering and it did not at all clash with the wines we were having.

We had some more wines after our meal, together with a cheese platter. Greg's 1973 Berberana Gran Reserva (same as the one we had at my house a few before), Rene's 2003 Silvio Nardi Manachiara Brunello di Montalcino and Jojo's 1997 Fattoria di Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva. All great wines although I think still young and could use some more aging in the bottle.

For dessert, we also had a dessert wine from Jay, a 2006 Dr. Loosen Beerenauslese, a light sweet wine, very easy to drink.

It was great fun and I really enjoyed the food and the place. I can't believe I have not eaten here before. I will definitely be back soon and thank you Jojo for organizing the lunch. It was great fun.


Chinkee said...

Isn't Caruso the best?! The best pizzas in Manila, no doubt about it. Eating here next week with some friends...

Jojo's Barolo looks familiar... I think I've had it before, but the 1992. I bought it for my dad "kuno". I was much younger then, and not yet used to these big, tannic wines. It must have been too young when I drank it coz I remember not liking it and thinking, "why's this wine so f*&%ing expensive?" Hahahaha!

Miguel said...

Yes the best..can't believe it was my first time to go.

Barolo's are really meant to be aged long and paired with food....same as most of the Italian wines...they pair perfect with lovely food!

Denise said...

If you like thin crust pizzas, you have to try the one of Bravo! Restaurant, located in 114 de la Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati. It's just like the pizza I had in Italy!

gourmandtales said...

i agree, Caruso is really tops!!

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