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Fall in Love Once More in IL Ponticello Cucina Italiana, Makati

Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana in Makati
Il Ponticello is located in the 2nd Floor of Antel Corporate Center in Salcedo Village, Makati
One fine day, Richie Zamora, the man behind The Pickiest Eater in the World food blog, invited me to join them in the soft-opening of the newly revamped Il Ponticello (Cucina Italiana), and being all-adventurous when it comes to food, I gave my yes without any hesitations.

Looking back to that moment, I'm very glad I accepted because I didn't know that I'd be having one epic lunch in an awesome place with awesome people!

All new Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana in Antel Building
All new Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana in Antel Building
A Brief Story behind Il Ponticello
The name of the place (Il Ponticello) may ring a bell to you, and that is just normal because this restaurant has already been operating for decades. However, through the years, it became more like a bar, than an Italian restaurant. After a few more years, it eventually came into a halt when it lost its appeal.

Now, a new set of management, composed of young and brilliant individuals, took the challenge of giving life back to the place and restoring its true identity -- a homey place for authentic Italian cuisine.

IL Ponticello - Cozy and Sexy
Cozy and comforting interior of Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana
Cozy and comforting interior of Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana
With its rebirth, the restaurant transformed into something classy yet homey. In fact, it's extreme coziness makes it an ideal place for some dates or friendly chit-chats.

Chef Panky Lopez - man behind the all new Il Ponticello
The incredible chef Franco "Panky" Lopez
The incredible chef Franco "Panky" Lopez
In order to provide a strong foundation to the revamped restaurant, the management needed the help of an incredible chef going by the name, Chef Panky Lopez!
"Steered by Executive Chef Panky Lopez, the new Il Ponticello introduces a fresh and innovative new menu that steers Italian classics into delectably sexy territory. Chef Panky serves up an extraordinary array of regional Italian dishes strongly influenced by Southern Italian cooking characterized by the generous use of the highest quality extra virgin olive oil, and only the freshest and most authentic Mediterranean ingredients." -- Il Ponticello
Now that you already know the background of Il Ponticello, let's check out the dishes!

IL Ponticello Cucina Italiana in Salcedo Village, MakatiMarashino Sunrise Mocktail of Il Ponticello

Antipasti (Starters)

Mozzarella in Carozza || P220
Mozzarella Bites Pand Fried in Butter & Blasamic Reduction
Mozzarella in Carozza - a great Italian Starter
Mozzarella in Carozza - a great Italian Starter!
This humble appetizer featured an enjoyable mozzarella zest with subtle sweetness coming from the balsamic reduction. 

Portobello Alla Griglia || P490 
Grilled Portobello, Mozzarella di Bufala, Smoked Ricotta, oached Cherry Tomatoes & EVOO
Portobello Alla Griglia - a definite must try in Il Ponticello
Portobello Alla Griglia - a definite must try in Il Ponticello
This portobello dish showcased a flavorful smokey taste with its highly sophisticated mushroom goodness. Plus, due to the smoking the process, the ricotta and mozzarella became really tasty and creamy!

Pasta

Crema Di Tartufo || P450
Serious love affair of Truffle & mushrooms - Truffle Paste, Truffle Oil, Porcini Mushrooms, Fettucine
Crema di Tartufo of Il Ponticello
Light but ticklish truffle essence in this pasta dish called Crema di Tartufo
This pasta had a distinct truffle essence, but generally had a soft taste.

Gnocchi Amatriciana || P390
Homemade Potato and Semolina Gnocchi, Tomato Sauce, Thick Cut Pancetta & Grana Padano Cheese
Gnocchi Amatriciana Italian Pasta dish here in Il Ponticello
Soft, chewy and comforting Gnocchi Amatriciana Italian Pasta dish here in Il Ponticello
It was my first time to have something like this, so I don't have any clue on how to assess this dish. However, I was able to note of its mushiness, light tomato sauce, herby and meaty taste.

Lasagna Carbonara || P420 
Two favorites in one - Homemade Lasagna, Mozzarella Cream, Pancetta Tesa Strips, Grana Padano and Egg Yolk
Densely flavorful Lasagna Carbonara of IL Ponticello in Makati
Densely flavorful Lasagna Carbonara of IL Ponticello in Makati
Photogenic and above all delicious, this Lasagna Carbonara was definitely an ultimate winner for a cheese and pasta lover like me! I just fell in love with it densely flavorful cheesy and creamy goodness that exudes a comforting feeling!

Pizza

Pizza Valdostana || P520
Chef's Signature - Parma Ham, Gorgonzola Cream, Mozzarella, Arugula
Pizza Valdostana of Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana
Pizza Valdostana - immensely tasty and salty! 
This Pizza Valdostana really has an immensely powerful flavor which leaned more towards the salty side!

Pizza Tartufo || P520 
Deliciously delicate misto Tartufo and Fresh Mushrooms, Mushroom Cream Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Truffle Oil
Rich and potent truffle zest in this Pizza Tartufo of Il Ponticello
Rich and potent truffle zest in this Pizza Tartufo of Il Ponticello
With its thin crust, the pizza enabled us to focus on the tastiness of the cheese and mushroom (i.e. truffle) accents. Hence, if you are longing for the extremely distinct flavor of Truffle, you should definitely go for this pizza!

Rotolo {Originale} || P480
Mortadella, Ricotta, Tomato Cream Sauce, hand-rolled in a Napoletana crust, dollops of Pesto
Rotolo - rolled pizza here in IL Ponticello Cucina Italiana
Rotolo - rolled pizza here in IL Ponticello Cucina Italiana
This Rotolo was something that also marked in my memory because of its creaminess and interesting blend of pesto!

Main Dishes

Presto
Grilled Prawns, Cherry Tomatoes, Fried Basil, Garlic Confit & Trofie Pesto
Presto, a fresh shrimp dish, by Il Ponticello
Presto, a fresh shrimp dish from the deep sea

Chilean Seabass in Bottiglia || P1,400
Pan Roasted Chillean Seabass, Prawn Broth, Mussles, Clams, Napoletana Piccante Sausage, Finished and Served in a Mason Jar
Chilean Seabass in Bottiglia of Il Ponticello
Chilean Seabass in Bottiglia of Il Ponticello
Chilean Seabass in Bottiglia of Il Ponticello, Makati
A better look: Chilean Seabass in Bottiglia of Il Ponticello, Makati
Although both the taste and texture were considerably fishy or "malansa", this dish was just fine with its spicy tomato sauce.

Flat Iron Steak || P590
USDA Choice Flat Iron Steak, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Summer Salad
The irresistible Flat Iron Steak here in IL Ponticello
The irresistible Flat Iron Steak here in IL Ponticello
This Flat Iron Steak was simply irresistible! The delicate grilling was evidenced by the enjoyable taste and texture of the meat!

Signature Porchetta Alla Romana || P390 - Solo (2 Thick Slices with Rice) || P1,200 - Whole (1 kg)
Slow-roasted Pork Belly seasoned with Fennel & Garlic served with Pommery Mustard Sauce
Signature Porchetta Alla Romana of the new IL Ponticello
Signature Porchetta Alla Romana of the new IL Ponticello
Sliced Porchetta of Il Ponticello in Salcedo Village, Makati
Sliced Porchetta -- a slice of goodness -- of IL Ponticello in Salcedo Village, Makati
This Porchetta featured a lovable tenderness that made the meat easy to break down! Plus, it was tasty on its own even without the sauce. In fact, I love it without it because adding the sauce made it saltier than what I can tolerate.

Desserts

Cheesecake Panna Cotta || P290
Vanilla Panna Cotta, Cheesecake Crumble with Caramel Sauce
Cheesecake Panna Cotta of Il Ponticello
The wiggly and mildly sweet Cheesecake Panna Cotta
This refreshing wiggly dessert was not just fun to look at, but also fun to indulge into. Those who are not much into sweet desserts will definitely adore this one!

Note: I just love the cheesecake bits of this dessert dish!

Caramello Di Semolina || P290
White bread, semolina, cream, butter, eggs, caramel and ice cream
Caramello Di Semolina - Italian bread pudding
Caramello Di Semolina - bread pudding at its finest!
This Caramello Di Semolina featured its vanilla and caramel goodness! Simple yet amazing!

Tiramisu || P290 
Savoiardi, Zabaglione, Amaretto, Ristretto, Cocoa Powder
The surprisingly uber amazing Tiramisu of Il Ponticello
The surprisingly uber amazing Tiramisu of Il Ponticello
The Tiramasu really made a huge commotion because of its extremely balanced coffee taste and sweetness. You will end up out-of-words with the goodness of this special dessert! You should definitely try this!

Cannoli || P290
Crispy Cinnamon Pastry Shell, Ricotta Cream, Dark Chocolate Morsels, Nuts and Powdered Sugar
Authentic Italian dessert called Cannoli of Il Ponticello
Authentic Italian dessert called Cannoli
Crispy on the outside yet creamy and sweet in the inside - this is how I'd describe the cannoli!

Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel
72% Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta, Chocolate Soil, Caramel Cream and Sea Salt
Pure chocolate goodness -- Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta of Il Ponticello
Pure chocolate goodness -- Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta of Il Ponticello
Just like the earlier panna cotta, this was just mildly sweet added with a twist with the dark chocolate!

Budino Al Cioccolato || P390 
Chocolate Lava Pudding Pot, Vanilla Cream, Amarena Cherries and Caramel Sauce
Budino Al Cioccolato of IL Ponticello, Makati
Heavenly sweet chocolate goodness of Budino Al Cioccolato
Although this dessert was intensely sweet, it was also immensely heavenly with its delectable chocolate taste. Choco-and-sweet lovers will definitely go gaga over this dessert!

IL Ponticello - Summary
Through this amazing luncheon experience, IL Ponticello was able to show an impressive new beginning! All the dishes showed different and exciting elements that revealed the vibrancy of the Southern Italian cuisine. And although the prices may not be that pocket-friendly, IL Ponticello assures us that we'll recover the value of what we'll pay for with its sexy and cozy ambiance, good service and incredible dishes to offer!

How about you - do you recommend this place?

Il Ponticello Cucina Italiana 
Location: Second Floor, Antel Corporate Center, 121 Valero Street, Near V.A. Rufino Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Contact No.: (02) 553 9971 [retrieved from Zomato]


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