My Man and I have the bad habit of making eating an emergency. It is as if we have perfected the art of going about our business midday that we always pass the normal lunch hour and by the time we finally sit down to eat we are so hungry we pose a threat to national security.
This is exactly what happened during the Halloween weekend. We arrived at Marquee Mall in Angeles City smack at the hour of lunch that every place is full. After a good hour or so (and a book purchase: currently reading The Shack by W.P. Young), we found a table at Itallianis. We have never dined there before and after parting a crowd of little kids going trick or treating, we finally settled down, not saying a word to each other for the fear of an instant attack due to hunger. But the atmosphere of Itallianis did not take long to banish our negative thoughts with the warm look of the restaurant and the engaging art and food writings inside. It has a very homey feel but sophisticated at the same time.
For starters we had what I thought were crab cakes but they ended up as crab balls. I did not catch the name but they are these crunchy, cheesy balls of crab served with a light cucumber salad. The crab needed serious resuscitation (unlike the delicious, heavenly crabs from CNT Lechon, Cebu) but the crunchy and cheesy exterior did it for me. I think anything is good as long as it is crunchy and cheesy. My Man loved the salad. The meal was off to a good start.
When it comes to picking the main course, My Mand and I always choose different plates and we end up picking on each other’s plate. He ordered pork ala strata, which is simply grilled pork belly with pesto rice and I had chicken parmigiana which is basically chicken parmesan with a healthy portion of spaghetti. One taste of each other’s food and we ended up switching the protein immediately. 🙂
I think the pork ala strata plate looked like a lovely garden plus the waft of the pesto rice was amazing. I also have no complaints about the chicken parmesan. It was moist and tender. The spaghetti was absolutely delicious. It’s creamy, tangy, warm, and comforting all at the same time and the best part was that there was nothing on it except crushed tomatoes and some basil. It was simple, straightforward, and honest good spaghetti.
The fruit shakes in Itallianis are also transporting. We had ripe mango and pineapple shake and even when it was raining I instantly felt sunshine on a tall glass. Finally, finishing our lovely lunch was a cup of tiramisu. Sadly, I was not a big fan of it. The tiramisu was layers of coffee soaked chiffon and cream. The chiffon bit was soggy, the coffee flavor was too intense for me, and the candied orange shavings on top were bitter! But that’s okay. I’m trying to cut back on the sweets these days anyways.