Completely Italian-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
A RESTAURANT in town, with dishes definitely served with a dash of something Sicilian, Pizzeria Michelangelo continues to attract the city’s diners who are out for a culinary Euro trip of some sort. The business already on its fourth year has seemed to master recipes that are just as tasty and authentic as if those were plated in a kitchen in Sicily.
Although perhaps, not enough to pass these as total clones, since materials from two opposite continents will obviously differ in numerous aspects.
But at least for general manager Massimo La Magna, there are a lot of things about Cebu that remind him of his hometown, Sicily. “I like the sea. I cannot imagine living in a place where you know that there isn’t a near body of water around you.”
Pizzeria Michelangelo started as a food place in Banilad along Ma. Luisa Road, Cebu City. Just recently, the restaurant expanded with another branch here at lifestyle arcade Escario Central. The two-storey food place showcases a modern-minimalist type of interior, with artworks on the walls done by musician and visual artist, Budoy.
Massimo claimed that he tries to mix and match every single element in his business, so as to provide Cebuanos with a venue that exudes an overall vibe of how it is to dine in Italy.
And no. Definitely not in those restaurants that after charging you for your meal, may be charged with attempted murder due to exorbitant bills.
“Here, the food is affordable. It’s not one of those places that are intimidating where the first thing you look for when entering are the prices on the menu,” said Massimo. He continued on, highlighting their bestsellers—pizzas and pastas—and saying how a single order is good enough for sharing.
For instance, the classic “Quattro Stagioni.” It’s a pizza divided into four flavors
namely, “Margherita” (cheese); tomato, mushrooms and oregano; tomato, fried eggplant and parmesan cheese; and lastly, tomato and fresh seafood. Massimo shared that this pizza is inspired by the four seasons—eggplant for summer, mushrooms for fall, seafood for spring and cheese for winter.
Then there is the tomato-based pasta, “Alla Marina Rossa.” A pasta dish that’s spruced up with clams, squids, shrimps, fish, olive oil, garlic and tomato—ingredients that truly make up a delectable seafood-filled serving.
As for carbonara, Pinoys have already their minds set on what it should be like: creamy galore. Although Michelangelo serves that kind, the restaurant is also capable of making “Alla Carbonara,” one that is more traditional and only cooked with bacon, egg yolk and parmesan cheese.
“Mediterranean-Italian way of cooking, compared to American-Italian, is light, simple and healthy,” explained Massimo, adding that the former is “very precise with its ingredients.” “In our pizzas and pastas, we can go on using about two or three ingredients only, and that should be enough.”
Besides the pizzas and pastas, the place being “completely Italian,” serves main dishes as well that are prepared authentically. A great example of cuisine minimalism reaching a gastronomic high point would be the “Scallopine Di Pollo Al Limone” on the menu. It’s a plate of tender chicken fillet with lemon sauce, Italian spices, and then served with a healthy serving of salad on the side.
“Mediterranean food—it’s about attitude. It’s more about a way of thinking more than mastering recipes. If a musician has his notes to create music, and a painter has his paint to create his artwork, a person has his ingredients in the kitchen to cook food.
It’s an art,” shared Massimo about his restaurant—with a brand name inspired of an Italian maestro during the Renaissance—focused and dedicated living up to its name.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2013.