CEBU

Going up and down the boot

ITALIAN cuisine, one of the most well-loved dishes in the world, is known for its regional diversity. Be that as it may, all Italian dishes are crafted using the freshest ingredients, and rarely rely on elaborate presentation. Incredibly uncomplicated and deceptively simple, as few as four main ingredients comprise each dish, yet the techniques applied are what makes it a memorable meal every time.

We’ve listed some time-honored Italian dishes and their respective regions of origin, which you do not have to book a plane ticket to, as these are served right in our own backyard. Owned by 29-year-old Rafael “Rafa” Torres, Eataliano’s is a moderately priced specialist in Italian regional cuisine. Having lived with an Italian family for most of his life, Rafa had long wanted to open his own restaurant.

“I want the place to serve as a window to Italy,” he said, referring to the canvas prints showcasing famed Italian landmarks on the walls of the 58-seater place.

Italians are noted for their ability to provide an ambiance that makes one want to enjoy his meals unhurriedly, and then remain afterward, and Eataliano’s is no different. There is a particular emotion to it the minute one walks in. Cozy and warm, it evokes pleasant memories of family dinners past.

While Rafa was the one who developed the menu, an Italian chef trained his kitchen staff.

“Everything here is made from scratch, from our pizzas and pastas to the chili oil,” said Rafa.

As mentioned, here is the list of some of the Italian favorites from north to south:

1. Risotto (Milan, Lombardy)

Rice is roasted and then cooked in stock until soft and creamy. Although it can be prepared with a variety of ingredients, Eataliano’s version is with seafood.

2. Ragu alla Bolognese (Bologna, Emilia Romagna)

This is what non-Italians know as spaghetti Bolognese. Made with beef, pork and vegetables in a tomato sauce, it is served with tagliatelle, not spaghetti.

3. Carbonara (Rome, Lazio)

True Italian Carbonara has no cream. The creaminess comes from the eggs and cheese, which along with bacon and black pepper, complete the sauce.

4. Pesto Genovese (Genoa, Liguria)

Basil is ground together with olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and salt using a mortar and pestle. The paste is then tossed with fresh pasta.

5. Pizza (Naples, Campania)

This may be where pizza originated in, but Eataliano’s serves the Roman variety, which has a thin to medium crust. Ask for its bestseller, which is topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, bacon, ham, egg and arugula.

6. Spritz (Venice)

A common pre-dinner drink in Italy, the spritz is made with sparkling wine and orange-flavored liqueur. Served on the rocks, it is garnished with an orange slice.

7. Gelato (Sicily)

Italians typically have a shot of espresso and a glass of Limoncello after a meal, but if you want a sweet ending, gelato is your best bet. Cold and churned into creamy flavors, gelato made the traditional way is another genius contribution of the boot-shaped peninsula.

Eataliano’s serves many more pasta dishes plus mains, wines, cocktails, mocktails and coffee. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.


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