IF YOU'RE among those who craved for the good food of then "Talaba Joe's" on Rizal Street, then you'll definitely keep coming back to Taaliana's Place -- a new gastronomic zone on the corner of Vinzons and Cervantes streets in Barrio Obrero owned by couple Michelle and Felix Joel Sarmiento.

A few years after closing down Talaba Joe in 2009, Michelle opened Taaliana's to relive her passion for cooking and baking. Though, she really did not stop preparing her specialties because orders kept coming in, Michelle realized that a dining base would complete the missing link.

Hence, a two-storey structure was built on a portion of Michelle family's ancestral property and named it Taaliana's Place.

It's not your typical resto in a residential community because it serves Italian cuisine with an Asian twist.

An invitation by Sun.Star Davao advertising consultant Joyce Laguesma-Ricarse to check out the newly-opened resto of Michelle, who happens to be her cousin proved that good food is what Taaliana's has.

Except for the baked talaba (oysters) that Talaba Joe's is known for, Taaliana's Place retained the famous Churros and Piadina (Italian flat bread) that comes in Tuna Pesto and Beef fillings.

Michelle recommends that first timers begin their meal with Nonna's Salad in sugar beet dressing that looks like it had bagoong alamang mixed with olive oil.

For the main course, we had Festival Rice served in a big bowl that is said to be good for 3 persons, and Pork Ribs cooked in rich sauce ...visibly mouth-watering.

Full as we were, me, Joyce, Ging and my daughter Angelle ended the meal with Biko sa Latik, Churros with rich chocolate dip, and Choco Mud Cup (a brownie fudge served in a cup).

A must try after a big meal is the cold Lemon Grass Tea, a healthy drink that relieves stomach cramps, minus the hint of lemon grass' gingery taste. I will have to try their Davao Lemonade, next time.

Yes, some food on the menu can get a little bit pricey but food aficionados will surely appreciate that Taaliana's Place serves unforgettable experience for the palate in a fusion of delectable textures.

Other must orders are the Bolognese pasta, Chicken Alfredo Fettucini for P99 per serving.

Browsing on Taaliana's menu can be a tough choice because diners can choose from the equally irresistible meat, seaf food and fish menu.

Michelle said family and groups can celebrate any special occasion at Taaliana's as she can whip special homemade cakes like Red Velvet and Zuppa Inglese.

Ours was a satisfying dinner to remember. For a few hours we abandoned our diet and indulged in Taaliana's tempting specialties.

Taaliana's is open every day from 11-10 p.m. Call 225-5261 for reservations, inquiries, orders and deliveries.