Franco’s Favorite: La Nuova Pastelleria

By franco on 3 March, 2007

Open since 1978

After picking up A. from her morning knitting club, we decided to go to what I consider a culinary gem, La Nuova Pastelleria.

La Nuova Pastelleria is my favorite restaurant.

A small restaurant nestled in an upper class enclave just outside the Makati Business District that serves what I can only describe as Italian comfort food. The kind of Italian food that one craves for after a long day or to enjoy while having a casual sit down with family and friends.

Even before I knew my wife A, I had been coming to this place quite a bit.

Early on, I came like most customers for their amazing desserts. The Concorde and Canonigo were and still are to die for. Later, after a much needed renovation, I would return for their food, which I enjoyed with many friends and more than a couple of past girlfriends.

I have many good memories that involve this Pastelleria and their food.

When you walk into La Nuova Pastelleria, you feel like you have walked into a warm Italian dining room. A small room colored in yellows and browns greets you, with only a few tables seating as many as 30 maximum.

We arrived for the lunch service at around 1:45. A bit late but surprisingly, the place was three-fourths full and customers were still coming in.

Flatbread, relish and pate: Before

Once seated, the ever attentive service staff take your orders and immediately serve you a basket of warm flat bread with two small dishes: one with a tomato/basil relish and another of liver pate. A and I begin eating with relish…

Flatbread, relish and pate: After

Or maybe devouring would be a better word.

The Good: Maemmana Rustica (P341)

We started with a pizza, the Maemmana Rustica. A thin crust pizza topped with tomatoes, cheese, sautéed onions and Italian sausage. This pizza is sublime and uncomplicated. The crust is warm and has nice bite to it and the ingredients are well balanced. A great starter. Good.

The Better: Pesto Mare (P374)

I asked for the Pesto Mare. Tagliatelli mixed with clams, mussels, and squid in a pesto/cream sauce. Reading the menu, it sounded delicious and this generous serving of pasta did not disappoint. Unlike the pizza, there is nothing subtle about this dish.

The uber creamy pesto sauce simply assaults your senses. Usually, I would complain about a pasta swimming in its own sauce but to be honest, I’m enjoying being overwhelmed too much to care. More flat bread, please. Better.

The Best: Ravioli Verde (P396)

A. ordered the Ravioli Verde. Al dente pillows of green pasta stuffed with a ricotta cheese and spinach, resting in a velvet-like tomato sauce. This is the house specialty and probably the single reason why loyal customers, including myself, keep coming back.

I love stuffed pastas but I must say this ravioli is excellent. I have been back to La Nuova several times and this dish has consistently never disappointed. It takes quite a bit of EQ not reach over and grab a taste but somehow, I know that A. is not in the mood to share. Another basket of bread, please. The best.

Is La Nuova Pastelleria a perfect restaurant? Close but no.

The interiors are so tight sometimes that you can practically taste you neighbor’s meal, especially during a weekday lunch date.

The service staff although attentive and efficient tend to be a bit less than congenial.

I’ve heard complaints that the tomato and cream pasta sauces are so heavy that they plunge to bottom of your stomach, leaving you no space for anything else.

And yes, it can be a bit pricey.

Barring all these small negatives, La Nuova Pastelleria is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. A restaurant where you can walk in and find comfort in its simplicity and consistency. A place you can go to and feel like you’ve come home.

La Nuova Pastelleria
San Antonio Plaza Arcade,
Forbes Park, Makati
Phone: (632) 817-8568 or (632) 867-2370

BMW Auto Centrum
Commerce Avenue
Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
Phone: (632) 809-1729

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  • MARCH 2, 2007 9:51 AM

    wysgal said...

    La Nuova is great, but tables are always limited. And I always inevitably bump into people I know when eating there (not always a good thing).

  • MARCH 2, 2007 9:44 PM

    Franco said...

    Oddly, I know what you mean. My 'past' and my 'present' always seem to collide at this place. Manila can be way too small sometimes.

    May just say, wysgal, you get around the blogsphere pretty quick. We were not expecting any comments for a while...Thanks

  • MARCH 5, 2007 12:12 PM

    Anonymous said...

    I really love the ravioli pasta in La Nuova. I keep coming back for that.

    Btw, interested to see how your blog turns out. Can't wait to see your future posts, Franco.

  • MARCH 6, 2007 12:42 PM

    Pam said...

    Great choice, Franco! I can't wait 'til I get to try La Nuova again! It's been ages! Time to see if this place ages as good as wine does. : )

  • SEPTEMBER 23, 2007 3:59 PM

    docchef said...

    its a nice resto... didnt like the tomatoes in the caprese salad...check my blog....:)