Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mona Lisa Ristorante

Undoubtedly, Mona Lisa  (La Gioconda) is considered the most famous painting in the world.

Photo: Heart-2-Heart

If you name your restaurant after the Mona Lisa, then it must possess the novelty of da Vinci’s painting. I first heard about this restaurant from Heart-2-Heart and was convinced that the place is worth trying. While I had no idea where I can find it in Alabang, I accidentally arrived at its doorstep while enjoying my Frutti Froyo. They’re located in the same building along Commerce Avenue. I call it the "Army Navy" building because it's the most prominent establishment in the block.

The Place

The place has a fine dining ambiance. It’s spacious and exudes warmth. I don’t remember the yellow table cloth, but it doesn’t look tacky as it appears in the picture. We reserved the table by the window which has a good view of Commerce Ave.

Photo: Heart-2-Heart

The place is packed on a Thursday night! That’s a good sign.

Photo: Heart-2-Heart

Waiters/waitresses are impeccably dressed, of course with the Mona Lisa tie.

Bread in a basket is served with pesto, butter and tomato while they wait for your order. 

The bread tastes freshly-baked and pillow soft.

Pappardelle Porcini e Tartufo (PhP 400)

Don’t worry, that sounded Greek to me, too. I just want to order pasta in truffle oil, hence the choice.

Olive oil, garlic and funghi porcini mushroom sauce, with truffle oil.

This dish does tastes like truffle oil and worth going back for. Pappardelle (large, broad, fettucine) is al dente and the sauce is heavenly. The portion is quite small though to be shared by 2 persons.

Risotto Alla Pescatore (PhP 480)

Arborio rice, sautéed and simmered in white wine, tomato sauce and cream with a medley of seafood.

What sets this apart from the risottos in most Italian restaurants in Manila is the use of Arborio rice. It is short-grain rice grown in Arborio, Italy mainly used for risotto. It is cooked just right and has a starchy taste. The wine and cream tempers the sour taste of tomato. It’s also one of the best risottos I’ve tasted.

Apart from pastas and risottos, Mona Lisa also serves insalatas (salads), zuppa (soup), panizze (thin pizza that can be rolled with alfalfa), pizza, calzone, meat dishes, fresh pastas (!), and paninis.

It has something for everyone.

Tiramisu (~PhP 200)

If you haven’t noticed yet, Person A and I are tiramisu lovers. If there’s tiramisu in the menu, more often than not, we order it.

Mona Lisa offers two varieties: classic and strawberry tiramisu. This is the strawberry tiramisu, the best seller according to the waiter. I don’t like the taste of strawberry with my tiramisu. Hence, I would most likely opt for the classic one. It is worth noting though that the biscuit, cake, coffee and mascarpone taste good.

In Summary

1. Mona Lisa is one of the finer Italian restaurants. The place has a warm, inviting ambiance and ample seating space. Great for dates, night with friends and family gatherings.

2. The pasta with truffle oil and risotto tastes great. I personally think that the place lives up to the “Mona Lisa” name.

3. Price point slides to the more expensive price range and for the taste of its dishes, I say not bad at all.

Mona Lisa Ristorante
2nd Floor, The Commerce Center
Filinvest, Alabang

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