Monday, October 31, 2011

L'Incontro: 2010 Manila's Best-Kept Secret Italian Restaurant

For my 26th birthday, Person A and I had a quiet celebration at L’Incontro, one of the cozy-yet-sophisticated restaurants along Reposo, Makati. If the name is familiar, it was hailed as 2010 Manila’s Best Kept Italian Restaurant, 9 months after Tina Pamintuan took ownership of the restaurant from Gino Martinel, who had to go back to Italy. Ms. Pamintuan is the Le Cordon Bleu-educated restaurateur.

For quite some time now, Person A and I have our eye on Reposo as it is the location to a lot of interesting establishments: the LRI Building – home to one of the nicest furniture shops in the city, the Room Upstairs – a cozy coffeeshop we are very interested to try, CafĂ© Caruso and L’Incontro. My birthday seems like the perfect excuse to go a bit fancy on our dining experience.

L’Incontro didn’t disappoint. The place is not intimidating: it looks like a barn with its high ceiling yet the lighting is designed to give the space a sophisticated-yet-cozy place. Service is excellent and the menu is well-explained for non-serious-foodies like us.

We started with dinner rolls



served with butter,


salsa and herbs. 


The bread tastes fresh and warm from the oven.

Spaghetti Alio e Olio(PhP 410/180)

Fresh garlic toasted tossed in extra virgin olive oil , noodles and fresh Italian herbs.


I like the quality and how the noodles is cooked. Al dente. However, personally, the overall taste is not unique and can be had in any good Italian restaurants.

If you are wondering why there are 2 prices quoted, you can order a full plate or a tasting portion. If you opt for quantity, I suggest you go for tasting portion. If you want a feast, then getting the full plate should be in order.

Risotto Mushroom (PhP 550/220)

Wild mushroom risotto of oyster, shiitake, button and Portobello with black salsa tartufo.


This is one of the best mushroom risottos I’ve tasted. The rice is al dente and the mushroom-flavored sauce is divine. The taste is subtly good and the aroma coaxes the brain to say “yum” with every bite.

Blackened Chilean Sea Bass (PhP 1150)

Sea bass with truffle cauliflower puree, brown butter and celeriac puree. The dish comes with mashed potato.


Ever since Person A and I tasted this Chilean Sea Bass dish from Sala, 


we always consider having sea bass whenever the budget permits it.

Sea bass from L’Incontro is good; it’s not one of a kind good but it’s okay. The fillet is cooked nicely, the texture of the  meat feels nice in the mouth but nothing distinct.

I had water with my meal while Person A downed his food with beer.

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA (PhP 280)


This Indian brew is awesome.  It has that bitter beer taste but it has that fruity-lemony undertone as well making it very refreshing. This is available in some of the bigger grocery stores should you want to buy one.

We ended the meal with dessert and coffee.

Tiramisu (~PhP 250)


This is a classic take on the tiramisu. The espresso-soaked sponge cake is soft, and mascarpone renders the contrasting taste. I like it.

Cappuccino (~PhP 200)


Good real coffee.

Latte (~PhP 200)


Nice cup to end a meal.

In Summary

1. L’Incontro has one of the nicest restaurant ambiance. It exudes a warm, cozy yet sophisticated feel making it perfect for dinner date, business meetings and fancy meal with friends.

2. The food is good but I personally think that I can get the same taste from other good Italian restaurants. I didn’t find the taste distinct except for the Risotto. The mushroom risotto tastes really great.

3. Price slides to the expensive side which can be expected for a fine dining place ... all in all, it’s reasonable.

207 Nicanor Garcia St.
1209 Makati
63.2.899.0635

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