Ristorante di Verona brings a piece of Italy to the Philippines

Published August 15, 2022, 5:35 PM

by John Legaspi

The Pampanga-based restaurant is serving nothing but the best of Italian cuisine and fine dining service

Whenever the word Verona enters a conversation, one quickly thinks of the setting of the most famous love story in the world—William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” But for the people and tourists in Clark, Pampanga, Verona means that an excellent Italian feast is about to take place.

Last June, luxury hotel Swissôtel Clark opened its newest restaurant dedicated to serving nothing but the best of Italian cuisine and fine dining service. Dubbed Ristorante di Verona, the culinary concept is an ode to one of northern Italy’s cities that guests will definitely fall in love with.

“After months of soft operation, and as we continue to offer unique dining experiences for our guests, we are hoping for your continuous support as we open our 10th dining outlet in the newest vibrant destination within Clark—Ristorante di Verona,” said Tarek Aouini, general manager of Swissôtel Clark.

Leading it is chef Alessio Loddo from Sardinia, Italy. This is not the first time the internationally renowned culinary master has introduced good Italian food to Filipinos as he helmed many Italian restaurants in the country, including Tosca Italian Restaurant of Dusit Thani Hotel Manila, Waterfront Cebu City, Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Alabang, and Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay, prior to joining Swissôtel Clark.

Chef Alessio Loddo

Guest are instantly transported to Italy with its romantic and warm setup. Adding to its charm is the creative nature of its interior. Diners know they are in for a celebration as they are welcomed by the restaurant’s open bar, offering a number of crafted drinks and special cocktails. Complementing its elegant wood fixture is the display of rich-flavored wines sourced from various regions, including a 1958 Pio Cesare Barolo from Italy and a 1990 Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1er Cru Classe from France.

Manila Bulletin Lifestyle got a taste of what Ristorante di Verona has to offer. And for us, the best way to start the restaurant’s Italian feast is by having a taste of its very own balsamic reduction. Perfectly paired with its freshly baked bread and olive oil, the balsamic reduction is fragrant and light with fruity notes from its main ingredient, the grapes.

While it is a fairly new concept, its skilled chefs are not shy in showing their Italian culinary prowess. Their Bruschetta is a celebration of fresh produce and many textures. The antipasto dish features a combination of crunchy grilled sourdough bread and ripe tomatoes topped with 36-month-old parmesan cheese with a drizzle of olive oil and pesto rounding up the flavorful experience. On its side is a tomato terrine, tomato-flavored gelatin adding, another layer of texture to the dish.

Our main dish highlights Italy’s passion for cooking seafood. Its Pan-seared Seabass Fillet has a crispy exterior hiding moist and flaky meat inside. The natural taste of the fish is complemented by the smoky flavor of bell pepper cream and savory zucchini.

What is an Italian feast without pasta and pizza? Our craving led us to choose the Cannelloni di Magro. Ricotta cheese-filled spinach cannelloni pasta is baked in a bed of tomato sauce and cheese. Our pizza pick is the Pizza 4 Formaggi, featuring four kinds of cheese—mozzarella, gorgonzola, scamorza, and taleggio—made more creamy by bechamel sauce. Both dishes are truly elevated versions of Italian comfort food that Filipino diners will find it hard not to fall head over heels for.

Last in our Italian gastronomic journey is a risotto dish that spotlights Italian sausage. Pieces of Luganega sausage swim in a velvet rice mixture with a vivid yellow hue courtesy of the saffron spice.

Ristorante di Verona’s alfresco dining setup

Diners can also opt to enjoy their Italian fare alfresco style. Ristorante di Verona offers a charming outdoor setup where guests can dine while they savor a lovely view of the Zambales Mountain Ranges. Just imagine dining there as the sun sets, it is a textbook love story scene.

All in all, dining at Ristorante di Verona brings a piece of Italy to the Philippines through its mastery of the beloved cuisine. While Romeo and Juliet had a tragic end to their story in the fabled city, at the namesake restaurant, diners can expect many happily ever afters from every plate that graces their table.

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