Note: M.I.Y.O. Monday stands for Make It Your Own Monday, a question thrown out to DCF readers every Monday to jumpstart the week with lively interaction. I also welcome questions and suggestions for future MIYO Mondays. Email me.
Restaurants are like people: some barely merit an impression, much less a passing glance. Others, hit me hard and with much impact. With restaurants that I come to love, every meal is a meditation, and when it’s over, is relegated to memory, to be replayed as needed – until the next visit.
What it all comes down to, unfortunately, is that a restaurant is a business and a bottom line has to be met. Aside from the profit, there are myriad reasons why restaurants turn off their stoves and close their kitchens for good – bad location, inedible food, a concept that’s ahead (or behind) its time, and sometimes, the restaurant owners’ passion for it loses steam. The restaurant business is nothing if not balls-to-the-wall competitive; and, like a professional eating competition, only those with a big appetite and the ability to stomach almost anything will survive.
The two restaurants that I miss the most had their heyday in the 90s and served Italian cuisine. The first is Angelino’s, and of its three locations I remember – Jupiter, Pasay Road, and Katipunan, it was the latter that I frequented the most. As a student of the Ateneo in the early 90s, Angelino’s was the most expensive restaurant on Katipunan and it was where my friends and I would go when we were feeling flush.
I’m still mesmerized by the thoughts of their Spinach Fettuccine; their Seafood Buranella, a seafood carbonara of sorts that was so creamy I could’ve used the sauce as a face moisturizer; and their tomato soup which I hold to this day as the best tomato soup I’ve ever had in my life. It was served with a raw egg garnished atop, its golden glow glistening from the soup’s reddish depths. Sometimes I would vigorously stir the egg into the hot liquid, the heat coddling then conquering it until nothing was left behind save for a few strands of cooked egg white. Other times, I would pierce the egg gently, oh, so gently, and include just the tiniest bit of egg yolk into each spoonful of soup. Its richness cut through the acidity of the soup quite nicely, imprinting on my memory so deeply that I can still taste it, even now. Oh, how I miss this soup! The tomato soups I’ve met since then are more sauce then soup.
The second restaurant I miss is Trattoria Uno, a place that not many people seem to have known about, but to other people who knew of it, it was the world. Hidden away on the third floor of Ali Mall in Cubao and often likened to the also-defunct Italian Village, it’s immensely significant to me because of two things. Read this post and you’ll understand the lingering longing I nurse for this particular restaurant. I’m only grateful that I got to blog about it before it closed down.
So tell me, which now-closed restaurant do you miss the most?