Monday, June 13, 2016

First Bite: Salvatore Cuomo

Salvatore Cuomo is probably one of the most awaited restaurants this year. Celebrities, high society and foodies alike cannot help but go crazy over this well-known food establishment owned by restauranteur and celebrity chef Salvatore Shigeta or more popularly known as Salvatore Cuomo. I wanted to visit it on its first days of operation but I was eying another restaurant at the same time and went with the latter. I told myself that I will visit it when there’s an occasion given its relatively steep prices for its mouthwatering dishes but with all the positive reviews I read here and there, I just have to visit it ASAP. And I finally did just a few hours ago.

Hello, Salvatore Cuomo!
We were greeted by a black, white and red facade and a small waterfall-like fountain by the entrance. It further established that I was about to enter a not so casual restaurant. 
The inside interior design is more of elegant industrial with the restaurant's leather upholstered wooden furniture pieces and bare ceiling with exposed pipes. There are some lovely drop lights which made the ambiance classy. 
We went for lunch and it sure was packed! We were asked by the host if we made reservations. We didn’t. I didn’t know that it would be this packed given that it is fairly new. But never underestimate the pull of Salvatore Cuomo’s name. We were lucky though that there were two vacant seats by the bar. Since we were already there, we settled with those high stools. 
Given that Salvatore Cuomo is known in Japan as “The Pizza Man”, it just makes sense if we order pizza. We got Margherita (PHP680). We also ordered Zuppa di Funghi e Gamberetti (PHP390) and Tiramisu with Pistachio Gelato (PHP380). I wanted to try its reasonably priced steaks (prices range at PHP800-1,500) but we decided to stick with a few dishes as we weren’t that hungry. 

It was expected that service wouldn’t be at its peak as the place was very busy. All servers were on the move. But our soup arrived within the 15 minute mark. I had to ask for the noteworthy complimentary bread basket though as they didn’t serve any before our soup. (It arrived after serving the pizza and after following up thrice.)
The soup may be expensive but they sure did not scrimp on the ingredients. The soup was thick and the mushroom taste was strong. I loved that there were bits of mushroom to bite on instead of it being too grainy causing my throat to itch. The sautĂ©ed shrimps were good too. It was fresh and complemented the thick soup. I also liked the drops of sour cream giving the dish a tinge of tanginess. 

I fell in love with the margherita pizza. I normally skip this one as I see this as the most boring pizza. It made me curious though why almost every review is raving about this supposedly blah pizza. I have never been so wrong. I just had the best pizza today! Yeah sure, it was not the crispy thin crust we are used to but believe me, this is so much better! I don’t know how Mr. Cuomo does it but the simple ingredients (tomato, basil and mozzarella) on soft brick oven baked crust just changed how I view margherita. It was straightforward and simply delectable. This proves how particular Salvatore Cuomo is with its ingredients. The establishment uses nothing short of the best. (In case you’re wondering, one pizza is 12” with 8 slices. It is good for 2-3 pax.) 

Now for the well-loved tiramisu. I must say, I was really excited to try this as it was described as one review as a life changing dessert. Several diners during my visit also ordered it. Heck, even the person beside me ordered tiramisu.
And it was indeed good! It was served chilled and each bite was a spoonful of heaven. The soft cream was so smooth and the finger biscuits soaked in coffee made me forget my desire to be fit. It was that good. There was a generous serving of cocoa powder but be careful with this as if you get too much in one bite, it could make you cough. So make sure that you spread it out. The pistachio gelato on the side was quite good too. It somehow balanced the rich taste of the tiramisu and prepared us for our next spoonful. My only concern with this one is its huge serving. We struggled to finish it. One order is definitely for sharing and good for 3-4 pax. 
Overall, it was a pretty good meal. It may be a bit steep but it was worth every penny. Will I go back? Definitely! (Oh and we saw Chef Cuomo!)

Note: Service in terms of getting our complimentary bread and bill is a bit slow. The key is to be persistent with the free bread basket. If you do not ask, you might not get it. For the bill, best to ask for it as soon as you get your dessert to avoid waiting after finishing your meal. 

Salvatore Cuomo is located at Ground Floor, Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 946-0372 or (02) 946-3073. 

Salvatore Cuomo & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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