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Italian Food Is Big Again With Osteria Daniele As The Newest Italian In Town

As early as the last quarter of 2018, Italian cuisine was touted as the “next big thing” in the Manila dining scene, with at least 5 interesting Italian dining concepts spearheaded by prominent local chefs and well-established restaurant groups scheduled to open in 2019. It so happens that the first one to open in this forecasted Italian “invasion” is Osteria Daniele in Bonifacio Global City.

The newest dining concept of the Bistronomia group, Osteria Daniele is located in a prime ground level spot on one corner of 9th Avenue and 26th Street (with free basement parking).

Founded by three Spanish friends originally from the Catalan region, Bistronomia is well known for its Spanish restaurants like Las Flores, Rambla, Tomatito, and BCN. But with this latest concept, they have decided to go Italian for a change. I was able to visit Osteria Daniele twice already since it went on soft opening right after Easter Sunday.

The restaurant is simply described by its owners as a “straightforward” osteria, which in Italy usually refers to a restaurant that serves simple meals with a focus on wine. Upon entering, you are greeted by a prominent circular bar to your right and the main dining area, which seats 60, to your left. Al fresco dining that seats 28 will eventually be added to the sidewalk surrounding the restaurant on two sides.

 

The bar at Osteria Daniele

 

Osteria Daniele from street level

 

Osteria Daniele has no set meals or tasting menus, so you are completely in control of what you want to eat and drink. The menu is divided into 6 sections that are very easy to navigate. This is complemented by an extensive drinks menu with a good selection of cocktails and wine, including good quality Italian wines that are reasonably priced.

 

A Pithos Rosso Cos 2015 with an antipasti selection

 

My early recommendations include the following dishes that I am most likely to order again on my next visit.

From the Affettati (cold cuts) e Formaggio (cheese) section of the menu, I would order around 50 grams each of the perfectly marbled Coppa Medaglia d’Oro and Montasio cheese, a hard yet creamy, cow’s milk cheese from the northeastern part of Italy. I would order this with an aperitif or two (think, Aperol Spritz or Gin and Tonic) or a glass of Prosecco. And I would enjoy all these with a side order of the addicting Gnocco Fritto or crispy bread pillows!

 

Gnocco Fritto

 

From the Antipasti section, you can try the Vitello Tonnato, which is thinly sliced, cold roast beef topped with a creamy, tuna-flavored mayo with capers. Also, it’s hard to eat just one of these—Pancetta Air Baguette filled with truffled cream cheese, and wrapped with smoked pancetta.

 

Pancetta Air Baguette

 

The Insalata (salad) e Zuppe (soup) menu section offers a dreamy Smoked Burrata Salad that’s served with either prosciutto or Parma ham and finished with anchovies. It’s a dish that you may opt not to share.

 

Smoked Burrata Salad

 

From the Pasta e Risotto section, my early favorite is Bucatini alla Carbonara, which is thick, long pasta lightly coated with Pecorino cheese and egg yolk, with crisp morsels of heavenly seared guanciale, a type of Italian cured pork made of pork cheeks (and better than bacon!).

 

Bucatini alla Carbonara

 

Also worth ordering is the straightforward, beefy Lasagna, as well as Risotto al Limone or lemon and saffron risotto served with seared foie gras.

 

Lasagna

 

Risotto al Limone

 

Those with big appetites or who are craving for something heartier may want to try Osteria Daniele’s Osso Bucco (veal shank stew with polenta and gremolata) or Bistecca alla Florentina, which is one kilo of grilled Wagyu T-bone MB5 served with seasonal vegetables and sea salt. Both dishes, I think, will go well with a side order of the Risotto al Limone.

 

Osso Bucco

 

Bistecca alla Florentina

 

Here’s my pro tip: enjoy the main course with a bottle of Arianna Occhipinti Italian red from Sicily, like the Il Frappato 2014 or the biodynamic Pithos Rosso Cos 2015.

For dessert, try the light versions of Tiramisu or Torta del Limone (lemon cheesecake), or end your meal with a coffee cocktail called Nutty Professore instead. It’s their take on the Espresso Martini, made with Italian Gin del Professore, Nocello or walnut liquor, Frangelico hazelnut liquor, simple syrup, and espresso.

 

Torta del Limone

 

Nutty Professore

 

Ground Level, Tower 1, High Street Corporate Plaza, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, (0915) 874-5792, FB: OsteriaDanielePH

 

Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa

Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa