beauty and the feast

A lav­ish Meditere­an­nean din­ner in­spired by the lo­ca­vore move­ment

Cebu Living - - FRONT PAGE - By DIANNE PINEDA Images by EDRIC CHEN of AT EAST JED ROOT An­zani New Mediter­ranean Restau­rant. Panorama Heights, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City. (032) 236-0097. www.an­zani.com.ph.

Cebu is laden with din­ing places rang­ing from hip, new joints to no- fuss, small eater­ies one can eas­ily go to in ca­sual wear and flip flops. But as for fine din­ing places with in­tri­cate set­tings and ex­quis­ite gourmet menus? Not so much. An­zani New Mediter­ranean Restau­rant brings a re­fresh­ing change in the din­ing scene with its Euro­pean cui­sine of­fer­ings and a care­fully cu­rated se­lec­tion of vin­tage wines and cham­pagne. Not far from the business hub but still hid­den enough to be an in­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion, the restau­rant sits co­zily on top of Nivel Hills, a quiet place where one can get in­tox­i­cated by wine and the panoramic views of the city.

The kitchen is led by Marco An­zani, a chef famed for his new coastal in­ter­pre­ta­tions of clas­sic Mediter­ranean fla­vors. What makes his menu still have that Ce­buano touch is how he is able to max­i­mize lo­cal in­gre­di­ents with a Mediter­ranean style of cook­ing. “We grow our own pro­duce and con­coct our in- house li­mon­cello, all born in Cebu,” he shares. “But we take into con­sid­er­a­tion new prod­ucts from Europe. Our cheeses come from all over the world. The one rule that we have is that we don’t scrimp on qual­ity or fresh­ness.”

De­spite its con­tem­po­rary in­te­ri­ors and fancy at­mos­phere, guests can feel right at home with its warm and filling com­fort food. For starters, the Five Won­ders of the Ocean is a melange of oys­ter in white zabaione, large scal­lops, mar­i­nated Nor­we­gian sal­mon, crispy squid, craw­fish and squid salad in one fla­vor­ful serv­ing. But the real star of the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is An­zani’s oval thin pizza, with flat­bread selections such as smoked speck ham, white three cheeses, spinach, and parma shav­ings. The smoked speck ham is sprin­kled with gor­gonzola cream wal­nuts, caramelized pears and cherry tomato. You can view the chefs work­ing in ac­tion as they make the pizza in the open kitchen. The braised Wagyu shank is a fla­vor­ful treat for the main course, made even more sat­is­fy­ing when paired with a glass of Mer­lot or Chardonnay. The un­der­ground cel­lar houses red and white wines sourced from all over Europe, the old­est one dat­ing from the late 1990s. The menu may be lengthy, but the op­tions are wel­come.

The prices are not too in­tim­i­dat­ing, but that lit­tle ex­tra for good food, fine drinks, and breathtaking views is def­i­nitely worth the price. You are, after all, get­ting the best of both worlds: the clas­sic charm of Europe and the lived- in warmth of Cebu. Chef An­zani says, “On many lev­els, Cebu is hold­ing its own in many ways as a prime des­ti­na­tion. The light is shin­ing in Cebu.”

FLAT DOUGH PIZZA IS ONE OF AN­ZANI’S SPE­CIAL­TIES, WHICH IS MADE FROM SCRATCH EV­ERY DAY. THE LAND ON WHICH THE RESTAU­RANT STANDS USED TO BE A

VINE­YARD 60 YEARS AGO.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.