Of course, a night out with fellow foodies / bloggers would mean exploring a new restaurant that hopefully would make it to our list of favorites. Tonight, our choice was Abbondanza Pizzeria Ristorante. A casual Italian restaurant located very near my alma mater in Pearl Drive, Pasig.
Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately likened it with Amici at Don Bosco with its fuss-free interiors, simple-yet-durable metal chairs and long family-style tables. What made Abbondanza different though was the personalized service of Mrs. Ginn Lee, the jolly petite owner who frequently visited our table initially to suggest their house specialties and later to ask how we find their dishes. We had fun chatting with Mrs. Ginn who told us that the head chef actually came from Amici thus the close similarity between the two restaurants. In fact, while browsing through their menu, I have noted a lot of familiar pizza and pasta dishes but also noticed that they have more varieties such as Antipasti (Appetizers), Salads and their Brown Focaccia Sticks (Php 7 per piece).
Taking Mrs. Ginn's suggestions, we got the Risotto Al Funghi Porcini, Cannelloni agli Spinaci, Pasta alla Pescatora and the Napoli Pizza.
Sweet Jane even made time despite her hectic schedule to prepare her very own tri-colored Tuna and Mushroom Penne for us to enjoy. Ü I personally enjoyed it very much to think it was a bit spicy but I felt that the dish would not be as flavorful without it.
Among the dishes that we ordered, I particularly liked the Napoli Pizza (Didi's choice) since I'm not really a fan of meat loaded pizza pies so this one is just right for me. Thin crust pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, oregano and drizzled with Olive Oil.
Another favorite was the Pasta alla Pescatora (Sab's choice). I am a big fan of seafood pasta and this one is just loaded with shrimp, squid and clams in a creamy white sauce. My only complain is that the shrimps seem to be over-cooked that it was a bit of a struggle to take the meat out from the shell. The squid however was good, not rubbery nor was it too soggy. My friends seem to like it too as this was the first one to get wiped out. Ü
Sadly, the Cannelloni agli Spinaci, failed to reach my expectations. It was dry perhaps due to the lack of Bechamel cream that is normally present in a Cannelloni dish. So far, nothing beats the Spinach Cannelloni that I had at Cantinetta. However, I think I'll save that for another story.
Lastly, the Risotto al Funghi Porcini is one of the house specialties. Although it is very fragrant and is filled with loads of mushroom slices, it is best to consume this quickly as the rice easily hardens up as it cools. Definitely not a good choice for dinner with loads of stories being shared.
Over-all, my first Abbondanza was pretty pleasant thanks to the good service given by Mrs. Ginn and her staff. The food was ok and would be something that I wouldn't mind repeating again soon. Next time, I'll make sure to leave some room for dessert particularly their Gelato that looks mouth-watering. Ü
If ever you find yourself within the area this coming Monday (July 7), do drop by Abbondanza as they will be celebrating their first year anniversary and Mrs. Ginn promised that there will be a lot of surprises and special treats for all customers.
Can't wait to see my girl friends again! Ciao!
Abbondanza Pizzeria Ristorante is located at the Ground Floor of the Crescent Condominium, Amethyst Drive, Ortigas. To reserve, you may call 6336336.