Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ladies who lunch at L' Incontro

It's like something right out of a scene in Sex and the City. Fashion-forward ladies catching up on their lives over delicious gourmet dishes and a glass of bubbly wine. That was exactly what my sister and I did one weekday lunch a couple of weeks before my BIG day.

Upon receiving an invite to an intimate lunch to try the new dishes of L'Incontro Ristorante Italiano, I immediately invited my sister to join me as I know she has been a fan of this restaurant back when it was still with the first owner. She has been raving about the food, the ambiance and the wonderful service prodding Paul to bring me there on a date sometime. That's how much my sister loves me.

Unfortunately, time did not allow our L'Incontro date to push thru up until we found out that it is now under a new management headed by Tina Pamintuan, a big fan of L'Incontro and a well-traveled food lover who will definitely breath fresh air into this classic Italian restaurant.

Our lunch was held in a private room that was brightly lit by the sunlight. We arrived a bit late that day that we missed out on the delicious finger food that were passed around but we lucky enough to get the last two Dolce Gnocchi Gorgonzola placed in a pretty soup spoon. I love gnocchi and I was really trying hard to resist taking the whole thing in one go. Instead I took one small bite and savored the delicious potato pasta with gooey gorgonzola cheese inside.

Immediately after, we were served with our Caprese Salad which was a refreshing mix of huge tomato slices with Goat Cheese drizzled with Balsamic Vinaigrette and a few basil leaves. This came with a slim glass of prosecco which is means sparking wine in Italian. What a light and easy way to start our meal.

In Italy, a full course meal has two courses -- Primo and Secondo. Not only that it comes with a platter of cheese and fruits before you can sink your teeth into the sweet dessert for that day.

If there's one dish that really left a lasting memory on my taste buds that day, it was definitely the Crespella with Tarturo Sauce paired with some Kendell Jackson Chardonnay. I loved it so much that I actually left a teaser here about it. How can I say no to soft, fluffy crepe with mushroom and truffle oil? It was so good I couldn't believe I am so lucky to be given the chance to indulge. The wine was also perfect, light and crisp I love how it just smoothly glided down my throat. I loved it so much that my sister and I even considered buying a bottle for our family to enjoy. Maybe, we should have huh?

For our second course, we had the Seabass Al Sale which is melt-in-your-mouth seabass covered in rock salt and served with two choices of sauces. One thing I love with seafood is you can instantly tell if the fish is fresh with just one taste. It should be tender but not mushy, it should not in any way smell or taste like soil. L'Incotro really did as promised as they served high quality ingredients and this can be seen in this dish that is pretty simple, free of any marinades or fillings as it totally shows off the freshness of the fish.

The Seabass came with another special dish -- the Beef Tagliata con Rucola. I can just imagine having lunch with Paul at L'Incontro. I would rave over the fish while the beef tagliata I'm sure he'll love. This is a manly man's choice as you'll get a generous slice of the tender beef together with some Rosemary Potatoes to go with it.

As a side dish, we had the Arugula Salad with Onion Gratin that was actually a surprise for me. I am not fond of onions due to my hyper-acidic stomach but this one I enjoyed as the onions were very sweet and the arugula was fresh and flavorful making a perfect accompaniment for our two main courses.

While enjoying lunch, we joined the live table discussion which was really a great way to mingle with new friends. I love the ambiance of L'Incontro and I look forward to having lunch with both my sister and mom here. With its laid back feel, you can just enjoy your food and wine for hours as its very knowledgeable and hospitable servers will attend to your needs.

Unfortunately, we had to head back to the office skipping the last two courses namely the cheese platter and dessert. While we felt back for skipping the sweet stuff, we both reminded ourselves that we will definitely be back and we'll make sure we'll make it till dessert this time.

*Special thanks to Ms. Tina Pamintuan for hosting this wonderful lunch! :)

L'Incontro is located at 207 Nicanor Garcia (formerly Reposo street), Makati City. Make a reservation by calling 899-0638 / 899-0642.

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