In today's trend of large scale and commercially operated restaurants, finding a family-owned restaurant dishing out home-cooked Italian meals in the busy heart of Ortigas makes me squeal with delight! After all, nothing beats the euphoric feeling of sitting down at the end of a hectic work day to savor an intricately prepared dish and just lose all sense of time and pending deadlines.
Risotto Con Funghi Porcini 380.00PHP or 8.51USD (photo above). Creamy, earthy and al dente, their risotto is addicting and quite filling.
Complimentary bread basket was served while waiting for the dishes the Benassi kitchen was cooking up for us.
Crema Di Zucca (Cream of Baked Pumpkin Soup) 150.00PHP or 3.34USD. Served hot, hearty and with just the right thickness I look for in soups.
Antipasto Misto 695.00PHP or 15.46USD. Traditionally, this is the first course for a formal Italian meal. The plate was loaded with cured meats, artichoke hearts and grilled eggplants. I specially loved the flavor play between the sweet eggplants and strong flavor of the artichoke.
Risotto Al Frutti Di Mare 380.00PHP or 8.45USD. Of the two risotto varieties served during dinner, I liked this better. Flavor-wise, it's more diverse and look at all those seafood! I still have lucid dreams about this :)
Ravioli Con Funghi Porcini 380.00PHP or 8.45USD. My favorite, bursting with ricotta cheese, porcini mushrooms and velvety sauce goodness. What I love about this the cohesiveness of ingredients, it just works perfectly.
Ravioli Con Spinaci 350.00PHP or 7.79USD. Another pasta offering from Benassi, this tasty and colorful dish is filled with spinach, ricotta plus parmesan cheeses. The tangy tomato sauce complements the mild flavors of the ricotta and parmesan.
Osso Bucco 900.00PHP or 20.02USD. Roughly translated, osso bucco means "bone with a hole". Referencing the bone marrow found at the center of the cross-cut veal shanks. I have nothing but superlatives for this dish. The slow-braised veal shanks were utterly fork tender and very tasty. This is usually served with pasta, but you can also request to have this beauty with rice.
I know I should be watching my diet but how could I resist? I threw caution to the wind and saved the best part for last, the intoxicating and delicious marrow. Anyone who sends their plate back to the kitchen not having to pry the insides of the bone is a fool.
Mascarpone Cake 220.00PHP or 4.89USD. At that point of the dinner, my tummy was literally full and thought I can't take another bite of anything else but when Ms. Katia, the owner, promised that dessert was just a light treat, I took her word for it.
Airy, fluffy, definitely light, very creamy and seriously the best tiramisu I have had to date. Sweetness is spot on and it makes you take spoonful after spoonful. This is surely my kind of comfort food. Serving size is meant to be for sharing, but I might not even share when I go back!
Italian restaurants come and go and only a selected few pinch the hearts and tastebuds of the picky Filipino foodie but I know that Benassi has earned a spot in my heart and well, tummy! An attestation to this is the pouring lunch and dinner crowds that keep coming back for the sumptuous Italian dishes plus the prompt and friendly service.
The owners Ms. Katia Benassi - De Guzman and her husband DJ are very hands on with the day-to-day management of the restaurant, with the help of her mom Rolyn - who is a culinary trained chef and is the brain behind their mouthwatering menu. I love their passion to share good Italian food and I am thankful that they did. I have now discovered another hidden gem that's definitely worth keeping! See you on my next pig out session!
Benassi Ristorante Italiano
Ortigas G/F, The Exchange Regency Residence Hotel,
Exchange Rd. cor. Jade St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City
(02) 312 9999
Facebook: Benassi Ristorante Italiano FB Page
Estimated Budget: 400.00PHP to 1000.00PHP/ 9.00USD to 22USD approx.
Payment Methods: Cash/Credit Card
Business Hours: 8:00AM to 10:30PM - Monday to Friday
Your pig out buddy,