It’s impossible for me not to fall in love with Italy. The food alone is a staple belly-filler in my “brain fridge.” Yes I do possess a fridge in my brain, a collection of my favorite flavors. Anyway. My feet took me out to one of the authentic Italian restaurants in the busy city of Makati. Caruso Ristorante Italiano is the name. A very familiar name and sight in Makati but I’ve never had the chance to enter this romantic side of the city.
My top-of-mind date (Will you guess who?) and I reserved our ‘Saturdate’ for Caruso Ristorante Italiano. Gaging from its name, the restaurant speaks of a formal type of venue. Although we didn’t dress up so formal – coat and tie & evening dress, since a smart casual attire will fit for a lunch or dinner affair.
Caruso Ristorante Italiano is owned by born and raised Italian men – Emilio Mina and Dario Gardini.  Popular among expats in the Philippines, Caruso is occupied mostly of these fine ladies and gentlemen. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not exclusive for them. Maybe like me, you often pass by Nicanor Garcia St. and let your curiosity stop from just looking at the restaurant and forget about giving it a try. This time, I didn’t let Caruso pass by and took that chance to taste a portion of Italy through their authentic Italian dishes.

The Food:

While chitchatting with my date, as you’ve guessed it’s O, and the gentlemen from Caruso, these freshly baked hot complimentary bread interrupted our focus. It stole a moment of our conversation for its crisp yet soft texture with its olive oil dip. Some days in my home, I wish I have Caruso’s bread to wake me up.
Bruschette Pomodoro (Php 460)
Rate: 4/5
Lifted the next toast on my plate, Brushette Pomodoro. This one’s a simple charmer! O and I love the freshness of tomatoes and basil put together in toasted bread.
Crostini Funghi Porcini (Php 480)
Rate: 4/5
Toasted bread with porcini mushroom – famous mushroom variety used in Italian cuisine. These ‘shrooms’ had a strong appeal with a hint of nutty flavor that hyped the afternoon even more. I wanted to take myself on a mushroom hunt after immersing myself into these Crostini Funghi Porcini mushrooms.
Margherita with Bufala Cheese (Php 820)
Rate: 4/5
Kids look forward to their spaghetti or pizzas. Like a child at heart, I waited and expected a pizza to come out. Some kind of cherry on top of my Italian afternoon. I knew Caruso emphasizes on authenticity when I had their Margherita with Bufala Cheese pizza. The combination of tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil fell right through my heart. I couldn’t find a reason why I should say ‘no’ to this pizza.
Stracchino Cremona (Php 690)
Rate: 4/5
It was my first time to take my cheesy buds to try Stracchino Cremona. Basically, it’s under Italy’s cow-milk cheese category. Milky, gooey and luscious cheese that’s best with toasted bread or nothing at all. I choose nothing at all. Plain Stracchino cheese put in my mouth like eating a jar of nutella. The difference is, the cheese (as expected) is way more expensive!
Bucatini Alla Amatriciana (Php 530)
Rate: 4/5
Spaghetti is my breather. My week doesn’t last without my plate of spaghetti with tomatoes. From my spaghetti experiences, I thought I had the usual plate of spaghetti at Caruso. When I zoomed a little closer, it is not spaghetti, it is Bucatini! Bucatini is a spaghetti look alike, only has a hole running through the center. Bucatini Alla Amatriciana had small slices of bacon with it, all mixed in its fresh Italian tomato sauce and pecorino cheese on top. This passed above my spaghetti standards. It isn’t your sweet type of pasta since we are dealing with authentic Italian here.
Lasagna All Emiliana (Php 630)
Rate: 5/5
I don’t need any help in finishing this Lasagna All Emiliana. You guys, this is the bomb! It’s a fine fine lasagna you couldn’t just taste elsewhere. This is an Emiliana style homemade lasagna with meat sauce. Now I want to live in an Italian home to get the real pasta deal. Blame this lasagna for increasing (once again) my standards for Italian food.
Lapu-Lapu Puttanesca (Php 830)
Rate: 3/5
Another dish sunk with tomato sauce, Lapu-Lapu Puttanesca. Fillet lapu-lapu in tomato sauce with olives and capers. For me, it’s a regular dish that didn’t raise the bar. The price, for over P800, is a little too much for its good for 2 size.
Tagliata Di Manzo Al Rosmarino (Php 890)
Rate: 4/5
Beef tenderloin slices in fragrant rosemary laid on the table was the last among savory dishes served. Its tender beef will twist your head to look down and pay attention to your food. Ordering Tagliata Di Manzo for your date might earn you plus points for your good choice of meat. Practice saying the name in your best Italian accent; that might charm one more time. Haha!
Panna Cotta (Php 320)
Rate: 5/5
Oh my sweet spot was awakened! It’s Caruso’s Panna Cotta that won over everything our lips have touched. Put together a dense, milky and creamy texture in a not-too-sweet classic vanilla dessert. You’ll want to take another ride to Caruso for this dessert! Well, I did! And I want to go back now just for this exquisite dessert.
Tiramisu (Php 320)
Rate: 3/5
I’m sorry Tiramisu but I tasted Panna Cotta first and I have to give my heart to Panna Cotta. But I know there are some of you who are more convinced with a dessert inclined to the taste of coffee and mascarpone cheese combined. Caruso’s Tiramisu was properly done and still a good choice to end the meal. I just have to tell you the truth, Caruso’s Panna Cotta is more worth the money.

The Ambiance:

Whether you’re with your family, wine-drinking buddies, your date or alone, as long as you’re willing to splurge with a budget of around P800 per person, Caruso Italiano Ristorante’s formal fine dining set-up will flow your boat. There’s a little corner for Caruso’s resident pianist who normally plays on Wednesday evenings. At night, the big dining space look very suave that fits your stilettos.
Pencil in Caruso Ristorante Italiano if you’re looking for your next place to celebrate a special occasion this year. It’s sophisticated ambiance and knowledgeable servers fit grown-up birthday dinners, anniversaries or a family lunch to simply celebrate the joy of eating together with your whole family.
Food and art enthusiasts, this might grab your attention. On May 14, 2015, young painters will be given an opportunity to shine and flaunt their artworks. Witness Caruso Awards 2015, art competition for young Filipino contemporary artists, after your day job, also happening at Caruso Ristorante Italiano.
What do you think of Caruso Ristorante Italiano?
Share with me your thoughts! 🙂
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout
Location: 210 Nicanor Garcia St. Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:30AM-2:30PM / 6:00PM-11:00PM
Contact: (+632) 895-2451 / (+63 917) 581-2832
Budget: PHP800++

Food 9/10
Ambiance 9/10
Service 9/10
Cost 8/10
Overall 8.75/10