Lucia Ristorante is a casual dining restaurant in Makati City that features authentic Italian dishes prepared by Chef Davide Lombardi of the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) Manila. The restaurant is situated inside Hotel Céleste, a European-inspired boutique hotel at the corner of San Lorenzo Drive and A. Arnaiz Avenue. During a weekend staycation at the hotel, we sampled some of the specialty dishes of Chef Lombardi. Here's how our Italian dining experience went at Lucia.
Read Also: An Exquisite Weekend Staycation at Hotel Céleste in Makati
ambiente accogliente ed elegante
The Italian dining experience starts with the interior of Lucia Ristorante. Consistent with the design of Hotel Celeste, the restaurant features chairs and tables in modern and elegant European inspired design such as the marble tables, earth color chairs and restaurant sofas upholstered in warm-colored velvet. The hand-painted design of the ceiling adds more elegance into the dining space with lights giving a warm and cozy feel to the ambiance.
5-Course Degustation of Authentic Italian Dishes
As scheduled, we went down to Lucia Ristorante at 7:00pm for our 5-Course Degustation of Authentic Italian Dishes. Shortly after we were seated, the first course of our dinner was served. It was an intimate dinner over sumptuous Italian dishes personally prepared by Chef Davide Lombardi.
The First Course was comprised of portions of three dishes (L-R): Neapoletana, pizza with tomato sauce, Mozzarella and fresh basil; Parmigiana di Melanzane, roasted eggplant with Mozzarella cheese; and, Carpaccio di Manzo Sedano e Grana, beef carpaccio marinated with lemon and olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese. Among the three, our favorite was the beef carpaccio because it is something that we don't commonly see in Italian restaurants in Manila so this dish really gave us a unique Italian dining experience.
The Second Course included samplers of three pasta dishes (L-R) Taglierini Tartufati, home-made fresh taglierini with mushroom and black truffles; Lasagne della Casa con Crema di Porcini, home-made fresh lasagna with Bolognese ragu and porcini sauce; and, Taglietelle alla Carbonara, home-made fresh tagliatelle with egg and pancetta. We were very impressed by the lasagna not only by its taste but also by the amount of work did to make this pasta dish. The thin slices of lasagne can only be achieved by a master Italian chef!
The mains are finally served starting with the Third Course, Orata all'Ortolana which is roasted white fish served with pesto cream sauce on a bed of French string beans and broccoli. The fish tasted fresh and was very delicate. It was perfectly seasoned and made extra special by the pesto cream sauce. The vegetables were crisp and has a sweet-freshness taste.
The next main dish was served on the Fourth Course, the Coscie di Pollo Tartufate in Salsa Rosa or boneless chicken thigh stuffed with mushrooms and served with pomodoro dolce, French string beans and broccoli. The chicken thigs had a crunchy skin while the meat was tender and moist. The mushroom stuffing gave the chicken a mellow earthy flavor which matched the pomodoro dolce (mildly sweet tomato paste). The vegetables were likewise crispy fresh.
Finally, the Fifth Course arrived featuring two of our favorite Italian desserts: Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. The tiramisu had the deep coffee flavor the way we love it while the panna cotta had a delicate vanilla flavor into it.
The 5-course degustation was well executed. Changing from one course to another was seamless. Clearly, there's perfect coordination between the kitchen and the food servers that every course was served at a perfect timing. We had a chance to chat with Chef Lombardi during our dinner. After an exchange of "Buonasera" (Italian greeting of good evening), Chef Lombardi asked me how the food was. I then surprised him by replying in Italian "Mi piacciono tutti i piati" (I like all the dishes). I can't forget the surprised smile on Chef Lombardi's face.
The 5-Course Degustation for 2 is available on Deal Grocer at only ~P899.00, a trully great value deal! This promo is constantly replenished on dealgrocer.com by Lucia Ristorante. It's perfect for romantic dates or intimate dinner with friends or family.
Lucia Bistro, also situated at the ground floor of the hotel, serves wine and coffee, as well as some pastries and cakes. The white marble tables and the epoch style round sofas gives it a chic Parisian cafe feel which also complements the modern European inspired design of the hotel. Lucia Bistro is a good venue for after-dinner coffee or a casual meeting place with friends or business partners. We ended our Italian dinner experience with a an after-dinner coffee here at Lucia Bistro.
Our overnight stay at Hotel Céleste came with a complimentary plated breakfast for two at Lucia Bistro. There is a number of breakfast choices for in-house guests which includes unlimited coffee or tea.
I had the Overload Omelet which is basically a huge serving of Spanish omelet with a cheesy tomato filling. Edgar had the Breakfast Overload. which included sausage, hash brown, ham and eggs.
Guests can also complement their plated breakfast with complimentary breads, cereals, salad, fresh fruits, cold cuts and cheeses that are served in a buffet setting.
I particularly loved their very fluffy croissants that go perfectly well with butter, jam and cold cut sausages. The Breakfast Meeting is also available to walk-in guests for P399.00 per person.
|croissants, cold cuts and cheese|
We checked-out from the hotel at 12:00 noon right on time for our Executive Lunch at Lucia Ristorante. We had a 3-course Italian lunch consisting of a salad as starter, the main course, and dessert.
For starter, we had the Insalata Mista, a mixed salad of mesclun greens with cherry tomatoes, shallots and balsamic vinaigrette. It's a refreshing salad that stimulates your taste buds, preparing you for the main dish.
For our main course, we had the Ribeye Steak on a bed of risotto, topped with truffle sauce, and served with broccoli and French string beans.The steak was tender and is perfectly flavored with the truffle sauce. The creamy risotto matches the earthy and aromatic flavor of the truffle sauce. The vegetables were crisp and tasting fresh.
|Panna Cotta & Tiramisu|
We finished off our lunch with Panna Cotta and Tiramisu for dessert. We also ordered Caffe Latte to go with our dessert.
The Exective Lunch is available everyday from 11:00am to 2:00pm serving at P400.00++ per person. Note however that the dishes included in the Executive Lunch changes from time to time so it is best to inquire first with Lucia Ristorante.
Lucia Ristorate at Hotel Céleste
02 San Lorenzo Drive corner A. Arnaiz Avenue
San Lorenzo Village, Makati City
Telephone: (02) 887-8080