A place built on the sole purpose of giving the locals a taste of Authentic Italian Cuisine. Pagliacci over the years, never strayed from tradition; everything made from scratch, handmade. Food built on simple flavors, menu items with a nice story, and the ambiance of an old standing Italian restaurant.
This is one of their signature home made pasta, Tagliatelle Tartufate a blend of truffle cream sauce exuding that irresistible earthy aroma, pasta that’s made from scratch; al dente and a bit chewy to the bite, and a good dose of mushrooms that further highlights that earthy flavor, it is really, really good.
The dinner started with a fairly basic appetizer, some bread and dips, simple but good nonetheless.
Home made bread with assorted dip, refillable one time.
Of freshly baked, warm, soft bread that’s served with an eggplant and tomato salsa dip. The eggplant dip gives it this nice light flavor with texture similar to a paste, then you hit it with the tomato salsa and it gives it little savory notes further titillating the taste buds.
Mozzarella, gorgonzola, scamorza, and parmagiano.
A medley of cheeses on a light, thin crust pizza. Then you hit it with some chili flakes and oil, you get this complex flavor from the cheeses and then you hit the spicy bits, the heat further enhances those flavors and leaves you wanting for more. If you’re not a fan of really spicy food, go easy on the chili flakes as a little goes a long way.
I think Pagliacci’s strength lies on their pasta dishes, made from scratch giving it a distinct texture, and some of their pasta dishes have an awesome story behind it too.
For the last couple of years, the restaurant’s clientele has been more of the business class people, and they’re usually packed for lunch, as it offers a quiet dining ambiance giving that feel of exclusivity and is very ideal for meetings and whatnot. Some of the regulars became really good friends with the owner, one in particular was Lorenzo Tan, CEO of one of the local banks. Together they developed this dish, Spaghetti alla Lorenzo an oil based pasta with simple flavors.
An inspired dish from a good fellow – Olive oil, broccoli, shrimps, garlic, and chili.
Spaghetti cooked al dente enveloped by the olive oil based sauce. You first get these faint notes of garlic-y flavor, then you hit the shrimp bits – plump and juicy and the broccoli pieces gives this nice tinge of crunch giving a nice contrast in texture. Then you get a nice hint of spiciness from the chili it’s really good and that heat from the chili definitely left me wanting for more. Well balanced flavors a sensible pairing of garlic, seafood, and chili on a fairly basic oil based pasta, simple but very good.
Home made pasta with truffle cream and mushroom.
Their Tagliatelle Tartufate was really good! With the irresistible aroma of the truffle cream sauce, that earthy aroma alone got me really excited, I really had a hard time taking pictures as I was containing this urge to dig in and munch on this seemingly yummy dish in front of me. The spinach pasta was made from scratch and cooked al dente, I really like it’s texture – a bit chewy and as it breaks down you get these tiny pieces of spinach giving a really nice texture. Everything is enveloped by this rich truffle cream sauce. Took a bite and I love how the richness and the earthy flavors of the sauce base goes well with the mushroom, highlighting its flavors and giving it a more umami taste. This one’s a must-try!
Shank cooked in tomato sauce, herbs and red wine.
Succulent meat with shank and all its rich bone marrow goodness. Cooked in tomato sauce and red wine, the nice flavors was really infused with the meat, it’s rich and flavorful but not cloying. The meat was fork tender and the flavor of the meat was further highlighted by the rich sauce. You’ll want to finish it all, scoop the sauce to the last bite and eat all those bone marrow goodies to the last bit.
Risotto al nero / ai funghi / ai frutti di mare / al funo – Italian rice cooked in different ways… Must try.
We also tried their risotto al funghi, made the traditional way, it takes at least 30 minutes to preapre. Though I love the rich, earthy flavors from their risotto, I didn’t like the texture as much, I think it was a bit overdone. That said the medley of flavors – umami and earthy from the mushrooms then you hit the cheese was really good, the texture – not that much. Would love to try other variants on my next visit.
For our sweet endings it’s hard to say no to gelato on a hot summer day, yes?
Their gelato is the same with Gelatone, if you’re familiar with that dessert place, you’ll most likely see the same flavors on their gelato menu. Tried their Dark Chocolate mint, as I’m a sucker for all things mint and I love dark chocolate too. Pronounced chocolate flavor then you get a cool, mint after taste, it’s simple and very good.
Pagliacci has some tasteful interiors with some comfy booths, the interiors and the look and feel of the restaurant and some of the plating techniques seem dated but I think it contributes to the charm of the restaurant, an old standing Restaurant that serves authentic Italian food. It’s tucked at the 5th floor of podium near Madeca.
VERDICT: Pagliacci offers some really good Italian comfort food, I love pasta and their creations is one of the better ones I tried. That truffle pasta and spaghetti alla Lorenzo is really good. Food built on simple flavors, fresh, and made from scratch. The place definitely deserves a return trip and I’d love to try their Specials and Panini next time.
VALUE FOR MONEY: Menu items here are a bit pricey, go for the pasta and pizza for a filling meal, the food is good and if you’re willing to splurge on some good pasta and pizza, then this place should be on your list of go-to’s.
5th Floor, The Podium,
ADB Avenue, Ortigas Centre,