An Authentic Italian Repast at Prego
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An Authentic Italian Repast at Prego



A sprawling 280 sq meter area awaits  when you go to Prego Ristorante Italiano at posh City of Dreams Manila.  Its main dining hall can accommodate 65  people, the alfresco about 20 and the alcove around 18 people at one time, per Mr. Kelvin  Prego's Manager.



It had an old world charm  with its  handsome wood tables , dark wood furnishings, rich red cushioned seats on the main room and golden yellow printed cushioned seats in the private alcove and the former 360 degree bar.

Prego Ristorante Italiano is owned by Chef Luciano Paolo Nesi , a world renowned restaurateur,  in partership with New Zealand's Craggy Range wines by the Peabody family.  If  Chef Paolo seem familiar,  it is  because he also owns L'Opera Ristorate Italiano  and Balducci. 

That is not to say  though that the wines in Prego are only limited to the Peabody brand.  The restaurant carries a variety of premium wines and drinks  from all over the world.


Interesting enough, I learned from Prego's Restaurant Manager Mr. Kelvin, that Chef  Paolo Nesi is friends with another   Italian Chef  , Chef Dario Gardini. Chef Dario was the former chef-owner of  the famous Caruso Ristorate Italiano, but now owns Dario Ristorante Italiano in Serendra BGC  (check out my review about Dario in one of my blog entries here)


I was at Prego before  the appointed time.  I  have this thing about being tardy. It stresses me . So I  overestimated the time and was there at 1030 am . Thankfully Mr. Kelvin and a lady server was able to accommodate me while I await the arrival of  the rest of the group.  I had ample time to  check out the place without being harried and to hear the story behind the rise of Prego from Mr. Kelvin

Prego opened in City of Dreams Manila in December 2014. It is the only authentic  Italian restaurant in that  multi billion casino complex. So those of you  dreaming to experience Italian cuisine with Tuscan flair need not look further nor buy any plane tickets to Italy. Just hie off to the City of  Dreams and reserve a table at Prego.

Prego is a word that is at once simple and complex. That two syllable word can mean anything from "you are welcome",  "dont mention it ", "how can I help you",  "come in" to  the equivalent of "cheers".

Echoing the restaurant's name ,  the food here is simple but with layers and layers of flavor,

Last Friday October 6,  together with other foodies, we had the privilege of enjoying the following dishes

Flatlay by @ilovetoeatph

INSALATE ALA CESARE  P450
Romaine greens in an authentic Italian Caesar dressing
topped with Italian pancetta and croutons
The greens were crisp. The Cesare Dressing was freshly made from scratch and was scrumptious. The pancetta provided the salty component and some crunch as well . So did the croutons




PACCHERI  SALSICCE E FUNGHI ALLA BOSCAOIOLA P540
special pasta with fresh Italian sausage and mushrooms in light tomato sauce

This was one delicious pasta.  The fat tube-like pasta was at once al dente and chewy absorbing the light tomato sauce. The bit of heat from the spice was a wonderful surprise. The  Italian sausage gave the dish another facet of flavor and texture.   The mushrooms gave the pasta an earthy component . Perfect!




SPAGHETTI ALA CARBONARA P530
 spaghetti with egg, parmesan  and pancetta sauce


I was transported to Italy. The presentation was very simple. The color was  pale and bland. Yet I know it was going to be a fabulous dish.

The spaghetti was al dente. The carbonara sauce  was house made and did not come from a bottle. It was made with egg, parmesan and pancetta. This is the authentic carbonara I know not those cream based type that are being served in other pseudo Italian restos in the metro.



BISTECCA DISOSSATA ALA  GRIGLIA CN SPINACI P520/100 grams
certified Angus beef rib eye accompanied with sauteed spinach and vegetables


The presentation was pretty standard. The ribeye though was anything but.   Grilled perfectly medium rare, the only fly in the ointment was it  was a bit under seasoned. But I'm nitpicking.


PIZZA PREGO P590
house pizza with spiced salami,  anchovies, blue cheese, fresh tomato
sauce and mozzarella cheese


So unfortunate that I was not able to take a photo of this pizza!  And this was my favorite among all 3 pizzas served! I loved the strong flavor of the anchovies and blue cheese. It deserves its name.

GRAN MISTO DI ANTIPASTI MARE P890
special assortment of  Italian seafood appetizers
One order of this can feed 2-4 people along  with the Insalate Cesar and Pizza Prego. The octopus where thinly sliced and  had a delicate flavor of the sea. The olives, cherry tomatoes and lemon provided the much needed piquancy  to complement the subtle octopus' taste. 

The gravlax were house made  and quite delicious with its dill sauce. The shrimps were succulent and the greens crunchy.

This will be perfect with a glass of white wine.




GRAN MISTO DI ANTIPASTI TERRA P990
special assortment of  Italian meat and vegetables

A carnivore's dream starter.   Just need a glass of red wine to complete the picture. Dibs on the artichoke, fat olives and sun dried tomatoes.



TUBETI AL'AMATRICIANA IN  CESTINO DI PARMIGIANO P550
 short tube pasta with guancile bacon in tomato sauce
served inside a crispy parmesan  cheese basket 


The edible crispy parmesan cheese basket was a nice touch. I loved when it turned chewy under the weight of the sauce and pasta. The tubelike pasta was similar  to the paccheri served but was milder in flavor.



FILLETO DI MANZO CON FEGATO D'OCA IN SALSA TARTUFATA 
CON SPINACI E ASPARAGI P990/100 grams
Certfied angus beef tenderloin with pan fried foie gras in  truffle sauce served with  asparagus and fresh spinach


Foie Gras!! I love  this decadent dish. Again like ribeye, it was a tad under seasoned but can be remedied with a  bit of salt and pepper. The tenderloin t was medium rare just as steak should be and juicy.  The foie gras was melt-in-your-mouth, silky smooth and sinful. It was almost a sin to put any gravy on  the whole thing. So I didnt. Scrumptious!



PIZZA CON BURRATA E PACHINO P620
Tomato , fresh cherry tomatoes and burrata


Nothing beats pizza made from scratch. I can eat the pizza crust on its own. Texture was perfect -- chewy and crunchy where it matters. Plus burrata, basil and tomato sauce? .... Yum!



PANNA COTTA AL MIELE TARTULFO P420
 a special version of Prego's famous  Italian cream custard with truffled
honey syrup and sweet balsamic vinegar


There is always room for dessert even if there were two desserts in this instance. The more, the merrier I always say. That  fruity balsamic vinegar was the perfect syrup for the jiggly panna cotta and I thought it was chocolate . The panna cotta was  creamy and sexy. I loved it.




TIRAMISU  P420
Prego's famous mascarpone cheesecake


It was a frozen version of the classic Tiramisu I know. It looked and tasted like an ice cream cake. Admittedly, it was a bit of a let down.  I was looking for the classic Tiramisu.





Summary :

All in all it was an amazing foodgasmic experience. The food was gorgeous from the appetizer to the dessert with just one miss. The service was impeccable. Kudos to the restaurant manager Mr. Kelvin and his staff.  Mr. Kelvin knows his food, the history of the restaurant, the wines,etc.  Prego is lucky to have him.

Definitely coming back with the whole family just to celebrate life.

Prego!



Prego Ristorante Italiano
Upper Ground Floor City of Dreams Manila
Macapagal Avenue, Entertainment City
Paranaque
Call 02 8934155 for reservation










Prego Ristorante and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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