Saturday, October 13, 2018

Cucina di Francesco

Last October 12 per the invite of Zomato, I found myself with other selected foodies in a gem of a place in Libis of all places.

The 3 storey  restaurant is located at RER Compound (St. Pio Chapel) 188 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue Bagumbayan Quezon City.

I got lost the first time I went there. I had to go thru Eastwood Libis , Calle Industriya then E.Rodriguez Jr. Ave again careful not to miss  the restaurant a second time.

Before the gas station, turn right. I saw  Cucina di Francesco immediately and the St. Pio Chapel beyond.

It was a beautiful compound tucked beside an ubiquitous gas station. It was almost surreal having St. Pio Chapel  there in the middle of   Eastwood's concrete jungle peppered with huge billboards.


Per  Ms. Mary Rose Pena (owner),  it was Mr. Ramon Rodriguez owner of the compound where Cucina di Francesco sits, who invited them to open a restaurant  right  within the vicinity of St. Pio Chapel.

Ms. Pena used to own another gem of a restaurant located inside an ICU waiting area  in Medical City. The restaurant was called Cafe Bono and it was frequented by Mr. Ramon Rodriguez who loved Mary Rose Pena's puttanesca and carbonara.

Ms. Pena's pasta  created quite an indelible impression on Mr. Rodriguez so much so that when he wanted a restaurant in the compound, his first thought   was Ms. Pena's restaurant.

Mr. Ramon Rodriguez is into construction and is a devout follower  of  St. Pio. That is why even the restaurant of Ms. Pena is named after the saint. The real name of St. Pio is Francesco.

The spot where we find 2 year old Cucina di Francesco used to be occupied by a smart cell tower. From the vacant flat land , they built everything from scratch. The colorful murals that will draw your eyes as you go up the stairs were created by an all girl group of  UP Fine Arts students

We had our food tasting experience at the third floor of the restaurant...

The Food
Although the name of the restaurant sounds Italian,  Ms. Mary Rose was quick to dispel the notion that they serve authentic Italian cuisine because apart from Italian, they have Pinoy dishes in the menu as well.

Nor is this the same as Francesco's Kitchen in San Juan whose Italian Chef is a friend of  Ms. Mary Rose

So if they are not authentic, what is their food ? Per Ms. Mary Rose,  their food is made from scratch and are familiar. Comfort food if you will

FaMEALy Treats

Cucina di Francesco recently launched their Famealy Treats which can serve up to 10 people at P3000 or P300 average cost per person. It can be enjoyed while dining in or can be ordered to go. Last October 12, we tasted the following 
1 Whole Rosemary Roast Chicken
Simple yet flavorful,  I loved how moist the chicken was. The roasted garlic which served as garnish were sweet and creamy . They complemented the rosemary roasted chicken well.

10 pcs Toasted Ravioli
I loved the crunch on the ravioli. It married well with the marinara sauce that served as toppings.

1 platter pasta Vongole
They had me at "freshly made pasta". Anything made from scratch has my vote. Like an authentic Italian Pasta, the strength of the dish lies on its fresh ingredients.

1 breakfast  pizza
This was one pizza that was a feast for the eyes and the palate and was filling as well.

1 Tre Formaggi Pizza
Foodies who love cheese will love this pasta

Porchetta is one of the alternative mains to Famealy treats

2 carafes of lemongrass Calamansi  iced tea
In keeping with their philosophy, even the iced tea is brewed in the premises.

They make their own Italian Sausage and  bread . Burrata is locally made . The P1399 includes two bottles of  either sangria, mojito or mango. Per Ms. Mary Rose, one order of  Aperitivo can feed 2-4 people

"just pray, dont worry..." -  St. Pio

Per Ms. Mary Rose,  St.Pio's  motto "just pray , dont worry.." is their guiding philosophy. From their advocacy of  hiring and training autistic employees to promoting and supporting local suppliers, this has been their mantra.

Ms. Mary Rose Pena is a Pastry Chef by profession and worked in food magazines in the past  before concentrating solely on Cafe Bono previously and Cucina di Francesco currently.

This  budget conscious foodie mom  is happy about Cucina di Francesco's Famealy treats. That average cost of P300 per person is music to my ears. I loved that there are 6 options to choose from apart from the one we tasted.  Please check out their website or FB for details.

Thank you for having us Ms. Mary Rose and for the invite Zomato 

Cucina di Francesco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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