Sunday, March 14, 2021

It's Truffle Season All-Year Long at Caruso Ristorante Italiano

Since 2002, Caruso Ristorante Italiano has been serving sumptuous Italian cuisine driven by one man's  passion for real homespun authenticity in the age of social media and the new normal. It's all about food the way Emilio Mina remembers it recalling his childhood in Milan using the finest and freshest ingredients and prepared the traditional way. And now, Caruso Ristorante Italiano offers an indulgent treat from the lush countryside of Alba straight to your plate.

Alba's famed White Truffle of Northern Italy from October to January, Bianchetto from January to April and Black Truffle from April to October, diners at Caruso Ristorante Italiano can experience the much-prized and sought after "diamond of the kitchen" in a variety of dishes for a unique and memorable dining experience. Guided by the seasons, Emilio Mina brings the fresh harvest of truffles for a seasonal celebration of the legendary tuber to Caruso Ristorante Italiano. Read on for a tasty peek at the specialty dishes of Caruso Ristorante Italiano and their year-long truffle season... 

Located along Nicanor Garcia Street in Makati, Caruso Ristorante Italiano has become one of the enduring landmarks for authentic Italian cuisine for almost two decades. In keeping with the times, Caruso Ristorante Italiano implements the latest mandatory health and safety protocols for your peace of mind in this new normal. 

The transition to the new normal continues to transform our daily routine, with new consumer habits emerging from the quarantine experience. Inside the timeless and elegant interiors of Caruso Ristorante Italiano, one can immediately notice the physical adjustments such as dividers... well as provisions for socially distanced seating configurations. Times may have changed, but the experience and authentic flavors enjoyed at Caruso Ristorante Italiano through the years remain exactly the way you remember it. And it's the man behind Caruso Ristorante Italiano that makes dining here so special. 

He's the face of Caruso Ristorante Italiano, the very heart and spirit of the iconic Italian restaurant along Nicanor Garcia Street in Makati. For nearly twenty years, tradition and authenticity with real and honest flavors in each dish remain the restaurant's secrets to success and longevity. And Emilio Mina of Caruso Ristorante Italiano just won't have it any other way. And why not. You can count only a few dining establishments that have endured the test of time and gone beyond the somewhat frivolous hype in the age of social media and the new normal.  

Drawing inspiration from his childhood, Emilio Mina fondly recalls the days when his father Paolo would take him to the Piazza Duomo in Milan to purchase the seasonal harvests of truffles. It was always a special day to bring home the prized tubers, and it's a tradition Emilio Mina always wanted to recreate at Caruso Ristorante Italiano.  

Truffle means Caruso. And that means a full year season of fresh harvests served by Caruso Ristorante Italiano's talented chefs. "I want to make Caruso famous for the truffle. When the people say truffle in Manila, they have to think Caruso," proudly exclaimed Emilio Mina. And you can experience truffle season the whole year round at Caruso Ristorante Italiano with the famed White Truffle of Alba in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy from October to January, Bianchetto from January to April and Black Truffle from April to October. 

Starting March 12, Caruso Ristorante Italiano shares a bountiful harvest of Bianchetto Alba Truffle on a limited run for a unique taste of Italy, so book and reserve your table early. The chefs of Caruso Ristorante Italiano weave the deep, earthy and nutty notes of Bianchetto Alba Truffle to savory dishes like the rustic Homemade Tagliolini Pasta, Veal Beef Carpaccio and Eggs Piedmont with Asparagus for a lavish dining experience.

But first, some Antipasti. The Misto di affettati italiani e verdure marinate features a selection of gourmet premium charcuterie including Italian Salami and other cured meats served with marinated artichokes, olives and peppers to open up the palate...

...followed by the Salsiccia (P 795), a loaded savory pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, mushroom and Italian sausage on a crisp crust. 

Layered with creamy blanket of mozzarella, picking up a slice reveals just how they make pizza at Caruso Ristorante Italiano. Generously topped with nothing held back, you get to enjoy a burst of savory notes with each bite. 

The richness of the Italian sausage is complemented by the nutty mushrooms and creamy mozzarella while the sour tartness of the tomatoes completes the flavors. From the classic Margherita (P 690) and Quattro Formaggi (P 830) to the signature Caruso (P 795) with tomato, mozzarella, olives, anchovies and Parma Ham, Caruso Ristorante Italiano has a pizza to suit your mood or craving.

After some pizza, pasta is next. The Spaghetti Scoglio al Pomodoro (P 730) with succulent seafood draped in a spicy tomato sauce offers fresh flavors followed by a soothing heat. Each noodle is covered with the thick and spicy tomato sauce delivering a vibrant burst of tartness capped by the briny notes of seafood. 

Fresh seafood, a tart and vibrant sauce with a gentle whisper of heat and soft yet springy noodles combine for satisfying pasta dish. There's nothing like a comforting bowl of pasta and Caruso Ristorante Italiano offers nearly twenty varieties, with each type of pasta made fresh in their own kitchen. 

Then, it's time for the Bianchetto Alba Truffle served with Homemade Tagliolini Pasta. The prized tuber is presented to diners and delicately shaved on your pasta releasing a distinct aroma. It's this first of several sensory experiences that highlight the truffle's alluring spell tempting the palate and your appetite.  

The truffle shaving ritual elevates the dining experience at Caruso Ristorante Italiano adding an old world vibe consistent with the style and tradition set by Emilio Mina.

Slathered in a rich buttery sauce, each bowl of Homemade Tagliolini Pasta is generously topped with freshly shaved Bianchetto Alba Truffle... 

...for a decadent pasta experience like no other. The fragrant aroma of the paper thin shavings of Bianchetto Alba Truffle combine with the buttery hints of the Homemade Tagliolini. Prepare to take your pasta experience to a whole new level with the Homemade Tagliolini topped with Bianchetto Alba Truffle at Caruso Ristorante Italiano.

A lavish richness drapes the palate as the buttery sauce and the earthy notes of the Bianchetto Alba Truffle come together seamlessly with a silky smooth finish. Layers of unctuous notes linger long after the last bite for a mouthfeel and finish unlike any other usual pasta dish. It's flavors straight from the childhood memories of Emilio Mina back in Milan, recreated on a plate. Enjoy your truffle with Homemade Tagliolini Pasta, with Veal Beef Carpaccio or Eggs Piedmont with Asparagus starting March 12 only at Caruso Ristorante Italiano. 

In between bites, Emilio Mina shared a special bottle of wine with us for lunch. It's the same label he sent to Pope Francis at the Vatican...

The Barbera d' Alba from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy is known for its deep and tangy notes with subtle hints of cherry. And since 2017, Emilio Mina has been sending Pope Francis cases of this special Barbera Wine. A soothing sip cleanses the palate for the next course...

The massive Bistecca alla Fiorentina (P 7,650-1kg good for two/P 8,850-1.1 to 1.2kg good for 3/P 10,350-1.3 to 1.4kg good for 4/P 12,950-1.5 to 1.6kg good for 5-6/P 13,550-1.7 to 1.8kg good for 7) is a cherished family recipe from Emilio's mother and a popular dish on Caruso Ristorante Italiano's menu. The slab of fork-tender premium beef tenderloin is perfectly grilled to medium with a juicy pink center topped with rosemary and served with lemon and a side of gravy along with a platter of roasted vegetables. It's an impressive sight but the proof of the pudding is in the first bite... 

...and it just melts in your mouth like butter. The delicately seared crust delivers mild smoky hints while the juicy pink center fills the palate with bold beefy flavors infused with herbal rosemary notes. A squeeze of lemon tempers the savory richness of the beef for a balanced finish. Perfect for sharing, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina at Caruso Ristorante Italiano adds a festive celebratory vibe to any socially distanced gathering.

There's an interesting story about how the name "bistecca" became part of the Italian culinary heritage. Back in the 18th century, the ruling family of Florence distributed chunks of meat for free at the Piazza della Signoria. At the plaza were English travelers who joined the crowds gathered for the distribution of free meat by the Medici Family. The English travelers were heard shouting "beefsteak" which the locals translated to "bistecca," and Bistecca alla Fiorentine became a part of Italy's culinary tradition. You don't have to shout "beefsteak" at Caruso Ristorante Italiano, but you'll be glad those Englishmen did.  

For dessert, Emilio Mina offers classic Italian treats like Caruso Ristorante Italiano's famous Panna Cotta to cap a sumptuous dining experience. The elegantly smooth dessert topped with nuts and laid on sweet syrup tastes as indulgent as it looks. Each bite is a play on textural contrasts with a lavish finish.

From his mother's own collection of recipes comes the Tiramisu con caffe in polvere (P 470), an equally decadent dessert made with a flavorful chocolate and coffee. Add a generous sprinkling of coffee powder for that layer of sharpness to cut through the luscious richness of the tiramisu. It's that comforting homespun feel from countless food memories by Emilio Mina that makes dining at Caruso Ristorante Italiano different and special, transporting you back to a time when good food didn't need any social media hype to be enjoyed.  

One more specialty from his mother's collection of cherished recipes completes the experience with a batch of fresh cookies...

...paired with a soothing and robust cup of freshly brewed of coffee. It's the way any Italian feast should end, unhurried and enjoyed at your own pace. 

Tradition and authenticity remain potent attributes in Manila's cluttered culinary landscape. But Emilio Mina firmly sets one foot steeped in tradition with another boldly facing forward in this challenging new normal to stay relevant with the times. In an innovative move, Emilio Mina revives the age-old tradition of the truffle harvest season for a unique taste of Italy. Experience truffle season at Caruso Ristorante Italiano with fresh harvests of the prized "diamond of the kitchen" flown in direct from Italy, and masterfully prepared in a variety of lavish dishes. Be sure to say hello to Emilio Mina and share a few stories to complete your Italian experience in this corner of Italy along Nicanor Garcia Street...

Caruso Ristorante Italiano is located at LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia Street (formerly Reposo Street), Bel-Air Village, Makati City or call 8895 2451 for inquiries and reservations. You can also visit their FB Page at and their website at for more information and details.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, check out these social media accounts for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...