Saturday, November 6, 2021

An Epic Dining Experience in Two Memorable Acts: Momento Aperitivo Cocktails and Pasta Degustation at Finestra Italian Steakhouse in Solaire Resorts

An epic culinary spectacle performed in two masterful acts, Finestra at Solaire takes fine dining to the next level...


Finestra Italian Steakhouse at Solaire Resorts adds an elegant spin to pre-dinner cocktails and a sumptuous pasta degustation dinner masterfully created by Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti for a dining experience like no other. A tipple before dinner opens up the palate with Momento Aperitivo featuring a selection of handcrafted cocktails and tasty bites capped by a luxurious 6-course pasta degustation dubbed Pasta and Passion combine for a luxurious and unique #SolaireExperience at Finestra Italian Steakhouse. As the metro slowly and cautiously opens up with the easing of quarantine restrictions, reward yourself with a lavishly curated dining experience performed in two separate acts of fine dining and libation in a seamless and well choreographed performance from one of the very best restaurants in the city.


The refined space draped in natural light from the panoramic glass walls shines in a warm ethereal glow with high ceilings adorned by ornate chandeliers and tables covered in crisp white linens. You've just entered one of Manila's finest establishments. My first dining experience at Finestra in Solaire Resort was back in 2017 (see my post, #MeatMeAtFinestra: An Italian Spin on the Classic Steakhouse Vibe at Finestra on their specialty steaks) and I knew then that this was one of the metro's best fine-dining destinations...


...offering some of the finest steaks in an equally impressive setting (see more on their signature steaks on my previous post here). That first time remains as fresh and vivid with each visit to Finestra Italian Steakhouse. The impressive space links the setting, service and the cuisine in a harmonious weave for fine dining at its best. 


The heart of the fine dining experience at Finestra Italian Steakhouse begins at the spacious open kitchen where each is dish is meticulously prepared. The kitchen slowly comes to life for the day's dinner service...


...as another spectacle takes its final bow on the picturesque bay. Think of it as your front row seat to the iconic Manila Bay sunset, a visually stunning prelude to an equally memorable dinner at Finestra Italian Steakhouse


Each day at Finestra Italian Steakhouse is a gala performance, with its open kitchen as its grand stage...


...orchestrated by Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti. With dining out now allowed in the metro with some restrictions, fine dining can once again be enjoyed with the latest health and safety protocols in place for your peace of mind at Finestra Italian Steakhouse. But first, some refreshing libation...


The First Act: Momento Aperitivo at Finestra Italian Steakhouse

A fitting and appropriate prequel to a lavish dinner includes some refreshing cocktails by the bar. Available Daily from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the Momento Aperitivo at Finestra Italian Steakhouse sets the tone for the evening with a refreshing tipple before dinner. Unwind with a selection of classic handcrafted cocktails paired with authentic Italian appetizers for only P 995+ (price is VAT inclusive and subject to 10% service charge) for one real cool deal. That's also the best way to celebrate another beautiful sunset by the bay. And an epic dinner at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


Drilling down the numbers, you'll probably spend the same amount for two to three regular cocktails in other bars in the city but at Finestra Italian Steakhouse, you can enjoy unlimited rounds. Plus some tasty bites for a deal that's hard to beat. That evening, the bar prepped the featured cocktails for Momento Aperitivo... 


...starting with the Pigafetta, a soothing blend of homemade Limoncello, Toso Prosecco, soda water, cold brew Oolong Tea with elderflower syrup and grapefruit bitters. Seeing it all happen right in front of you adds to the experience.


An evening that began with a beautiful sunset by the bay at Finestra Italian Steakhouse continues with the vibrant burst of zesty lemon notes with each sip...


...followed by the effervescent fizz of the soda water and bubbly Toso Prosecco. That first round is just the beginning of yet another night to remember at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


The second cocktail is prepared at the bar... 


...with an entertaining flair. Diners get a glimpse of the intricate process behind the second cocktail up close at the bar. Like their grand open kitchen, the bar becomes another stage for a performance.


A bubble is gently formed, trapping the smoke within it. There's some wicked alchemy and wizardry with this cocktail, a sure sign of even more good things yet to come.


A fragile sphere crowns the cocktail...


...and served. The Truffle Bee's Knees is not only a soothing concoction with its blend of Bombay Sapphire Gin, honey, truffle oil and fresh lemon juice. It's an entertaining show, and just one of many elements in your Finestra Italian Steakhouse experience.


A naughty poke or better yet, a gentle kiss on the glass for that refreshing sip bursts the delicate bubble for a unique cocktail experience.


Part of the Momento Aperitivo offer at Finestra Italian Steakhouse includes authentic Italian appetizers to pair with your cocktails with the salumeria board...


...with light and crunchy Gnocco Fritto, Mortadella, Ricotta and Truffle Dip and Homemade Pickles for savory nibbles. The crisp Gnocco Fritto is a traditional Italian fried bread dusted with cheese, fill the pocket with the Ricotta and Truffle Dip for a tasty bite. The savory richness of the Mortadella is perfectly tempered by the sharp notes of the homemade pickles. It's a light yet sumptuous platter and ideal match for a pre-dinner tipple at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


One more tasty bite and the bar preps the third cocktail for the evening. The Giramondo offers bold yet soothing notes with its blend of Bacardi Carta, Campari, sherry and salted honey syrup garnished with dried oranges. 


The deep flavors of Bacardi Carta white rum and fruity hints of Campari liqueur combine for an elegant cocktail similar to a classic Old Fashioned or Negroni. It's my cocktail of choice at Finestra's Momento Aperitivo, and that calls for another round. In addition to the featured cocktails, you may also opt for some wine like the dry and fruity Toso Prosecco, Veneto; the smooth Bolla Soave Classico, Veneto with vibrant hints of apples and peaches or the bold full-bodied finish of the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Farnese.


At the bar, you can also pair your cocktails with light dishes or "Cicchetti" including savory pizza fresh out of the oven...


...or indulgent bites with the Lobster Roll in Bricoche Buns (P 680) with pillow soft brioche filled to the brim with succulent lobster draped in creamy mayo. The firm and fresh snap of the lobster with its succulent briny sweetness followed by the creamy richness of mayo makes this another must-try at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


Served with a side of crisp and thinly sliced homemade potato chips, the Lobster Roll in Brioche Bun is one of many reasons to visit Finestra Italian Steakhouse. A lobster roll and a cocktail after a sunset. Perfect. 


The Cicchetti offerings at the bar include other equally tasty authentic Italian bites, like the Prosciutto Grissini (P 180) or crunchy bread sticks wrapped with prosciutto...


...and Calamari Fritti (P 480), tender squid battered and delicately deep-fried for that delicate crunch served with a pair of creamy dips. One more round of cocktails and the evening's second act is about to start.


The Second Act: Pasta and Passion by Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti at Finestra Italian Steakhouse

What makes Finestra Italian Steakhouse unique in the local culinary landscape is its seamless weave of a classic steakhouse with the rustic authenticity and tradition of an Italian restaurant in one memorable dining experience. It's what sets it apart from the usual steakhouses or fine dining destinations. And it's also this unique feature that earned it a spot in the Top 20 Best Restaurants Guide for 2019 from T. Dining by Philippine Tatler. At the helm of Finestra Italian Steakhouse is Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti who brings with him the Italian tradition of rich flavors made with the freshest ingredients. Weaving flavorful stories inspired by his grandmother's and aunt's cherished recipes, Chef Alan recreates the flavors and dishes he grew up with at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


Supported by his talented culinary team, Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti takes the well-loved, iconic and probably the most Italian of all dishes, the classic and enduring Pasta, to fine dining opulence at Finestra Italian Steakhouse with a sumptuous and elegant pasta degustation dubbed Pasta and Passion

Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti showcases a variety of creative pasta dishes in a modern and contemporary style drawing inspiration from his travels yet rooted in classic Italian tradition for a unique degustation you can only experience at Finestra Italian Steakhouse. Featuring an elegant 6-course pasta dinner using handmade pasta with the freshest ingredients, Pasta and Passion is priced at P 3,888+ for a memorable feast masterfully prepared by Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti.


Your Pasta and Passion dining experience at Finestra Italian Steakhouse begins with an intricate Amuse Bouche... 


...to open up the palate for the second act of a memorable dinner by the bay. It's one of many flavorful episodes in a continuous chain threading the Finestra Italian Steakhouse experience. 


Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti starts the pasta degustation with an elegantly plated first course, the Farfalle with Spirulina Butterfy Pasta, succulent Botan-ebi prawns, caviar and crisp microgreens adorned with edible flowers.


The soft yet springy farfalle delivers subtle yet indulgent buttery notes followed by the briny sweetness of the prawns and the bold sharpness of the prized caviar in a nuanced play of delicately balanced flavors. The freshness of the ingredients just punches through with its vibrant flavors, it's the perfect start for a pasta degustation dinner. 


For the second course, the Caramelle brings an indulgent creamy finish with mild smoky hints from the Smoked Scamorza and Mozzarella wrapped in candy-shaped pasta with tomato, pesto and basil. 


The delicate candy-shaped pasta brings a mild and soft chewy bite followed by a burst of creamy smokiness from the Smoked Scamorza and Mozzarella lining the palate with a lingering layer of indulgent notes. More layers of rich hints come into play with flavorful dots of pesto, tomato and basil adorning the plate. The range of seemingly contrasting and distinct flavors come together in an elegant weave for a new and refreshing pasta experience. 


In between bites, fine wine accompanied our pasta degustation for a spirited evening of good vibes with an Italian flair at Finestra Italian Steakhouses.


The third course, Spaghetti with Chitarra Spaghetti, porcini and crisp celery brings fresh savory notes to the palate finished with a lavish indulgence from the creamy and silky smooth truffle zabaglione. The deep and earthy hints from the porcini and truffle zabaglione adds depth to the dish, while the celery adds both textural contrast and fresh and clean flavors capped by the springy handmade spaghetti. Like all their dishes at Finestra Italian Steakhouse, the freshness of the premium ingredients brings all the flavors and this becomes evident right from the very first bite.


In the course of the evening, more wine flowed as the kitchen prepared the next courses.


At the open kitchen, Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti orchestrates the next courses with meticulous attention to detail...


...with each course reflecting his own culinary journey from a wealth of experiences from around the world. Yet at the heart of each dish is Chef Alan's own Roman roots and traditions, recreated and celebrated at Finestra Italian Steakhouse. 


Like a blank canvas, each plate becomes a vivid palette of colorful flavors highlighted in the fourth course of the Pasta and Passion dinner by Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti... 


The Ravioli with seafood stock, lobster butter, shellfish and sea grapes is another inspired and lavish expression of pasta with a novel contemporary spin. The delicate ravioli is filled with the richness of seafood stock, best enjoyed in one bite draping the palate with its fresh and briny flavors. 


The medley of seafood brings a fresh burst of flavors, with the duo of succulent lobster and plump shellfish adding layers of flavorful notes capped by the briny sea grapes. Each dish in the 6-Course pasta degustation is uniquely different from the other, revealing infinite possibilities with pasta as interpreted by Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti. And it just gets better. 


Though not part of the pasta degustation, Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti shared a dish close to his heart with the classic and traditional Pomodoro. The deceptive simplicity of the dish is pure elegance in itself, with only the tartness of fresh tomatoes gently simmered for hours and fresh herbs providing the base for the traditional dish. The dish also provides an insight to Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti's culinary style, respecting tradition and staying true to his roots. 


The fifth course, Cavatelli was then served. The uniquely shaped bi-color Cavatelli pasta becomes the perfect vessel for the sumptuous blend of Toscano ragout, Parmigiano Reggiano, basil, butter and sun-blushed tomatoes. The bold savory notes of the beefy ragout is perfectly tempered by the Parmigiano Reggiano and tart tomatoes smoothened by the butter and basil for a balanced savory finish. 


After five sumptuous pasta courses, change the pace with the Chocolate Trolley of Finestra Italian Steakhouse...


...with its decadent selection of handmade chocolate treats. Chocolates, in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes and flavors, adds yet another indulgent layer to your fine dining experience at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


A few tasty nibbles becomes a prelude to the evening's finale...


...the Dessert Tortellini. It is, after all a pasta degustation. And there's no better way to end a lavish 6-Course pasta degustation than with a playfully inventive dessert with pasta. Featuring Auro Dark Chocolate Tortellini, creamy ricotta, orange glaze and rose water cream, the it's the perfect ending to Pasta and Passion at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.  


Simple occasions, take on a special meaning in this new normal. Make it special at Finestra Italian Steakhouse.


We've all missed fine dining in the long days of quarantine. As you head out to dine once more, make it special with the Momento Aperitivo cocktails and Pasta and Passion degustation for two memorable acts in an epic dining experience at Finestra Italian Steakhouse. Book and reserve your table now, just hit up the number and links below...  

Finestra Italian Steakhouse is located at the Ground Floor of Solaire Resorts & Casino, 1701 ParaƱaque, Metro Manila or call 8888 8888 for inquiries and table reservations. You can also visit their website at https://www.solaireresort.com/dining/finestra and their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/FinestraAtSolaire for more updates.

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