Gotti’s Ristorante

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Away from our usual haunts in Makati, we found ourselves in Megamall with dad and his business partner for a surprise dinner, and with a challenging budget of 300 per head, we decided to take a chance at Gotti’s Ristorante at the Atrium 4th floor.

The place reminds one of the different modern casual dining areas here in the metro, from sleek designs of solid red mixed with pictures of Italians, to the wooden chairs and cushioned leather seats, as well as the restaurant being lit and pleasant to the eye.

 

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Margherita Pizza

So for dinner, we shared a Margherita pizza. Aside from that, I had the Gambino Gamberi, Kat had the Salisbury Steak with rice, and then dad and his business partner had the Grilled Chicken Pesto and Creamy Basil Bacon pasta.

As we see it, one gets their money’s worth here in terms of volume. The pizza was more or less alright with its crisp thin crust sides, the cheese complements the tomato base and I would say, a guilt-free margherita.

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Creamy Basil Bacon Pasta

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Grilled Chicken Pesto

The grilled chicken pesto and creamy basil bacon pasta had well-cooked pasta for both. As for the taste however, I have to say that it’s a little uninspired and too overdone in either creaminess or the oily feel to the tongue. However, these are things that can be improved on in the future.

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Gambino Gamberi

With the Gambino, it’s quite filling and the stone-baked rice meal concept is actually quite interesting, especially in keeping our meal warm. At the same time, I’m quite a sucker for seafood and they cooked this one well enough.

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Salisbury Steak

The Salisbury steak on rice was served piping hot, with enough cheese on top to make the first bites delectable. However a little sauce coating the rest of the dish would not have been amiss. Nevertheless for a solo dish, this was a pretty tasty deal.

There was actually a lot of food left over from the two pastas that we took some home too. That said, if one wants to be full and hang out with friends at a budget, Gotti’s Ristorante is a good place to dine in.

Food Score: 3.5/5. The food here is a testament to the adage you get what you paid for, with decent taste suited for the Filipino palate and decent serving sizes, but there’s some room for improvement with some hits and some misses here and there.

Ambiance / Service Score: 4/5. Gotti’s ambiance is pleasing to the eye, from clean lines and welcoming appearance, it’s a treat to dine here every now and then. The servers were quite attentive as well, which is always welcome.

GERD Score: 3/5. One could say that each order of food is for sharing, so it can be a task for someone with heartburn to go at it alone. That said, there are thankfully some good options for selections, but again, for sharing.

Epilepsy Score: 4/5. This is a case again of not knowing what exactly goes in the seasonings and flavorings. Unlike some other establishments, diners don’t have as much control over any dietary limitations and modifications to menu items. However there are enough food selections to cater to the preferences and needs for most diners.

Team Glasses Score: 3.5/5. When one puts everything into consideration, Gotti’s Ristorante is a decent place to dine in on a budget, giving value for money with their serving sizes. The place is certainly great to bring some friends in for a casual dining experience. However, for people who have medical conditions such as ours, we believe they can do better.

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Baker Brothers

The smell of freshly baked bread, for most people, is integral to visions of early morning and a hot breakfast. If one smells the fragrance of a hot loaf at sundown, one just might be in the vicinity of Baker Brothers, a tiny bakery at the front of the Cathouse Bar on Doña Carmen Street in Poblacion, Makati. Unlike other bakeries, Baker Brothers is open only from 5pm onwards, making it perfect for night owls, or those who simply do not want to be up at the crack of dawn just to fetch a fresh loaf or two.

We might have passed up on this place had it not been for a sign pointing us to artisan pizzas and freshly baked bread. As usual, where our curiosity leads, the stomach soon follows. It was just as well that when we got here after work on a weekday, it was not quite time for the dinner rush, thus allowing us to peruse the menu and consider our orders. All the pizza selections seemed enticing (especially the Ultimate pizza with Gorgonzola cheese and anchovies), but we eventually decided on the BB’s Calzone filled with cheese, ham and olives, as well as a steak and kidney pie.

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Now our past experiences with calzones had involved middling portions either with a too thick crust, or overstuffed with cheese. This calzone at Baker Brothers was another story altogether: this was a 14 -inch pizza folded in half, served warm with a generous basil garnish. While Lee and I were still wondering how to tackle this delicious behemoth, our steak and kidney pie was brought out. At first glance, it appeared to be just like any other pot pie, comprised of flaky puff pastry. When we cut into it, we were treated to the unmistakable fragrance of gravy and spices, and meat so tender that it easily fell apart. Each bite was a combination of the hearty flavors of the steak and kidneys, as well as the more delicate hints of pepper in the gravy.

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The only thing that was missing? A cold pint of beer to wash all of this down (but alas, we have eschewed alcoholic beverages a long time ago).

Despite the bare-bones dining area and occasional distractions from the TV on the porch, our dinner was enjoyable thanks to the good food and accommodating service. This is one place to consider for a meal before a night shift, or at the very beginning of a pub crawl throughout the labyrinth of Poblacion. If one’s bender doesn’t go all that well, then Bakers Brothers has a great selection of comfort foods to cap off the evening (or early morning).

The Food Score: 5/5: We’ve been converted to eating meat pies thanks to this place. The portions are delicious, ample, and yet not overpowering to more delicate palates.

 

Ambiance/Service Score: 3/5: The dining area is open to the street and rather noisy, thanks to the TV and the adjacent bars, so this may be off-putting to diners wanting a quiet evening. However the service is excellent, and the food is served in a timely fashion and still piping hot from the oven.

 

GERD Score: 3/5: As things are, the food here is meant to be shared because a single order is too large for a single person. And the presence of cheese on the pizzas can be a trigger for some people with heartburn. That said, as long as one shares the meal and minimizes the trigger intake, the meal here can still be enjoyable.

 

Epilepsy Score:  3.5/5: The pizza selections are friendly in the sense that one can pick ingredients for pizzas. As for the pies, there is always the caveat of not knowing the exact blend of ingredients and spices used, thus some diners may need to take precautions. Though the place is in cooperation with a bar, there are still fruit juices and water available for hydration.
Team Glasses Score: 3.5/5: This is not a place for healthy eating, or a glamorous night out. However this definitely a place to go for a hearty dish, or if one just ones something fresh out of the oven at late hours.