So….this is what happened last Monday
+ Nothing to do at home, got a FB message by my friend Mark Will. Got invited to this place near my old school (LITERALLY IN FRONT OF MY OLD SCHOOL)…..and the food…is FREE~!
+ Obvious response: Hell to the yeah so we present to you another ‘SHILLING’ entry…
Sven’s Videogame Site Presents: MARTIN SHILLS YOU THIS!
“A food review of Esprimere Italian Deli”
Photo Credits: Mark Will Magallanes and my Camera
Name: Esprimere Italian Deli
Address: 8101 Pearl Plaza, Pearl Drive, Ortigas
Contact Details: (02) 544-5963
Business Hours: 10am-11pm (Monday-Saturday/closed on Sundays)
Pearl Plaza has seen restaurants and other establishments come and go. With that said, one would notice new places inside the plaza if one comes back to the area after 1-2 years. Esprimere Italian Deli is one of the relatively new establishments at the place and it seems like it has the staying power. Since its opening last January, it has given the Ortigas locals a place wherein they can experience true authentic Italian food and wine.
Esprimere’s decorations and settings are spot on as a true deli. On the walls, you can see wine bottles as well as other items that they put up for sale. They have a ‘pay as your order’ system, and if you are not sure what you want, the ones manning the booth are always willing to help you with your inquiries.
During the interview with 3 of the 4 business partners, the group mentioned that they took around 6 months to build up with this concept for Esprimere. As for the location, the group admits that they just stumbled at the place ‘by chance’ and saw it as a nice area wherein the deli now stands.
As for their menu, they said that they had help from a chef named ‘Francesco’ to create the food that they serve. As far as ingredients go, most of them were imported from Italy (except the vegetables, mind you).
NOW…FOR THE MAIN EVENT!
Prociutto y Mozzarella Salad – The dish’s prociutto ham-mozzarella combination worked well with the greens. The balsamic vinegar added an extra ‘flava’. All in all, you should try this!
The Pastas: The pasta at Esprimere Italian Deli can be served with the customer’s choice of pasta. The selection of pasta ranges from spaghetti, fettucine, penne, farfale, angel hair, and fussilli
Agilio Olio – This pasta had Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and some roasted garlic. The garlic was expertly roasted and had that crunchy taste to it. Munch on this for all you garlic lovers, you’d love it! As for the pasta itself, the dish was very good.
Carbonara – The key difference from what sets Esprimere Deli apart from others is the traditional style of making carbonara. Their carbonara follows the traditional ‘non-creamy based sauce’ on its pasta. It comes with Italian Bacon (or ‘Pancetta’) and was a delight to eat with the carbonara.
Gorgonzola – Compared to the first two pasta dishes, this pasta featured a gorgonzola-based sauce. The pasta sauce had that distinct (but creamy) gorgonzola taste. The pasta, by the way, was coupled with an extra order of procuitto ham to add some ‘kick’ to the pasta-eating experience.
Special Pasta: Prochetta Mozzarella Ravioli with Pomodoro Sauce: The ravioli was…’ok’…. The tomato sauce may be deemed ‘too salty’ for some, especially those who may prefer their ravioli to have less of a ‘salty’ taste.
The Pizzas: Esprimere Deli also has an awesome selection of pizzas. They are all baked inside a traditional brick oven, and are guaranteed to be fresh once it arrives at your table. The pizzas are made from scratch (they use their own flour to make the dough) and are thin, which also follows the Italian style pizza.
Pizza Napoli – This pizza consists of the classic Pizza Napoli ingredients (tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, capers, and anchovies). It had a balanced taste, even though the anchovies usually make a pizza salty for some. For those who like a Neapolitan style pizza, this is something for you.
Bianco e Verde – Bianco e Verde is a pizza with three types of cheese (mozzarella, gorgonzola, & parmesan) plus basil. The ingredients blended perfectly. This is a pizza tailor-made for the cheese and pesto lovers out there.
Roast Platter: Pork – The roast pork (a.k.a. ‘porketta’) platter comes with a side dish of potatoes and salad. The pork was well-roasted and had a very tender/crisp combination. The side dishes were not bad, but the obvious reason that a customer buys this dish is because of the fine-roasted pork.
During the course of the dinner, the table was served with three different drinks. The first one was called a ‘spritzzer’, a drink that was said to be well received by young people in Italy. The second one was the wine, Donelli, which had a sweet taste to it. The final one was the Limoncello – Petrone, which was served in shot glasses.
The concluding shill
When you’re craving for Italian food and wine, Esprimere Italian Deli is the place to be. The deli has a good menu from pizzas, pastas, and everything else Italian. Not only that, but they have a fine selection of wine. So when you are in the Ortigas area, why not drop by at Pearl Plaza to get your Italian deli fix?
Special thanks to JM and Noelle Aujero, Jewel Yang, and Jet Mathay for inviting our group for the dinner. Also, thanks to Mark Will Magallanes, Mark and Joanne Tan for letting me join for this food adventure.
It’s amazing how, in a span of 5-6 years, the place where the Deli is currently standing on has been in flux. When I was a student, it was munch alley, and then it was turned into a kebab place (by the makers of Venue), Reyes BBQ, The Old Spaghetti House, and now….this. Amazing how a few years could do to transform the places inside one building.With T.O.S.H gone and Abbondanza packed up a year or so ago, Esprimere Deli is just in the right place at the right time for those who want some pizza and pasta. So yeah, as a guy who likes pizza, you can count on ME to drop by there soon. Just sayin’
UPDATE 7/21/2013: Well…this place has shut down since last January of 2013. In its place is now Toki-Q. A BBQ place thingy. Might try to eat there soon…hmmm…