Spasso's Italian Specials

Did I really finish this entire platter of Lamb Chops? Better yet, where can you get this big serving of lamb for P850 ($19)?
Spasso Italian Tapas & Enoteca
Twice already, I've had the chance to dine at Spasso, an Italian wine & tapas bar that also serves up Italian fare for the hungry ones. It was one of those "where is it?" places, so I relished the thought of finding yet another under-the-radar eatery to try in the Metro.
The decor is warm & lit moodily, with contemporary fixtures & furniture. It was quite spacious to be a enoteca, but its evidently so with the wine cellar occupying one wall of the restaurant, offering varieties of wine from the low to high price ranges.
You can get a good bottle of Pinot Grigio here, which I've tagged as my go-to wine since living in New York. Very crisp and light.
My friend Glenver ordered a bottle of Loon on my second time at Spasso.. I think the bottle's name has meaning to him, hehe.
Once seated, the server places some balsamico & olive oil on a platter with a helping of warm brown bread. This is a good start to any Italian restaurant, especially when you're still browsing the menu. The bread is slightly sweet, with a wheaty texture to it. We would eventually request several servings of this.
Since the menu has an entire section of cold, warm & hot tapas, I decided to try several items. The Wagyu Beef Carpaccio was truly sinful. Sliced thinly with the marbling of the fat very evident, it melts in your mouth with an accompanied acidity of balsamic vinegar, saltiness of slivered Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and the crispness of watercress. Price is a bit steep (PhP590/ $13.40) for Manila, but the quality compensates for it.
 On the Fried Tapas menu is Calamares with a Marinara Sauce. The squid was very fresh and came through even after it was battered and lightly deep-fried. It was crunchy on the outside, and tender on the inside. I was impressed that they executed this perfectly especially when this dish is almost always overcooked and comes out chewy.
On the Hot Tapas list is the Chicken Liver Tartufo spread. Chunks of chicken liver cooked in a mushroom & truffle cream sauce. The sauce was rich and was perfect for dipping the bread, with a decadent flavor lent by the truffle. I would've preferred the liver to be pureed or incorporated as a pate, as the liver was overwhelming when eaten alone. We finished the sauce, but left some of the liver on the plate.
Since I've eased out on the drinking scene, I splurged on this meal and had some Bellinis. Originally made with Peach Schnapps & Champagne, this version was so fruity because they used canned cling peaches and blended it to a nice pulp. I just wanted a bit more champagne on this because I couldn't taste it anymore because the beach flavor was so evident.

To continue the meal:
 Seafood Saffron Soup
Good flavor on the broth was care of the saffron used. It could have been presented a bit better, and I found the seafood to be lacking.
Must try on their menu is the Mushroom Truffle Risotto, which is nice and wet, just how I like my risotto. No need to explain, they made a simple risotto taste complex thanks to bits of back truffle (oil?) & porcini mushrooms. I can inhale this entire bowl by myself. Truffle Lovers: ORDER THIS!

Mr. S ordered the very predictable Rustic Bolognese Penne. Predictable because he will always order this if found on the menu. I was wary because he's very snooty when it comes to the beef ragu sauce, but this was indeed rustic, bursting with Italian flavors, and was portioned generously for its price tag (PhP320/ $7.24). It reminded me of Florence's Trattoria Zaza's Bolognese which inspired  the Bolognese sauce I made for him, so I give this a thumbs up as well.
Glenn ordered the Shrimp Linguini, and as enthused as I was for the Bolognese, I was was less excited about this dish. The shrimp were large pieces, so that's a plus, but the linguini itself lacked depth of flavor and just felt like a garlic butter sautee'd pasta dish. I wish they used the head of the shrimp to develop a tastier broth, and finished it with some white wine so the flavors come out even further when the alcohol reduces. I also wished it was like C's Seafood Pasta, but you can't have it all, can you?
On their Main menu is a list of several Bistecche (steaks) with different preparations and origins. Their Bistecche Rustica is Australian premium ribeye with lots of roasted garlic & olive oil. The steak was substantial in size, though it would've been better if cut thicker. Still, the flavor of the steak was simple and spot on. Cooked perfectly, it was tender, surprisingly light on the stomach, and had generous sides of roasted vegetables & baby potatoes.
The Herb Crusted Chicken had great flavor, and I especially loved the mushroom cream sauce. The chicken breasts were slightly overcooked, leaving the edges a bit tough to eat. But on a taste test, I would try this again if the chicken was cooked properly. The accompanying veggies & mushrooms were also well-seasoned, so I won't be too hard on this one.
The first time I ate at Spasso, I had the Halibut with a side of Mushroom Truffle Risotto. On my second visit, I noticed that the Halibut is now "wrapped in prosciutto and served with a saffron pasta." I was a little nostalgic because my halibut was cooked beautifully, with a slight sear to it which kept the halibut moist even without a prosciutto wrap. The portions were generous and the smattering of risotto made me want to order an entire bowl of it. I wish they brought back this version, but I'll try the other one too only because saffron pasta just sounds to tempting.
And finally, the Sicilian Lamb Chops
Herb-marinated lamb chops with "marbled potatoes". When the platter arrived, first thing  on my mind was... OMG this is a LOT of meat! Four extra-large lamb chops were seasoned with Italian herbs and cooked medium as I requested. I loved how tender the lamb was, and the flavor of the marinade. But my friend Cay & I also noticed that there was hardly a "Lamb" taste to it, and sometimes you look for  that gamey flavor that can be unbearable for others.  
It was ok though, as I enjoyed the chops to the bone, and so did my friends willing to get a share. I recommend this dish be shared between two people, because this was too big to eat by oneself. And for PhP850, this is a steal of a meal.
On the Dessert menu is Tiramisu, layered mascarpone & cake dipped in espresso. I could taste the mascarpone, the liquer, and the cocoa. This would've been a perfect ending to my second visit, but they ran out of this... So I'll try my luck again next time.
I had the Mango Panna Cotta before and decided to order it again to boast to my friends. When it arrived, the supposed smooth & creamy panna cotta was curdled and mushy. It was also a bit sour, and not because the mangoes weren't sweet. Looking at it, you could tell that the cream/milk had separated and looked somewhat how bad milk would look like. I sent this back, disappointed.
We tried the Chestnut & Chocolate Mousse, layered with a cake bottom. You could taste the chestnut, and the chocolate flavor was really well executed, but the mouse was a bit on the grainy side, which is probably because of the chestnuts not blended finely. I like my mousse really smooth, so I wasn't won over this dessert as well.
To replace my Mango Panna Cotta, I ordered the Dark Chocolate Gelato, and everything was well and good again :) Creamy, not too sweet, and every bit the rich gelato I was hoping for, I would come to Spasso just for this.
Mishaps aside, I would go back to Spasso because they do provide quality food and a good ambiance to enjoy it when the chef does it right. One thing that got to me though, was that they sorely lacked  servers, and drinks would come after 15 minutes, because there was only 2 servers on a Wednesday night, and one of them was dedicated as the bartender. But I appreciated that the server was trying his best to accommodate all of the diners, and saw the effort in him.

But Management really needs to add more staff because disgruntled and hungry Makati & Fort business execs have little patience for slow service, especially after a tough day at work..
Spasso Italian Tapas & Enoteca
G/F Luxe Residences
4th Avenue cor 28th Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
+632 668 7186


  1. really, i ordered that because i thought they made it in your honor =p


    and super loved Spasso's 'sossy' vibe

  3. Im going to this resto tomorrow. I love Italian, I cook Italian. :)


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