Zomato Foodie Meet-up at Ristorante Bigoli

When I started writing about my dining experiences a few months back, I never expected that doing so would open new doors for me. Not only did I rekindle my passion for writing, but I also discovered new people, online communities, and websites that harbor the same interests as I do. About ten weeks ago, I began sharing my reviews on Zomato.com and won my first restaurant voucher (Dillinger’s 1903 Steak & Brew) through their Write for a Bite Contest! Shortly after that, I made my way up through their Leaderboard, which is essentially composed of top foodies who write the most number of (quality) reviews that get featured on their site every week. All I wanted was to write more, to eat more! So imagine how thrilled I was when I got invited to the Zomato Foodie Meet-up Dinner!

It seemed to me like the cosmos approved of this fortune as well, since the appointment fell on a day when I was on night shift, thus no dance rehearsals and I could definitely attend! The event was held in Ristorante Bigoli in Eastwood City. I haven’t been there for quite some time, and was surprised that it occupied the old space of Fazoli.

When I arrived, everyone was engaged in a cheerful conversation. Introductions came next; apparently, not only the top Zomato foodies were invited, but also some travel, lifestyle, and food bloggers as well. I was also introduced to Jerome, Bigoli's marketing manager.

Then came eating time.

First came the Parmesan Potato Basket – potato chips drizzled with parmesan cheese and served with a savory garlic dip. I absolutely loved the crispness of the chips, and the dip was just to-die-for! I wish I had these every day for lazy moments at home, while watching movies or something, when going to Bigoli was just not possible. I could munch on these forever!
Parmesan Potato Basket, P110

Intensely focused on the chips, I almost forgot that there were other people in the room, haha! Just then, the server came in and presented to us another appetizer: the Stromboli, which, according to Jerome, was their version of rolled pizza. The meat fillings come in three variants: bacon, pepperoni, and beef.
Bacon Stromboli, P130

Automatically, I lunged for the bacon! Who can say no to bacon? I dipped the rich dough into the pizza sauce and wanted to smash things! Really, how can something as small as this be so damn good?

I had to constantly remind myself to slow down eating, lest I finish everything without giving others the chance to taste them. If you have been following my blog, you know by now that I am extremely patay-gutom, haha! Fortunately, everyone was busy taking pictures before touching the food, and that helped me slow things down!

Actually, it wasn’t my first time to eat in Bigoli. I am a frequent customer in their Trinoma branch, and I’ve always loved their Pesto. I can’t describe how happy I was when they served this that night! The Spaghetti al Pesto wasn't as oily as I would've liked, but flavorful nonetheless. Even better, the garlic bread, which Bigoli is famous for, was unlimited!
Spaghetti al Pesto (P105 solo, P155 grande)

Some people do not like Pesto (what the fuck is wrong with them), but it was their lucky day since Bigoli generously served us the Tour of Italy sampler platter, a combo of three pasta dishes: Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagna, and Fettuccini Alfredo. It’s meant for sharing, but if you’re honest enough with yourself, you don’t have to, you know. Haha! I didn't like the Bolognese and Alfredo that much; the winner among the three was the saucy, meaty Lasagna.
Tour of Italy, P180

Just when I thought we had enough pasta to last us for a week, in went the server with another dish. At first glance, I thought it was a Seafood Marinara, but upon closer inspection I saw that it was topped with chicken. Thanks to Jerome, who was there with us all throughout this amazing dinner, I learned as well that the pasta noodle used for the Chicken Pasta Bigoli was a special one: tubular-shaped, hollow in the middle. The name of this pasta type? The same one the restaurant was named after! The hollow center is probably for trapping the flavor of the thick spicy sauce. Since I’m mad about spicy food, I think this one was my favorite for the night!
Chicken Pasta Bigoli, P150

And just like a real Italian meal, where the main course comes after the appetizers and first course (a.k.a. pasta), we were served three incredible entrées. First was the Arrosto di Manzo (Roast Beef): thin, tender and incredibly flavorful slices of Kitayama Wagyu beef, with a side of mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The other one was the Bistecca Macinata (Grilled Beef Steak), Kitayama Wagyu patties served with creamy mushroom sauce and side veggies. ___ informed us that the Kitayama is locally sourced, isn’t that cool?
Arrosto di Manzo, P280

Bistecca Macinata, P230

The last, but definitely not the least, was Bigoli’s Italian Chicken. I don’t know how many servings of this I could finish in one sitting. Smothered with a special sauce of tomatoes, honey, and secret Italian spices, its flavor just demands to be admired, savored, and devoured!

Italian Chicken Platter (P250 4pcs., P370 6pcs., P610 10pcs.)
I think Bigoli’s version of this is the best, as I have tried many other Italian restaurants that have failed miserably to impress – mostly all I got was a rich dressing meant to add some taste to the otherwise bland chicken. Bigoli’s didn’t require a separate sauce and tasted awesome on its own.

I thought our sumptuous dinner would end there, but Bigoli didn’t forget about the dessert! A server walked in with trays of Stickhouse gelato popsicles! I’ve never tried one before, always afraid of the sickening sweetness of most desserts (Dark Chocolate Forever). Bigoli’s gelato stick was one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted! I chose the half-milk-half-dark chocolate variant and fell in love with it! I swear, it’s worth coming back to Bigoli for their Stickhouse gelato!

Their gelato is imported from Italy and is 100% natural – meaning, no artificial food coloring and flavoring. That’s why they taste so good! Don’t you just hate those fruit shakes made from powder mix flavoring?
half-milk, half-dark chocolate gelato, P70

I don’t think I have eaten a meal as huge and scrumptious as this for quite a while, so a huge thanks to Zomato and Bigoli for this awesome treat! If you will notice, I forgot to share the details about meeting the Zomato team and my fellow bloggers/foodies. Not that what we ate was more important than the tips and knowledge we learned from that meet-up, it’s just that talking about food is the thing we thrive for! While eating, we were all exchanging food and travel experiences. Isn’t a good conversation over awesome food the best?

Before going, we played a foodie game where in we had to eat a pizza slice blindfolded and then guess what toppings are on it. I knew what it was (capricciosa), but I couldn't get the ingredients right. Haha!
Pizza Capricciosa

Zomato also distributed some goodie bags for all of us! Wow! Talk about generous!
P500 worth GC to Ba-Be-Q Korean Grill!
Once again, thank you to Zomato and Bigoli for having me in the Zomato Foodie Meet-up Dinner! It was an absolutely pleasant experience and I hope to eat with you guys again soon!
The Zomato Foodies

Follow me on Zomato! www.zomato.com/pepesamson

Ristorante Bigoli
Eastwood Citywalk 1, Eastwood City
Libis, Quezon City
(02)4210416/ (02)4210453
Facebook: Ristorante Bigoli
Twitter: Bigoli Official
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