Bellini's: There and Back Again

This year, my best friends since grade school (KC and Steph) and I decided to do something different from our usual Christmas get-together -- instead of pigging out at someone’s house, we went out to a lovely dinner at Bellini’s. I can’t believe this was the first time we ate out for our annual Christmas get-together; we should be doing this more often!

I suggested Bellini’s because I wanted an ambience that is cozy and quiet, we needed a lot of catching up to do. One more thing: I chose a place that would impress them with dependably awesome food—in circumstances like this one, Italian is always the safest and oftentimes the best bet, and boy, impressed they were indeed!

Our Bellini's feast.
Bellini’s was established in 1999 and up to now continues to serve authentic Italian cuisine to its devoted customers. Ever since I tried Bellini’s a few years back, it became hard for me to appreciate pastas dished out by other mediocre and crappy Italian restaurants around. Thanks to One More Chance for this wonderful revelation. (But no thanks to the buckets of tears, haha!)

Anyway after pretending to have coffee in Go Nuts Donuts in Shopwise Cubao just so I could recharge my phone, the two girls (and their boyfriends—FUCK, I’m loveless) and I attacked Bellini’s in Cubao Expo. Although this quaint restaurant is located in the midst of antique shops, beer spots, and shoe stores, I’m amazed to find that lots of tables were already reserved when we arrived. For sure, despite not advertising too much, it’s the reliable word-of-mouth that made Bellini’s popular among devotees of Italian food.

It’s hard not to be seduced by the restaurant’s interiors: rustic, homey, and redolent of a real Italian home. Bellini’s looked like an Italian house converted into a restaurant!

Anyone would fall in love with Bellini's interiors.
the private dining area
Desserts tempt diners in the main dining room.
A server donning a cheery red-and-green bow tie quickly led us to our table and handed us menus. While we perused the menu, he went off to get some complimentary bread sticks. (By the way, he did have a shirt on, not just a bow tie—haha!)

unlimited bread sticks
puffing on some bread sticks while waiting
Steph and her boyfriend Ryan were both full from a Pepper Lunch meal they had only forty minutes ago, but I forced them into getting one pasta dish and one large pizza! Haha! I’m coercive like that! For pasta, Bellini’s lets you choose the noodle type you want to go with their sauce-and-toppings combinations (pesto, marinara, etc.). Steph and Ryan chose the Spaghetti al Tartufo Funghi con Prosciutto (I would certainly die without this) and the Bellini’s Special pizza.
There's always room for more food in the stomach. Haha!
Lemonade, P90
KC wanted something spicy so she ordered the Penne Arrabbiata. KC’s boyfriend Rannel had just come home from the US and was craving for steak; upon hearing this, I immediately liked him! LOL! So the two of us got two steak entrees.

If you like the earthy taste of mushrooms, the Spaghetti al Tartufo Funghi con Prosciutto is the perfect choice. The combination of mushrooms, truffle oil, and prosciutto is a well-balanced fusion of slightly bitter, creamy, and salty. The noodles are perfectly cooked al dente.

Had I been an asshole, I would’ve hoarded the dish all to myself. When encountering dishes like this, it’s easy to forget that a word such as “sharing” exists. I’m seriously obsessed with this!

Spaghetti al Tartufo Funghi con Prosciutto, PhP360
On the other hand, if you prefer tomato-based sauces with a kick, the Penne Arrabbiata is the one for you! It’s a pretty simple dish composed of tomatoes, garlic, chili, and olive oil, but with a flavor so good you just couldn’t stop stabbing at those penne with your fork.

Penne Arrabbiata, PhP260
I have already tried Bellini’s Special before, and I was happy to see that nothing has changed with it in terms of size, quality, and price! This pizza variant is laden generously with pepperoni, eggplant, cucumber, onions, salami, ham, bacon, and hotdog—all on top of a pomodoro sauce and mozzarella base. It’s perfect for the pizza lover who wants both greens and meats!

Bellini's Special, PhP610
I liked how the thin crust is slightly chewy and only crispy on the outer edge! Since the abundance of toppings may weigh down the crust, it’s best to eat it by folding it crosswise, as if you’re eating shawarma.

I haven’t tried Bellini’s steaks before, and OMG I wanted to bang my head against the wall for not doing so! The Filetto al Pepe, a grilled tenderloin steak with pepper gravy, is one of the best and most flavorful steaks I’ve ever eaten! The meat is tender and well-seasoned. I like the savory sauce that permeates all corners of the mouth—I wish human saliva tasted like this! What the fuck is wrong with Bellini’s chef, he’s so talented I want to lick his feet.

Filetto al Pepe (Samson), PhP400
As if a slab of delicious beef wasn’t enough, the Tornado con Bacon came wreathed with bacon strips! Anyone who doesn’t become excited with the idea of bacon is a total moron and should be locked up in some prison cell and be sentenced to eat ampalaya dipped in UFC Banana Ketchup forever. I don’t even have the words to describe this phenomenon, this spectacle! F*CK!

Tornado con Bacon, PhP420
Alongside one hundred chews and seven hundred eighty-four cusswords, we feasted on Bellini’s exquisite food and updated each other on the latest events of our lives. It’s amazing to think that I have been friends with these girls since Grade 1. Even though we don’t get to hang out that often, our closeness remains the same and getting together is always a guarantee of an awesome time!

An acoustic band called 7 Floors Up was serenading the diners all throughout—I loved how their music wasn’t intrusive at all and just served as background to our cheerful chatter. The two vocalists had lovely voices—and faces too! Imagine some John Mayer songs soothing your nerves as you stuff your face with pasta and laughed with friends, heaven right?

The band setting up for their "dinner set".
Before leaving, the server brought us shots of Bellini’s house wine. The last time I went there, they also gave us this same dessert wine. God I really love their hospitality and friendly service!

If you’re looking for a venue for an important occasion—a family dinner, a group celebration, or maybe even a romantic date—Bellini’s is the place to go to. Its charming interiors will wow anyone walking in and definitely entice anyone to indulge in its huge selection of traditional Italian food. Once inside, be prepared to discover some of the best Italian cooking you will ever taste in your entire life. The servers are really knowledgeable and ready to help in case you can’t decide what to order—service is fast and friendly as well. I can’t think of any other place that has made me feel at home like Bellini’s did.

It’s comforting to know that some things never change. Like Bellini’s. And like my friendship with these two girls. :)


Bellini’s Italian Restaurant
Stall 68-69 Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City
(02) 913-2550
Budget: around PhP500/head

Have you dined at Bellini's? What was your favorite? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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About Pepe Samson

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  1. Corrales family will definitely invade that awesome restaurant on February. Unlimited bread sticks here we come. LOL!

  2. Hahaha! Sige dito tayo sa birthday ni Janine! :)


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