Anyone who’s an adult will know that it’s not easy to be one. You’re expected to know how to cook real food, instant noodles not counted. You also need to be responsible enough not to spend your paycheck in one go because you have bills to pay. Plus, you’re supposed to be to able to squeeze in time for the gym despite having a nine to five job!
With so many responsibilities to juggle, having a “treat yourself” day once in a while is totally necessary to keep yourself sane. And there’s a restaurant in Metro Manila that’s perfect for just that! You get to bask in its elegant ambiance, indulge in sumptuous Italian food, and cap the day off by sipping on some glorious grappa as you watch the sun go down.
Indulge in authentic Italian fare made with fresh, imported ingredients
Finestra, which translates to ‘window’ in Italian, is the perfect name for this Italian restaurant in Solaire. Because aside from the huge, hand blown Italian crystal chandeliers that cascade from above, they have gigantic, floor-to-ceiling windows that serve as alternative sources of light. These massive frameworks add an ethereal touch to the already elegant setting.
But aside from its literal meaning, the name is actually a metaphor too. Featuring traditional Italian dishes on the menu, Finestra is a ‘window’ that opens us up to the rich world of Italian flavors and textures.
They don’t tweak traditional recipes for the Filipino taste buds in here so don’t expect your spaghetti to be sweet or to be served with hot dogs!
Just like how the Italians do it back home, Finestra makes use of simple, high quality ingredients to create wholesome, flavor-packed dishes like handcrafted pastas, grilled specialties, and meat entrees. And to keep their food as authentic as possible, a lot of their kitchen essentials, like their cold cuts, cheese, flour, and tomatoes, are sourced all the way from Italy.
Working behind the scenes to make sure everything’s in line in the kitchen is Chef de Cuisine Alan Marchetti. A native of Rome, his experiences in the cooking industry include working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy and London! The chefs under him have had their fare share of cooking stints abroad too, having practiced their craft in restaurants in Europe and the Middle East.
Finestra bestsellers: burrata, gnocchi, ossobuco, and panna cotta
If you’ve been ‘adulting’ all week, you need to order up some of Finestra’s bestsellers. Because there’s nothing quite as rewarding for your tired self as an exquisite Italian feast!
For starters, you can plunge your teeth into their Burrata Cheese, a ball of mozzarella and cream that reveals a soft, delicate interior when sliced into. For some hints of freshness, you’ll find basil in Finestra’s burrata, picked straight from their own greenhouse found right behind Solaire. This popular appetizer is served with sides of Sicilian caponata vegetables and garlic roasted focaccia.
Another way to get your appetite going is by ordering a cup of their Mushroom Cappuccino. While you won’t find a trace of caffeine in this soup, it’s called a cappuccino because of its unusually thick and foamy consistency! As you slurp your way through this rich appetizer, you’ll come across earthy bits of roasted cipollini and porcini mushrooms as well as milky, creamy, slightly salty pieces of ricotta cheese.
And now for everyone’s favorite part of any Italian meal–the hearty carbs! Finestra has an impressive lineup of handcrafted pastas, each one fragrant with aromatic herbs and spices. One of the top favorites from this section of the menu is the Gnocchi, soft and doughy pasta dumplings served with 110-day-old gorgonzola cheese and wild mushrooms. Another must-try is the Bucatini, thick pasta strands smothered in tomato ragout and capped off with wagyu meatballs, basil, and shaved parmesan.
If you want some protein to balance out all that pasta, Finestra has some filling meat entrees for you to chew on. One of them is the Chef’s signature Ossobuco Finestra, made up of sweet and tender braised veal (it’s cooked for over ten hours!) made to lie down on top of a bed of saffron risotto and garnished with summer vegetables and gremolata.
Another hefty meat dish that’s worth trying out is the Tagliata Di Manzo, a plate of US certified angus beef striploin grilled over charcoal, drizzled with 20-year-old balsamic, embellished with arugula and parmesan shavings, and served with marble potatoes.
The best way to end your authentic Italian repast is with some authentic Italian dessert. And one of Finestra’s signature sweet treats is the Tahitian Vanilla Panna Cotta. As you shovel chunks of sweet and creamy gelatin into your mouth, you’ll get some hints of tartness in there from the red berry compote as well as cool bursts of flavor from the fresh mint.
Savor a glass of grappa as you marvel at the golden glow of the sunset
Aside from its wide selection of traditional Italian eats, Finestra is also well-stocked on alcohol. And by well-stocked we mean they hold the biggest grappa collection in the Philippines! (Grappa is a popular alcoholic beverage in Italy made from pomace.) They have at least twenty different labels so it’s safe to say you have a lot of options to choose from.
To make your grappa-sipping session even more relaxing, peer out the enormous windows and try to catch the sunset. Finestra’s right in front of Manila Bay so you get to soak in a spectacular view of the sun’s descent!
Finestra can be found at Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Ave., Entertainment City, Parañaque, Metro Manila.