There was a sense of familiarity as I entered Danieleâs Casa Mia. The set-up seemed very familiar as well as the homey ambience, and there were a lot of artworks that adorned the space. The paintings on the wall showed colorful scenes from Italy, but the eye-catching pieces were the miniature replicas of famous attractions such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum in Rome.
Welcome to Danieleâs Casa Mia
Can you spot the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower?
I voiced out my thoughts saying that the place looks so similar to Belliniâs, the Italian restaurant in Cubao X. When one of the staff overheard my comment, she mentioned that the owner is, in fact, the son of the Belliniâs restaurateur. So thatâs why the atmosphere seemed so familiar, as well as the menu.
Tasting authentic Italian Cuisine
There were some items in the menu that I didnât recognize, much less correctly pronounce, but our knowledgeable server was happy to answer our questions. He even offered an appetizer that was not listed on the menu and we happily agreed on trying it.
While we waited for our food, the real-life Daniele popped up on our side of the restaurant and said hello to us in his native language. I thought it was a nice gesture for the owner to personally greet his diners.
Grilled portobello mushroom appetizer
It wasnât too long when our orders started to arrive. For starters, we tried the grilled porcini mushroom cap
that is served with arugula leaves, slivers of Parmesan cheese, and a dip made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I tasted a little bit of everything in one bite and thought that the serving was just good for one. I would have loved to finish the whole plate but I had to share some with my family.
Satisfying Onion Soup
Good thing I was also able to sample their soup orders. One of my sisters got a serving of Onion Soup (P180)
, which looked white and creamy but not as rich as I expected. It was sweet to the palate and the croutons added some texture to it. My nephew got a taste of it and never gave it back to my sister.
Healthy Broccoli Soup
My other older sister ordered the Broccoli Soup (P180)
that came in a mint green hue and had a chunky yet creamy feel. She said it was delicious and was quite filling, too.
Tartufo Funghi Con Prosciutto
Of course we had to order pasta and pizza since we were in an Italian restaurant after all. After scrutinizing the menu, I decided on one of their specialties, Tartufo Funghi Con Prosciutto (P260)
, because I thought the combination of truffle cream, porcini mushroom, and prosciutto sounded heavenly. Even with just one bite, I instantly understood why this was one of their signature dishes. The meaty texture of the mushroom and the saltiness of the prosciutto complemented the flavorful pasta sauce. It was a very rich dish and I devoured it down to the last bite.
Ravioli Truffle Cream
I was also able to taste one of their fresh pasta creations, Ravioli Truffle Cream (P250)
, which did not score much on the presentation but its flavor deserves high marks. It was another cream-based sauce dish but was accompanied with spinach and ham. Another winner, I would say.
The classic Carbonara
As expected, my nephew asked for Carbonara (P170)
. The spaghetti noodles were cooked in an egg-based sauce and topped with bacon slices. This creamy pasta concoction is always a hit with the little ones.
To break the pasta monotony, the six of us indulged in two orders of large 16-inch pizzasâProsciutto e Arugula (P520)
and Maremmana (P520)
, which was one of their bestsellers. I liked the thin-style pizza crust and the variety of their toppings.
Prosciutto e Arugula Pizza
The first pizza had Parma ham and arugula as toppings, while the second pizza was more tasty with its slices of longanisa, pancetta, onion, porcini mushroom, and Parmesan cheese. Our server gave us the restaurantâs version of hot sauce, which was actually a bottle of olive oil with red chili peppers. I like some heat in my food so I drizzled some of it to my pizza slices and it actually gave more zing to my taste buds. I barely had room for a slice of each but it was so yummy that I finished two slices and practically one whole serving of pasta.
For those with a sweet tooth, Danieleâs has some Italian ice cream, but I was so full that I decided to skip dessert. My sister ordered Affogato
, which is stracciatella gelato with a shot of espresso. The waiter poured the coffee over the gelato as soon as it was served.
Espresso + gelato = affogato
Italian cuisine is indeed one of my favorites. My dining experience in Danieleâs was made even more enjoyable with the complimentary sweet wine that they gave us after the meal. Each of the adults had a shot of the homemade wine, which was a good way to cap off our meal. Now we know where to get a taste of Italy without actually having to fly there.
A shot of complimentary sweet wine
Tip: The place is located along the main road but has no designated parking area, so be prepared to park along nearby establishments.