Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Running Away from Carbs at Italianni's

Why is it that whenever the universe hears I'm going low carb, it sends me the most irresistible combination of carbohydrates? But I persist despite the odds.

When I got invited to a blogger event at Italianni's, I hurled my splenda packets in exasperation thinking Italianni's is really just a synonym for pizza and pasta.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the protein seeking diner actually has a lot of options, especially with their summer line-up of dishes.

Five dishes comprise their Small Price for a Big Lunch Promo. It doesn't surprise me that my favorites are the ones that are most appealing to carnivores. The Costina Brasatta, loin back ribs braised in tomatoes and red wine; and the Manzo di Arrosto, Roasted rib eye, are my top choices.

The braised ribs are so tender, literally falling off the bone and melting into my mouth in a delightful medley of herbs and garlic. Really. Just don't get any of the perfectly al dente spaghetti, and the carbs are kept at bay. Not bad at P395.

The rib eye. I like the rare in the inside and medium well on the outside doneness of this dish. I can't believe it was slow roasted for 8 hours. I also can't believe that it is only P350. The mushroom topping is also very good. Good carbs come from the grilled zucchini and capscicum bites that go with the steak.

The Pesci in Vino Blanco is a crowd favorite. This dish uses local dory fillet simmered in white wine and herbs. The fish is just the right side of tender. Flaky but in a good way. Again, stay away from the spaghetti aglio e olio if you want to go low carb. Otherwise, have a lot of it because it's really quite good.

The Pollo con Rucola, Chicken with Arugula, P295 is an interesting take on the usual herbed roasted chicken. I really love how the arugula is not merely a garnish, but the flavor really rubs onto the chicken skin, giving it a nutty taste. The flavor, however, doesn't seep into the rest of the chicken meat, which could also do with a bit more tenderness.

What I thought would be my favorite, surprisingly lands at the bottom of my fave list. The Spiedo del Pollo e Dei Pesci, Fish and Chicken Skewer P295. But it could be just me. I am not fond of white chicken meat. It's a well seasoned dish, but some kind of sauce would probably make this tastier.

If you're seriously avoiding carbs, I suggest you leave after you've had the entrees. Go. Now. Go. Because it would take the willpower of a monk to resist the desserts. One dessert, in particular, tested my carb-free resolve. Sadly, okay, I wasn't really that sad, I failed, and the Tartufo, (P450) won. In my defense, no one with functioning taste buds can resist this 3-layered chocolate cake with dark and white chocolate mousse and fudge frosting. It has this amazing flavor where the salty and the sweet tastes alternately titillate your palate. To quote my friend, twitchmimitwitch,
it's abso-bloody-lutely delicious.

Did I mention this is a summer promo? So the good times will end, so better head over to Italianni's now.

Photo lifted from Italianni's press kit.


Peter Michael C. Sandico said...

Hello there. This is Peter (aka KyusiReader). Thanks for following my blog. I hope you don't mind that some of the posts are merely rants. I love your blogs by the way!

gege said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gege said...

Rant away, Peter. Isn't technology a wonderful thing? We're no longer limited to ranting in private with only our loved ones to irritate. Now, we can irritate and even entertain the whole world. I love the internet! :D