This was the year of the Italians here in Bohol. We got three major restaurants opening their doors and kitchens within few months; joining Al Fresco and Luna Rossa we now have Massimo, joining the Italian Food Movement with his Ristorante Pizzeria. As an Italian-cuisine-lover,
I couldn’t hold my enthusiasm when I got the news that I could get my pasta and pizza fix here in the City. So I made sure I could check this place out right away after its opening. The Restaurant is located at M. Parras Street corner G. Visarra Street (next to Brewpoint and BCCTV), formerly Dong Juan Restaurant. The building itself is just beautiful, an old Victorian-resembling white house, architecturally well designed with a porch entrance facing the street.
You cannot miss it. The moment you walk in, you’ll notice how very open and welcoming the atmosphere of Massimo Pizzeria is. The decor is modern and you can spot right away the brick oven for the pizza, just under the big drawing of the Chef’s face. The restaurant offers a typical Italian menu. With a good variety of pizzas and some of the classic pastas. You can even get to choose what type of pasta you want with your sauce: Spaghetti, Penne or Linguine. Aside from the menu presented at the table, there’s also a board where the specials of the day are presented. The prices are a bit higher than the other restaurants in the city, but I wouldn’t mind to pay more if they also offer me more. They also have a modest selection of wines which is always a nice addition when having an Italian meal. The staff was friendly and accommodating… maybe even too accommodating.
The waiter was guiding us thru the entire menu, suggesting best sellers and explaining some of the dishes. I didn’t really ask him to, I just wanted to take my time to read thru the food selections. Anyhow, once I could focus on the menu and made my order, I was surprise when the waiter asked me about the carbonara, if it should be Italian style or Pinoy style. I guess it’s a matter of if to add cream or not; the infinite carbonara debate. Got the Italian. Serving the wine the waiter looked a little bit unconfident and shaky, plus the wine was way to warm. I believe that wine here should be served slightly chilled; the room temperature rule shouldn’t apply in the tropics. And now the food: I tried one of the special salad; with walnut and gorgonzola. It’s always a great combination. Unfortunately the walnut were not properly stored, they tasted a bit rancid and old.
The pasta I got served wasn’t linguine as I ordered, they were spaghetti but that’s ok. What let me down is that it was a bit flat, it was missing salt. Pizza was ok during the first time I went there, much better in my last visits. I understand they’ve just opened a couple of months ago, so the management and staff still need some time to have a smooth operation, a better trained staff and a more consistent food. ….but since they are already charging the full price, I’m expecting to get a full service.
I’m sure I will still be a regular of this place; the Italian chef is friendly and hospitable. I love the ambiance and you can see the effort and the attention they put to details. Food is good but needs some improvements if they want to keep up with the Italians competitors. The value is not yet met.