Coming from long hours of picture-taking under the scorching heat of the sun around Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, we quickly recognized the value of a fine meal as we enthusiastically embraced this “splurge meal” at La Bella Teodoro. To get the most out of the experience, you should grab a seat in front of the wood-burning oven and watch the experts work. 😉
Review of La Bella Teodoro Italian Restaurant (Bagac, Bataan)
Upon entrance, I thought La Bella Teodoro is not an ordinary Italian restaurant. More than “sightseeing” with our taste buds, we also had sightseeing to do with our very eyes. The ambiance here was beyond elegant. Stoned walls, high ceilings, gigantic chandeliers, artsy paintings, quirky displays and everything else in between made a cut to a superb rating for this portion of my review.
La Bella Teodoro has been operating for three years now and it does so with the understanding that good food is only part of that formula for success. While waiting for courses to be served, guests can go around the dining room to look at vintage items on display.
Wonder what those are in the picture below? Strips of pastas, in rainbow colors. 😛 In La Bella Teodoro, everything that can be made in-house is made in-house. I respect the skill involved in hand-making and cooking pastas whose calorie count is best left unknown. I interpret it as a reflection of a high level of care and attention to detail that come through in their food.
There’s a special charm that La Bella Teodoro exudes and I guess it comes mostly from customer service, which was professional and attentive, warm but not overly familiar. I must say that every staff we met in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar was hospitable and kind. If I lived in the neighborhood and wanted to be treated like a dinner guest, this is where I’d go.
First up, three types of bread. I liked that big one there in the middle most for its crisp crust enclosing a slightly moist, chewy and aromatic crumb with an amazing hole structure. For me, it achieved the ultimate bread accolade. It’s so good that you don’t need to eat anything with it. But of course, I had to try it when dipped with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The taste and aroma were enhanced and pretty much, I was satisfied completely. Good bites for appetizer.
The Salciccia Pizza (PHp 460) was good. Nicely seasoned, each slice of this thin-crust pizza was generously sprinkled with different types of sausages that well represented the flavor. Amount of cheese and tomato sauce was just enough. Did the fat, meat, cheese and tomato intermingle gloriously? Yes, quite. The highlight of this dish was really the sausages laid on in heavy chunks with a kick of spiciness. This pizza can provide ample assurance that this restaurant curates their food seriously.
All you need to know about the Penne Arrabiata (PHp 305) is that it’s simply penne flavored with spicy tomato sauce. I was finding the red pepper flakes that made the pasta so hot but couldn’t see them. The ringing heat became tolerable, after I drank a glass of water. This goes to say that if you are anyhow timid with spice, the Penne Arrabiata will make you angry! 😛
The creaminess, richness and elegance of your ideal risotto can all be found in La Bella Teodoro’s Risotto Di Acuzar (PHp 305). It’s cooked with Arborio rice, white wine and Parmesan cheese. The flavor of the rice was subtle, and I think pairing it with wild mushrooms and buttered broccoli would be best. 😀
Another risotto we tried was the Risotto Di Mare (PHp 465), which was cooked with Arborio rice, mixed seafood and tomatoes. The tomato sauce overpowered the taste of seafood sharply, and its sourness was so pleasantly toothsome it practically bites back.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
This Italian meal almost cost a fortune; dishes are overpriced, but that’s somehow understandable as we were in a tourist-packed background. If only food were allowed to be brought in, we would have packed food for our meals. However, because of the strict rule of the resort and the limited dining options, we had no other choice but to dine in at Las Casas’ restaurants.