It took years for this restaurant concept to come to fruition.
It was his father’s dream to open their very own restaurant that celebrated their love for Italian home cooking, but when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, that dream had to take the back seat until he passed away in 2015.
“I just know that this is what my dad really wants,” Nico David told Expat. “This way, we fulfilled his wish, and we’ve shared his legacy with more people.”
Seasoned Italian chef and long-time family friend of the Davids, Nono Bernas, was their go-to guy when they finally decided to revisit the restaurant concept. With his expertise, Tutti Belli Ristorante Italiano officially opened on July 2016 — a year after the passing of David’s father and Chef Nono’s dear friend.
“This is unadulterated, genuine Italian cooking,” Chef Nono said with conviction. “That’s why we’re proud of our dishes, because we simply made Italian dishes with the best ingredients that we can get.”
David and Chef Nono’s dedication to authenticity is indeed a thing of beauty. They even import the flour they use to make their own pasta and pastries.
“We want to make sure that we have something that no other Italian restaurant has,” David said. “It’s not enough that you have tasty food. You have to put in something extra, something special.”
Chef Nono agrees and added, “By making our dishes from scratch, we know exactly what’s in the dish, we can be sure that the quality of our product will be consistent, and we have something that cannot be replicated by other restaurants.”
“We named it Tutti Belli, [which translates to ‘all beautiful’], because our goal is to provide meals that are all beautiful in every aspect,” David explained.
Hearty Italian home cooking in Makati
Italians know that when it comes to cooking, no expense is spared in the name of a great dish. The same goes with Chef Nono’s authentic Italian home-style offerings at Tutti Belli Ristorante, complemented by the warm and cozy interiors and lighting, reminiscent of warm Italian afternoons.
Make sure to try their Sfoglia e Formaggio, which has a rich and milky pastry crust with creamy cheese filling and topped savory prosciutto and alfalfa. It is a delightfully
luscious, yet light start to a promising meal.
Another must-try is their Polpo – described as scrumptious, thinly-sliced octopus with olives, potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and drizzled with tangy vinaigrette parsley.
Their version of Italian favorite Vongole Al Forno stays true to its Italian coast self – oven-baked clams in white wine with sweet peppers, eggplant, and aromatics like garlic and onion, then topped with crispy smoked bacon and mozzarella.
Do not leave Tutti Belli without trying their signature pasta, Tagliatelle di Tartufo, made with homemade tagliatelle pasta with mixed mushrooms, butter, and porcini — all tossed in a luxurious truffle cream sauce that’s as addictive as it sounds.
The perfect meal can only end with something sweet. Try their classic Italian desserts: Panna Cotta and Tiramisu to complete your home-cooked Italian experience.
Now, thanks to Tutti Belli, there’s no need to rummage through the plethora of Italian restaurants in the Metro to enjoy genuine Italian fare — as it sits right in the heart of Makati.
Tutti Belli Ristorante Italiano is located at Doña Concepcion Building, A. Arnaiz Ave. (formerly Pasay Road), Makati. They are open daily, 11a.m. to 11 p.m. For inquiries, call (02) 776-2695.
By CHING DEE