Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Of Pirates and Pasta

Avast ye mateys! Arrrrr...gotta brush up on me pirate lingo before I's even attempts to write this entry!

For our bi-anniv (has it been a year since we ate at Fig and Olive?), H decided to take me to Il Pirata, an Italian place in Eastwood, Libis. I was skeptical at first, asking, "Who would name a restaurant Il Pirata? If you were in Italy, would you eat at a place called 'Ang Pirata'?" But he said that a few people had recommended it, and since it was Italian anyway, I gave in.

On bi-anniv day, I asked some friends about it, and they volunteered, "Maybe he meant L'operata?"I was thinking H might have gotten the name wrong. Then, as we walked across the Eastwood courtyard, I spied a great, grand ship in the distance. Aye, it was our destination. He wasn't kidding. "If they say, 'Ahoy, mateys!' I'm getting out of here," I joked, as we approached the entrance.

We were greeted with a polite "Good evening" and escorted to our table. The place was decked out to look like the interior of a pirate ship, and I began to realize what this place was about: It was simply supposed to be great fun! It tickled me pink (how very un-pirate-like), when what I supposed was the chef, a biggish Italian man, stepped out of the kitchen wearing, not a toque, but a pirate's bandana!

We assumed that the dude at left was the owner, and the one on the right was the chef.

H had eaten a late snack which spoiled his appetite, so no steaks for us that night. We decided to try their pastas. The tomato-based tagliatelle with lobster came highly recommended, but neither of us were in the mood for it. Our waitress suggested the Tagliatelle al Funghi e Tartufo (P340). "Parang Fetuccine Alfredo po," she offered. I didn't feel like having a typical Fetuccine Alfredo, but she prodded me in that direction, so I took her word for it and gave in. H, in an adventurous mood, decided to order something neither of us had ever had: hare! Penne al Sugo di Lepre (P495) to be precise.

As we waited for our orders, we were served bread with a saucer of some tomato spread. Yum. We took in the surroundings--gilded chairs with a skull on the backrest, yellow lighting (save for the white lights illuminating the selection of desserts), that kind of thing.

After a short wait, we were served the Tagliatelle al Funghi e Tartufo. It was homemade tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms, truffle oil (created by soaking truffles in olive oil. Ooooh!), and mascarpone cheese (a yummy triple-cream cheese. Drooool!). Neither of us could stop raving about it. It didn't even come close to any Fetuccine Alfredo I've ever tried! My tastebuds are tingling just thinking about it.

Next up came the hare. I was so worried that they would place a whole hare in front of me, ears and all, and I wouldn't be able to eat it! (Chicken, beef, pork, fish--I'm used to seeing and eating these things, but a bunny rabbit's close cousin? Yikes.) Thankfully, it was shredded into little bits and inconspicuously mixed into the penne. It was mixed with onions, wine, funghi (mushrooms), and parmesan cheese. We got a kick out of seeing the server sprinkle parmesan cheese using an electric grater!

So how was the hare? "It kind of tastes like corned beef," commented H. Although both dishes were cream-based, each one had a distinct flavor. The Tagliatelle was richer, and the Penne dish, thanks to the hare I suppose, had a saltier taste. The great thing about both dishes was that they seemed to be made using good-quality ingredients.

For dessert, I had the After Eight gelato cake (P160)--mint gelato sandwiched between chocolate gelato, and drizzled with chocolate syrup. I didn't think I could finish a whole slice all by myself.

...I was wrong. (Who was I kidding?) In my excitement, I forgot to have a pic taken til after I had nearly polished the whole plate off.

All in all, it was a very relaxed, fun, and delicious dining experience! So all ye land lubbers, get thee to this resto for some high-sea fun. It'll, uh, shiver yer timbers!

Il Pirata is located within Eastwood City in Libis.

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