DON LIMONE … il mio piccolo paradiso italiano (my little Italian paradise)

Italy … my piece of heaven on earth.  Everything about it is associated with my love for food and the arts.  Yes! …  the vineyards of Langhe, Piedmont … the land of Il Padrino (The Godfather) Sicily … Roma , the seat of Christianity … Da Vinci, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana,  Fendi, Moschino, Max Mara and my new love, Ferragamo … pasta, pizza, lasagna, focaccia, cheese and gelato. The list goes on and I can never get enough of Italy.

Trivia: According to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin: Italia, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning “land of young cattle”  The bull was a symbol of the southern Italian tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. – wiki

And in one of our numerous unplanned search for food for the soul … we passed by and U-turned for an Italian looking restaurant … with the word … cheesecake and limone catching our attention. 

This place opened early this year .  Owned and managed by , Ms. Betty.  Her love for cooking and travel inspired her to have her own ristorante to showcase her cooking prowess and to share to everyone her love for this passion.  Life is about living your passion , right? Her hubby is a chef as well.

Facade of Don Limone

The Signage that Made me Turn my Car Around

Category : Italian
Address : 199 Aguirre, BF Homes, Paranaque City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (02) 3451803 / 0932-8732316
Email Add : info@donlimone.com
Parking : limited …  in front of the restaurant

A scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast, limoncello and kisses shared on a Positano beach with a gorgeous tall Italian man - scene from "Under the Tuscan Sun" - as seen on one of the pictures on the wall

Limone Sul Garda

Trivia: Limone sul Garda, the lovely town on the Western banks of Lake Garda (province of Brescia) with less than one thousand inhabitants, recently took the international spotlight for the “longevity protein” found in the blood of several of its citizens. Limone, which is nestled in between the mountains and the lake, has always been an isolated frontier. Precisely this isolation, combined with a series of fortunate and fortuitous episodes, determined the birth of the famous “elixir” in the blood of the locals. The protein in the blood of these people from Limone behaves in an anomalous but beneficial way: it quickly removes fats from the arteries and takes them to the liver, where they are eliminated, which protects against arteriosclerosis and heart attack. – visitlemonesurgarda

Foodie’s Order:

House Wine with Cheese Platter – Php 399

House Red Wine in Carafe

2 Kinds of Cheese : Mozzarella and Cheddar with slices of apples.  Served with a saucer of olives and feta cheese w/ olive oil ( good!) and the best item in the platter is the Pistaccio nuts w/ just a hint of lemon in it (superb!)

Cheese Platter

Rucio Red Wine – semi sweet wine from the vineyard of Felix Solis in Spain

Rucio Red Wine

Limoncello – Php 95 – my 1st but definitely not my last! Highly recommended. It is a pale yellow sweet lemon liqueur made famous in the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. It’s a specialty digestif of the Amalfi Coast, the Gulf of Naples, Sardinia, Capri and Sicily.

Limoncello

Limoncello Recipe: ( not the recipe of Don Limone)

It’s fairly easy to make. All it takes are lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. In Italy it’s often homemade with grappa or a 96 per cent alcohol. Vodka, at only 46 per cent alcohol, won’t fully extract the oils from the peel.

Every limoncello lover seems to have their own recipe. This recipe is  not too sweet, but have also had one made with twice as much sugar.

8 Lemons    

1 750 ml bottle Vodka, 100-proof        

2 cups Sugar    

2 cups Water    

Choose thick-skinned lemons because they are easier to zest.

Use 100-proof vodka — the high alcohol level will ensure that the limoncello will not turn to ice in the freezer.

Scrub lemons well with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any residue of pesticides or carnauba wax. Pat the lemons dry.

Carefully zest the lemons so there is no white pith on the peel. The pith, which is the white part underneath the rind is bitter and could ruin your limoncello.

Pour half a bottle of vodka into a large two-litre glass container, reserving the other half for later. Add the lemon zest. Cover jar and let sit at room temperature for two weeks in a cool dark place. It can sit longer — the longer it rests, the better it tastes.

On day 15, combine sugar and water in a large pan. Cook about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool before adding it to the limoncello mixture. Add the remaining vodka. Give it a good swirl and leave it alone for another two weeks. Finally, strain the liqueur, discarding lemon zest. Bottle and store in the freezer until ready to serve. It’s good with soda or tonic or just sipped by itself. Makes 11/2 litres. – windsorstar

Limoncello & Under the Tuscan Sun

TAPAS –  selected starters / appetizers

Trivia : Spanish word meaning “to cover ” . This is not of Italian origin. 

According to legend, the tapas tradition began when king Alfonso X of Castile recovered from an illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. After regaining his health, the king ordered that taverns would not be allowed to serve wine to customers unless it was accompanied by a small snack or “tapa”.

According to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry. – wiki

1. Olives and Almonds – black and green olive mix with almonds with EVOO and a tinge of lemon

2. Omelette – egg with mushroom and chives

3. Fish cut into small squares cooked in oil until golden brown and topped with slices of black olives

4. Potato Salad with shredded chicken – this is yummy!

5. Pizzetas – small pizzas in pepperoni and cheese flavor

6. Green Salad – this is good ! – tomatoes, basil, rice, goat cheese

7. Potato Wedges – fried potatoes with basil

8. Meatball Al Forno -Php 195-  this one is also good.  I’m not a meatball fan but this one is the tastiest by far that I have tasted.  This has been smothered with pomodoro sauce and cheese  Great! The Casalinga pasta must be good as well.

9. Hummus en Fuego – hummus will always remind me of a Greek Restaurant in Rockwell called Mati .  It is where my love affair with this dip began – Php 165 – roasted garlic on top with hot pepper infused olive oil, herbs, olives, cheese served with bread.

Trivia: The English word hummus comes from Turkish humus meaning the hummus food dip or spread, which in turn comes from Arabic حمّص ḥummuṣ, in turn derived from ḥimmaṣ “chickpeas” – wiki

10. Carrot Sticks – unbelievably good! – potatoes served in EVOO with lemon .

11. Small Meat roll with ham generously covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

Tapas

El Greco Pizza – Php 395 – EVOO ( extra virgin olive oil), Feta Cheese, Pesto, caramelized onion, cranberry, fresh herbs, mozzarella, Don Limone’s hot honey  – This is differently superb.  Sweet.  Dough is made from scratch so you have to wait for awhile to taste this pizza.  The Don Limone’s hot honey is also a must when biting into each slice of pizza.

El Greco and DL's Hot Honey

Margherita Pizza – this will always be my fave pizza and the search is on for the best tasting one .  This is of the same good tasting dough but with tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil .  This goes well with the DL’s Hot Honey. But I will always opt for the classic chili pepper flakes for this pizza.

Trivia: Its history begins in 1889, when Queen Margherita, accompanied by her husband Umberto I, took an inspection tour of the Italian Kingdom. During the travels around Italy she saw many people, especially the peasants, eating this large, flat bread.Curious, the queen ordered her guards to bring one of these pizza breads.

The Queen loved the bread and would eat it every time she was out amongst the people, wich caused some consternation in Court. It was not seemly for a Queen to dine with peasant’s food. The Queen summoned the Chef Raffaele Esposito from his pizzeria to the royal palace, ordered him to bake a selection of pizzas for her pleasure. To honor the Queen, Raffaele decided to make a very special pizza just for her. He baked a pizza topped with tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and fresh basil (to represent the colors of the Italian flag: red, white and green) and called it ‘Pizza Margherita’ – source: amalfi coast villas

Pizza Margherita

Pollo Pesto – Php 245 – roasted chicken breast, mushroom and black olives folded in their homemade pesto sauce with grated parmesan cheese served with bread. 

Pollo Pesto

Safron and Date Cheesecake – Php 255 per slice – I’m no fan of cheesecakes but my bestfriend, Essie,  is.  But I have tasted cheesecakes from across the land and this one is …. squisito! Not your run-of-the-mill kind … creamy and full of flavor … and wonderfully different. Odd combination defying the usual . .. treading the road less travelled.   This is a must! Served with slivers of dark chocolate (bringing in the contrast) , slices of lemon and strawberry syrup creatively presented on a watermelon rind.

Trivia: The citrulline which exists in watermelon (especially in the rind) is a known stimulator of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is thought to relax and expand blood vessels, much like the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, and may even increase libido. – wiki

Safron and Date Cheesecake

Safron is known as a spice that contributes to the yellow color  of food  … this has always been associated with the notes – haylike and sweet.  Dates are edible sweet fruits .  Two things common to them : sweetness and Persia.

Pomegranate Raspberry Cheesecake – Php 255 -combining the rich tang of pomegranate and the sweet taste of raspberry creating a fruity infusion.  Same creamy cheesecake base that we love.  This is served with lemons, apples and slivers of dark chocolate with swirls of raspberry syrup on top.

Pomegranate Raspberry Cheesecake

The Foodie with the owner, Ms. Betty Tadayon, and bestfriend , Essie

Given the Italian ambiance , it had me at Buonasera! It is wonderfully quiet … people are warm and obliging.  Food is great. Wine is even better.  Whenever you are in BF Homes, Paranaque … have a taste of Italy at Don Limone … who knows you might also find your Marcello in this place. 

“Mangiamo!”  … Let’s eat!

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3 responses to “DON LIMONE … il mio piccolo paradiso italiano (my little Italian paradise)

  1. Fr Essie via FB: pezzo ben scritto, il mio amico!

  2. Pingback: GALILEO ENOTECA… dating an Italian Starry Messenger | tripsandthecity

  3. Pingback: BEST THING I EVER ATE … A WORK IN PROGRESS | tripsandthecity

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