Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review

Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review
The combination of delightful Italian dishes and Filipino hospitality
Disclaimer: This review is sponsored by Cucina di Francesco. However, our opinion, decision, and review method will not change.

If you're a fan of Italian cuisine with a Pinoy touch then this is the right place for you. Cucina di Francesco is a three-story restaurant beside the famous St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel in Libis, Quezon City, it's not hard to miss.
Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Cucina di Francesco is an Italian restaurant (obviously) that boast their quality, comfort food and the way of preparing most of their menu items, more on that later. They also provide a twist on some traditional Italian dishes which will introduce playful flavor to your palates.

I was invited by Zomato for a Foodie Meetup, which by the way is our second FMU *YEY* - when I saw that the restaurant is just near our place, I immediately said yes.

As soon as I entered, the very cheerful and adorable Ms. Maryrose Pena immediately provided a run-down of the dishes. While the other foodies are busy taking amazing shots, I was busy checking the place - it looks quaint with a little faux Italian flow to it. Albeit the first floor is a not that spacious, the second and third floor are very spacious, each equipped with their own bar.
Third floor of Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Third floor of Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Cucina di Francesco got its name from the late Francesco Forgione or commonly called St. Pio of Pietrelcina. Also, I've learned that my idol, Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco is part of the team.

After that hefty introduction, now comes the fun part, EATING! I got hungry after doing that long food photoshoot. Let's start with a light appetizer -
Toasted Ravioli (PHP165) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Toasted Ravioli (PHP165)
Toasted Ravioli (PHP165) - it's smooth, silky and absolutely delicious. It's like delicious, delicate pillows - although I'm not used to crispy ravioli, this one is da' bomb, like literally! Once you take that first bite, it's just an explosion of flavor coming from the spinach which is prepped and cooked well as there is no trace of bitterness in it.
Toasted Ravioli (PHP165) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Toasted Ravioli (PHP165)
The chunky marinara sauce added that aroma and freshness to the dish which complements the crisp crust of the ravioli. A light, healthy start, who wouldn't like spinach, it's full of iron and minerals, plus the vitamin C from that marinara sauce.
Burrata in Garlic Pomodoro and Italian Sausage in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Burrata in Garlic Pomodoro (PHP350) and Italian Sausage
One of my favorites, the Burrata in Garlic Pomodoro (PHP350). It's a soft cheese wrapped in mozzarella and topped with a rich, thick, smooth and garlicky pomodoro sauce. It's amazingly good as the soft cheese resembles that sweet "Cheez Whiz" flavor that we love - you can eat it as it is or use it to dip your ciabatta or grissini. For me, it's a perfect pair for their Italian Sausage as the peppery and juicy texture of the sausage added that meaty fix that I need. It's just a wonderful blend of goodness in your mouth that you will repeatedly come back to.
Tre Formaggi (PHP350) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review
Tre Formaggi (PHP350)
I'm a big pizza lover, like super-duper-pizza-lover! That is why I love Italian cuisines as the choices and variety for their pizza is just endless, like Cucina di Francesco's Tre Formaggi (PHP350). It's a crispy thin crust pizza with bechamel sauce on top, sprinkled with different kind of cheeses namely; mozzarella, gruyere/emmental, and blue cheese. The playful taste of each cheese is combined with the creamy bechamel top resulting to a sinful mash of goodness, add the crisp kick from the crust and you'll find yourself craving for more. Want more flavor explosion? Ask for their homemade honey, it's not your commercial honey, it's unique, sweet and tasted organic.
Maldita Fiery Foods in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Maldita Fiery Foods in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Don't forget to throw in their homemade hot sauce from Maldita Fiery Foods as it definitely adds another level to the dish.
  • Peaches & Scream - the spiciest of the three. It's tangy and you'll get the quick taste of peach that will dissolve quickly as your mouth watered like crazy. The crazy part is once you think the heat settled, it's not, as you will feel that spicy sensation on the back of your tongue.
  • Hijo de Fruita - this one is unique as the habanero added that fruity hint to it.
  • Picante - my favorite. It's sweet, garlicky and it's piquant, mainly because it's a pepper sauce. It gives that additional level of flavor while retaining that fiery attitude if added to a dish, especially Cucina di Francesco's pizzas - note that this is brewed specifically for Cucina di Francesco only so it's like their limited edition.
Breakfast Pizza (PHP360) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Breakfast Pizza (PHP360)
It's unique and it's delicious! Their Breakfast Pizza (PHP360) may look like your regular pizza but don't let the simplicity fool you - to keep up with its name they've included bacon, ham, eggs, and mozzarella resting on top of fresh marinara sauce. Just like the Tre Formaggi, the crust is baked well as the crispiness added that extra layer of texture on the pizza.
Aglio Olio (PHP190) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Aglio Olio (PHP190) 
I love the way they roast the vegetables for their Aglio Olio (PHP190), the charred taste along with the garlic oil is just perfect. The blend is quite exquisite and the way it looks is somewhat comparable to primavera, but without overdoing it with spring vegetables. (Note that the one indicated in the picture is their family size serving)
Vongole Bianco (PHP180) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review
Vongole Bianco (PHP180)
Vongole Bianco (PHP180) is an Italian classic and Cucina di Francesco provided justice on this dish giving it that authentic Italian touch on every nook and cranny. The pasta is light, but it's flavorful, infused with garlic, briny clams, and I think a dash of white wine to give that light tang to it.
Rosemary Roast Chicken (PHP280) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City
Rosemary Roast Chicken (PHP280)
Their Rosemary Roast Chicken (PHP280) just hits home, it comes almost as close as my mom's. The meat is moist and juicy which means it's roasted properly. The au jus gravy is spectacular - it's light, herby, distinct and very delicate. Note that the PHP280 roasted chicken is not the one indicated in the picture, it's single serving with parsley rice included.
Porchetta (PHP780) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review
Porchetta (PHP780)
The pièce de résistance, ladies and gents, Cucina di Francesco's very own Porchetta (PHP780). This beast is brined for 14-hour with garlic confit and slow-roasted for an hour, resulting in a juicy interior and crackling exterior also you'll be served with three sauces; olive-fig tapenade, balsamic vinaigrette, and au jus gravy. The meat is succulent and tender that you just need little to no force just to get a piece, the herbed core is just phenomenal as their very own herb mixture created a flavor epidemic on every fiber of the meat. The crackling skin is excellent as well, the savory crisp skin, when combined with a piece of meat and garlic confit, is just out of this world.

Should you want to amp the flavor more? Pick your poison; the au jus gravy is extraordinary as the juices from the meat which was brined and stuffed with herbs produced that perfect aromatic and savory sauce. The balsamic vinaigrette will provide that pungent and tangy kick to counteract the oiliness of the dish achieving that perfect harmony of flavors. The olive-fig tapenade which provides that extra layer of flavor coming from the caper, figs, and olive. It is indeed the star of the table - the serving size is great and the quality is just absolutely great.
Mojito, White Sangria, Lemongrass Iced Tea, Mango, Red Sangria (PHP400) in Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review
From left to right: Mojito, White Sangria, Lemongrass Iced Tea, Mango Tango, Red Sangria (PHP400)
While you sate and indulge yourself in Cucina di Francesco's dishes, sip on their homemade/brewed cocktails and juice. They are brewed for a day and they are sold per bottle only, this is to ensure that the quality will be preserved and will be enjoyed if opened and consumed right at the bat. I'm no wine cognoscenti but I will try my best to review them.
  • Mojito - my least favorite, it has that strong bitter kick to it.
  • White Sangria - it's much lighter and the combination of citrusy and flavor along with that fruity aroma is great.
  • Lemongrass Iced Tea - this does not have any alcohol content. The lemongrass complements the natural sweetness and tang of the calamansi. One of my favorites.
  • Mango Tango - not really a fan of mango juices, but this one is not so bad though. I must say that you can really feel the drag of the alcohol on this drink as it overpowers the fresh mango flavor.
  • Red Sangria - It's tasty and very fruit-driven and aroma because of the fruits added to it, it's not astringent and not too complex. It's simple, but it has that attitude about it.
Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review
Homebrewed, not ready made!
Before I give my final thoughts, I'd like to show the rest of the photo from Cucina di Francesco.

Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review

Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review

Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review

Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review

Cucina di Francesco in Libis, Quezon City - WTF Review

Overall, it's a great experience to (re)introduce your palate to Italian cuisine. The food is sultry, the place is very relaxing and easy to the eye. It really is a hidden gem and it's a great place to bring your family and bond over the exciting and delicious food.
  • Place 
    • The place is spacious, very lively, mainly because of the panel window. The contemporary - "faux-ish" Italian motif created that homey vibe that provided a soothing mood.
  • Service 
    • I love how warm they've welcomed us. The owner Ms. Maryrose is keen enough to answer all my questions regarding the dishes. She's also fun to talk with, very cheerful and humorous. 
  • Price 
    • Price is on par with the quality of the food and the serving size. Somewhat expensive, but its assured that you'll get that high-quality meal which is worth every penny.
Let's rate them, shall we?
Food: 5/5
Ambiance: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

What does Zomato say?
Cucina di Francesco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Location: RER Compound (St. Pio Chapel), 188 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagumbayan, Libis, Quezon City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Contact Number: +632 2469069 ext: 349
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