The one with Napoli’s Tomas Morato

Lately, Cathy and I have been eating almost once a week at the Napoli’s Italian restaurant along the rotonda of Tomas Morato and East Avenue in Quezon City. Can you blame us? Napoli features some of the most delicious, exquisite locally produced Italian food this side of, well, Naples, and for the kind of prices they have, it definitely deserves a place on your list of must-eat-at’s.

I remember back when my wife and I used to eat regularly at A Veneto Visayas Avenue, which pretty much serves the same Napoli-type food (we imagine the owners must be the same), and at the A Veneto branch on Wilson Street that, as far as we know, has unfortunately closed down. Back then, the dish to order was a sinfully good chicken nut pesto that was chockful of pine nuts and bursting with basil and olive oil flavor.

The Tomas Morato Napoli’s chicken nut pesto didn’t quite match up to the A Veneto Visayas Avenue speed (the pasta was a bit dry and the basil much too much), but it did seem to improve the seafood marinara, which, at only P190, is to die for. Absolutely fantastic. Loaded with prime seafood, including mussels and squid rings, and topped with melted mozzarella that partnered perfectly with the not-too-tart, not-too-sweet tomato sauce, this seafood spaghetti is worth every last centavo and so delicious, you’ll scrape along the sides of the platter.

Also a must-have is the Howie’s pizza at Napoli’s along Tomas Morato. A simple yet wonderfully flavorful dish, Howie’s pizza is anchovies, roasted garlic and cheese. That’s it. Anchovies and cheese. How can you go wrong? It’s anchovies and cheese! It’d give the Yellow Cab anchovy pizza a run for its sinfully salty money, since its crust is paper thin, it brings out the flavor of each anchovy-and-cheese bite, which is the downside of the Yellow Cab version, whose crust’s thickness overpowers the delicate taste of the fish.

Thankfully, a new A Veneto has opened at Greenbelt 4 (near Tower Records and Zen, good, run California Pizza Kitchen out of business!), and I think it’s guaranteed to make waves. How can it not? A Veneto and Napoli’s (Tomas Morato) are just perfect places to eat!

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