Azzuro
Okay I admit it, I am a big fan of Italian cooking. There is just something about the juicy tomato, that is fused into nearly everything. The rich aromatic dishes, through to the tasty cold cut meat in the form of antipasto, or big juicy meatballs smothered with a rich tomato sauce, accompanied by delicious spaghetti, it just seems that all Italian cooking is delicious. There is something earthy and natural about it, and at the same time, there is a feeling of lavish overindulgence from a culture that celebrates it's food and the dining experience. The Azzuro restaurant is a classic Italian restaurant featuring Italian cuisine nicely presented, with large servings of tasty, healthy, and mouth watering Italian cuisine.
 
   

   
 

Location:

Address: 194 Fields Avenue,
Balibago, Angeles City

OPEN 5PM TILL 1AM


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There are many things I like about the Azzuro restaurant, but key among these is the fact that it is centrally located in the heart of Fields Avenue, right above Lancelot bar. Another thing I like about the Azzuro, is that it has a great outdoors section, overlooking the action on Fields. There is something to be said for tucking into a delicious Italian meal, while watching the tapestry of Fields Avenue life, unfold before your eyes. The Azzuro also has an inside area which seats approximately 30 to 40 people, and is delightfully air-conditioned. The earthy nature of rich Italian provincial cooking is also complimented by the red earthen tiles that decorate the floor, and the tasteful paintings, together with the homely red and white table cloths.
 
   
Calamari

   
Prawn Thermidore

   
Spaghetti & Meatballs

   
Meat Lovers Pizza
 

The Azzuro has now been taken over by John Inouye who has been involved in the restaurant business for the last 30 years, both in Hawaii, and here in the Philippines, both as a restaurant owner and as a consultant for international restaurants. In short the man knows what he is doing and this is clearly shown by Azzuro, which has a feeling of your neighborhood kitchen, yet runs like a well oiled machine.

The Azzuro restaurant supplies authentic provincial style Italian cuisine, with large servings of mouthwatering food, making it perfect for Italian cuisine aficionados, right through to the average hungry bar hopper.

When doing this review we decided to really go for it and order up big, so as to get as good an idea as to the quality of the food as possible. For starters we had two types of Bruschetta, some calamari, and a large antipasto dish. The Bruschettsa was okay but to be honest I have had better, but that's the only complaint I have, because the Calamares were exquisite and literally melted in your mouth. The antipasto was a large dish featuring portions of Italian salami, delicious smoked ham, and a selection of fresh seafood. I thought the antipasto was a large dish and very tasty but I would have liked to of seen more salami, however, I realize being in Angeles, this is easier said than done.

Another thing I like about Azzuro is it's truly diverse menu, which literally features something for everyone. For those who are lighter eaters, or just craving for a decent sandwich, they have a complete range of sandwiches. From pulled ham, through to chicken, fish fillet, BLT and tuna sandwiches, and of course the iconic club sandwich. They even have an Aussie burger which is a meal in itself and an excellent range of Filipino dishes to make your girl feel at home.

Some people have stated you can't get a decent steak in Angeles, but in my opinion, Azzuro certainly proves this wrong. At Azzuro they have superb T Bone steaks Certified US Angus, Ribeye certified US Angus and beef tenderloin Certified US Angus, all cooked to perfection, exactly how you order it. These steaks are not cheap but they are certainly delicious and cooked to perfection. When I ate my steak it was so tender I could literally cut it with a spoon. This was tender, mouthwatering American Angus beef, at its very best.

Azzuro also boasts a comprehensive range of chicken, pork, and seafood dishes, all delightfully prepared with that special Italian flare. When doing this review, I chose the Scaloppini Francesca, which featured a delicious filet of pork, pan fried, and topped with a Bruschetta mix, along with garden vegetables, all covered with a layer of baked cheese. This dish was accompanied by Marble potatoes, on the side.


Others had the Prawn Thermidore which received rave reviews, as did, the spaghetti with meatballs. In fact the young lady who chose the spaghetti, said it was the best spaghetti with meatballs she had ever had in her entire life.

Being an Italian restaurant they also have an exhaustive range of Pastas and of course pizza. If the Spaghetti meatballs is anything to go by, then I can honestly say, I look forward to sampling some more of their pasta dishes. Of course no dining experience is complete without a dessert, and here at Azzuro, they have some truly delicious Crepes, which are soft tangy and absolutely splendid. They also have a large range of delicious Ice Cream, which provides the perfect dessert, after a hearty Italian meal.

Azzuro restaurant is sometimes compared with C Italia, but for me I much prefer Azzuro. C Italia whilst it has the name, is mostly patronized, by well to do locals, who tend to judge you when you take your date from a bar there. This however is not the case in Azzuro. Because Azzuro is situated in the heart of Fields the waitresses and restaurant clientele are used to the bar girls, and in fact get on very well with them. The food in my opinion is comparable to C Italian and cheaper. Lastly C Italia specializes in Mediterranean cooking whereas Azzuro is more home style Italian provincial cooking. Azuro is for the more general market that likes to include some nice food along with their bar hopping activities and also I believe it is worth noting that a significant portion of Azzuros business is done from delivery of orders to bars.

The Azzuro restaurant is surprisingly large and I would estimate that by incorporating both it's inside and outside sections, it can seat up to 80 patrons in one sitting. The outside area features eight tables each seating four people and overhead are fans which keep a gentle breeze flowing through this section, maintaining a pleasantly cool temperature. The outside section also features brilliant views over Fields Avenue and A Santos Street and these are the most popular seats in the restaurant, because they allow diners to sit and watch the nightly tapestry of Fields Avenue, as it unfolds before their eyes.

The inside section features ten tables with each table holding 4 persons. The tables are covered with quaint red and white table cloths and the super effective air con, keeps the room at a very pleasant chilled temperature. The inside section also incorporates asplendid salad bar and a well stocked bar area.

An important aspect of any modern day restaurant is it's wine list, and here at Azzuro, they have a fairly comprehensive wine list featuring wines from as far afield as Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Chile. Azzuro also has a number of classic Liqueurs designed to complete the Italian eating experience.

In my opinion Azzuro has a wide range of delicious dishes, it has a cozy yet classy ambiance, the staff are friendly and efficient and the location is excellent. Azzuro successfully combines the best of both worlds catering for patrons who like a sumptuous Italian meal through to a quick snack while bar hopping.

Azzuro gets my thumbs up and negotiations are under way for it to provide the AE discount.


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