Mazzo, Cicchetti’s Al Fresco Bar Opens
Casual luxe restaurant, Cicchetti, has been serving up homemade Venetian “small bites” since the latter part of 2018. Just this year, and at long last, Manila’s F&B scene is embracing an Italian theme and we’re seeing cafés, fine dining establishments and pizzerias sprouting everywhere—well, at least in relation to the last decade—throughout the metro.
Founded by David Chua, Indy, Ogie, and Pete Villalon, Jun Villanueva, Lorna Tabuena, and Armand del Rosario, Cicchetti—pronounced chi-keh-tea—was ahead of the ongoing mega Italiano curve. But the concept is slightly more nuanced than the umbrella label for the boot-shaped country’s cuisine. While its pasta staples are right up there on our list of cravings, Cicchetti’s small plates and savoury “finger food” appetisers are the true provenance of the name and therein its concept. Think the Italian version of the now omnipresent “tapas.”
I say Venetian, however, because if you were to order a snack or two cicchetti-style in, say, Florence or Rome, the wait staff wouldn’t have the foggiest what you were on about. That dining culture is traditionally Venetian and such treats are washed down with a glass of vino at a bàcari or osterie. Maintaining a casual elegance throughout the intimate space which seats 30, the restaurant’s 30-seater just launched its adjoining al fresco bar concept, Mazzo. The outdoor deck and bar can comfortably squeeze in 120 standing. This new Cicchetti-Mazzo duo works for the crowd that likes to start with pre-dinner cocktails that taper off into to a languorous and endless stream of pica pica, and vice-versa; the sit-down dinner folk who more than appreciate a good post-meal digestif. Suffice it to say, this BGC hot spot is about to get hotter.