Wednesday, April 25, 2007


4 out of 5 stars

There are a few places where you really feel like you’re away from the city. This place exudes that feeling, along with the likes of Lavigne and Barcino (more of the latter to come). I compared them to each other because they all fall under the “secluded wine cellar” category. And as much as I’m writing about this, I do hope they maintain that comfy niche that is often taken away by popularity of the masses.

Simply put, Galileo is your “wine and cheese” barkada hangout. I would not actually recommend this as a date place because as a couple, you’d share communal tables with strangers, and no perfect lighting or ambience (which this place does have) would compensate an irate neighbor who eats sloppily or talks noisily. Thus, I invited my foodie friends over, all nine of them. That way, we were able to reserve a whole long table for us at the end, which had its own almost private room. By almost, I mean that our table had its own alcove connected to a main hallway through an arched opening.


Galileo is a charmingly rustic place, with aged red brick foundations, and fancy murals and extensive wine vaults housing their specialty wines that decorate their walls. Upon entering the place, a small glass-encased deli storage rests on the left that houses their cold cuts which they use extensively in their dishes. The main hallway is to the right, and there are small nooks, housing the long communal wooden tables that remind you of a basement in Italy.

Its menu is simple but put-together. You either order “Galileo’s set menu” (which includes wine, antipasto, a pasta of the day and coffee at 400 PhP/head), or an assortment of bruschettas(220PhP for 4 pcs.), paninis (around 130-160 PhP), cold cuts (around 140-350PhP), cheese (from 145 PhP to 350 PhP), wine (120 PhP for house red/white and 150 PhP for Spumanti) and coffee (55-100PhP). They also have an a la carte menu, but it comprises mainly of sidings like salad (120-220 PhP), prosciutto with melon (200PhP), a cheese platter (150PhP), a cold cut platter (190PhP), sundried tomatoes(190PhP), olives(190PhP), sardines(190PhP), fresh mozzarella (390PhP) and pesto pasta (270PhP). (insert menus here)

Never to skimp on food, all of us (except for Patty, who ordered a salad since she had dinner already) ordered the set menu. We began with a simple broth laced with basil and macaroni noodles. Quite a good start as we picked our house wine (or a 50 peso upgrade to Spumanti) as we talked over plans of our careers, our friend Rosh’s wedding plans and reminisced of our carefree college and high school days. We also nibbled on their fresh bread which we dipped in a tomato-sardine ragout, balsamic and olive oil mixture, or porcini gravy mix.



Our individual antipasto plates arrived next, and the pictures do not do justice to its taste. There were three types of cold cuts, one salami, the other prosciuitto, and another smokier meat of two slices each. It was accompanied by generous slices of manciego and crumbled pieces of a firmer and saltier type of cheese. They all fit well together with the bunch of olives and a huge sun dried tomato atop a bed of lettuce.


I was full enough as it is, but of course I would save room for their pastas of the day (penne con porcini, spirali con salsiccia [Italian sausage], penne con gorgonzola [blue cheese] or spaghetti con melanzanie [eggplant]). Being a mushroom freak (in a wholesome way, of course ;P ), I got the porcini. It was delicious, though nothing spectacular. The pasta was properly cooked al dente, the gravy complemented the rich flavor of the porcini mushrooms and pancetta. Its presentation was simple and elegant with Italian parsley or basil on top. By the time our coffee came, we were stuffed silly.




Over-all, I had a great time in this place, and would gladly come back, but only as a big group when we need catching-up. The food was good, but what really stood out were their wines and cold cuts, which they really pride and specialize themselves on. So, to fellow foodies out there, be sure to reserve for your barkada or family In Galileo for that “wine and cheese” experience. This is just about as steady as it gets.

ate in:
Galileo Enoteca

Ground Floor, Reyes Gym
Calbayog corner Malinao Streets
Mandaluyong City Philippines
Tel. Nos.: 719-1038, 534-4633, 532-0482
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

other branch:
Galileo Enoteca, Makati
Unit 14 La Fuerza Plaza, #21 Chino Roces Avenue
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 817-9118

*please reserve before dining.


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