El Nido, being a melting pot of tourists from all sides of the globe has an immense range of food hubs to satiate your taste buds. International cuisines like Italian, Greek, French, American, European, Mediterranean could be among your favored dining choices near the beach. On our first night, we googled the top dining spots to try in El Nido and noticed Trattoria Altrov’è as a consistent member in the suggested list. Of course, the El Nido experience wouldn’t be as complete without getting to try the best food around.
Trattoria means Italian restaurant, and Altrov’è means elsewhere. From the outside, it simply looks like a modest restaurant, seemingly humble of its divine dishes despite the many titles given to it. It’s been the word the mouth both from locals and tourists, the headline in blogs, the highest-reviewed restau in El Nido that there’s too little possibility to miss the chance of actually trying it. Unwilling to face the regrettable risk of “Oh-I-should-have-tried-it” moment, I pushed my friends to probe the charming laneways of Corong-corong in search of this little Italian haven.
Leaving our footwear at the entrance, we were greeted by a woodfire brick oven before going upstairs. The smell of freshly baked pizza whiffs through the air as you sit comfortably either on the wooden floor or chairs. The dim-lit restaurant has this romantic vibe for easygoing diners. Although it could be the best place for couples, we’ve also seen big groups, families and friends enjoying their time in this place.
Since only the three of us shared the food, we decided to keep our orders simple – pizza and pasta. The portions are good for sharing. For the pizza we ordered two flavors- Frutti de Mare and Pizza Bianca. Trattoria Altrov’è allows customers to mix-match the flavors in one whole pizza. The authentic pizza is crafted in the tradition of Naples, Italy. They use imported mozzarella cheese and the sauce is made of Italian tomatoes.
Frutti de Mare is infused with zesty seafood in a layer of crushed tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, arrugula and herbs. This pizza delighted us with its spicy seafood toppings and the smell of fresh herbs like oregano. The shrimps and squid are cooked to the right texture.
Pizza Bianca on the other hand finishes off your appetite for bacon, mozzarella cheese, garlic and oregano. The crisp bacon provides a tasty retreat to the herbed pizza and the garlic accentuates the flavor even more.
Pizzas are famously cooked in the woodfire brick oven with intense heat, and to lock the freshness and enhance the natural flavors of ingredients.
Our pizza dough that time was a bit chewy, good thing the flavors were too good to be taken aback by the texture of the pizza.
Their pastas are cooked al dente, with the sauces made from scratch with fresh herbs and olive oil, slowly simmered to bring out the best in the fusion of flavors. You can choose from spaghetti, penne or fettuccine.
We had Carbonara and Bolognese. The carbonara was made from egg yolk, bacon, parmesan and mozzarella. I liked the creaminess of the sauce, it was light and not-overwhelming and wishing it had bigger serving portions.
The Bolognese was absolutely perfect for me. The lean ground beef was mixed in the traditional red sauce. Obviously, it was made from pure tomatoes. It was not overly sour, just right to bring out the authentic Italian flavor of the pasta.
My friends, however, would qualm on the texture of the pasta – it was too hard for their liking. Then again, we assume that because of the number of customers that evening, some minor setbacks on the food surfaced. Good thing, the flavor profile both in the pasta and pizza were outstanding to even mind those little things.
Their juices are also refreshing. The coldness of the drinks was not retained for a long time due to long waiting period for the arrival of the food.
The service is also pleasant, albeit a bit delayed. Speed is definitely something they should work on. However, we appreciated the servers checking up on us from time to time, if we liked the food.
It’s a good thing we didn’t let this chance pass us by when we were in El Nido. We could attest that the reviews online are indeed true. Trattoria Altrov’è is definitely a hallmark of authentic Italian food – something you shouldn’t miss when traveling to El Nido.
You may also check out their branches in Coron and Las Pinas.
Calle Hama, corner Osmena st., Barangay Masagana
El Nido, Palawan
Contact: 0917 822 9871
Facebook: @Trattoria Altrov’è El Nido
Instagram: @altrovepizza @trattoriaaltrove