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On Calle Real just in front of San Augustin Church in Intramuros Manila sits a restaurant you won’t see everyday. It is housed in a building run by the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Philippines, a prominently Catholic country. The place arrived perfectly in our explorations that day. Many of the churches and museums close for lunch and we had just exited St. Augustin.
The name is Italian which translates as “The Restaurant of the Mitre” a ceremonial hat distinctive to a Bishop. It has been open since 2010 and seems to be doing quite well during the lunch hour. The motto of the place goes something like “a place for dining and relaxation after a day’s toil.” The clientele is a blend of business people, the occasional clergyman and local workers.
Food is based on a Italian cuisine and the menu is an entertaining list of dishes named after the various Bishop’s of the Philippines
and their Italian/Filipino favorites. So if you fancy a “Bishop Gilbert Garcera” you’ll be getting the Laing or “Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz” you’ll be getting the garden salad. The decor on the walls is reminiscent of Catholic cultures with candles, statues, oils and old time photographs of Bishops. A life size mannequin displays some of the formal wear that these church officials display on grand occasions.
The restaurant is a cozy and home like place with good Italian dishes, coffee, sparkling water and some desserts. Prices are good for the service and style and considering the unique venue and menu. The service is excellent and the menu broad enough to accommodate vegan and vegetarian requests. While we did not stay for dinner the waiter informed us it tended to be a bit pricier and more formal. The focus of the restaurant is to provide hospitality and outreach with a Catholic theme, it is certainly a novelty and a great presentation.