6/F The Peak, Gaisano Mall Davao, JP Laurel Ave., Davao City, Davao del Sur
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If you've watched the second season of MasterChef US, then you know who Giuseppe Morisco is. For those who don't, he made it into the Top 10 when he was on the show. Besides running restaurants around the world, Giuseppe Morisco actually has his own restaurant here in Davao, which is located at SM Lanang Premier.
But why am I talking about Giuseppe Morisco when this review is about Don Beppe?
It's because Gaitano Morisco, or more popularly known as Don Beppe, is actually the father of Giuseppe Morisco!
No kidding. He was actually featured in both local and national newspapers along with his son. He has retired here in Davao, and runs his own restaurant, Don Beppe Ristorante Italiano.
Moving on, the family was still wondering on where to have lunch. I remembered that my sister had tried this place before. I mentioned this to my mother, and so off to Don Beppe restaurant we went.
The restaurant is located at the 6/F of the mall. The view up there is pretty cool, and the wind is quite gusty over there.
We stepped into the restaurant and seated ourselves.
The interiors of the restaurant were reminiscent of Tuscan architecture,
with umber tones, arches, wood, and bricks. It did feel a bit like dining in Italy. 🇮🇹
There weren't any other people at that time since the mall had just opened an hour ago. Even though we were the only people inside at that time, it took quite a long time before a server brought us the menu!
Go figure. It took them a long time to bring us the menu because it was a mess! They had a lot these laminated pictures of the food that they offered, and they were not even bound together. There wasn't even a description of what these were. It looked like we were shuffling postcards as we were looking at what to order. They also had another menu which had only text on it.
Besides our own orders, they also served complementary bread sticks with tomato ragu. The quality of the bread sticks was varied. Some were a bit hard and some were light and crunchy. But the tomato ragu was good though. It was tangy and rich, and had a tiny hint of saltiness.
Batter-coated, deep-fried squid, served with tomato ragu as a dip.
It was light and crispy, and it was good that the squid wasn't overly gummy.
• Gamberi alla Parmigiana
Like the calamari, the batter was nice and crisp without being oily. It also came with their tomato ragu. And the shrimp was fresh and juicy.
• Vegetarian Pizza
Toppings of eggplant, bell peppers, mushrooms, and olives. Nothing amazing. It tasted like something I could do at home.
The crust needs work. While it was thin, it was kind of limp. It wasn't crisp enough, and it lacked that crunch. We felt that it needed more time in the oven.
• Chicken Scallopini
Chicken breasts cooked in your choice of lemon sauce or butter, and garnished with parsley and lemon slices.
For this dish, you can choose between rice or mashed potatoes to go with it. It also comes with a few greens on the plate.
This dish had a lot of promise. The chicken wasn't dry; it was actually cooked well. However, it wasn't packed with much flavor as much as we had hoped it would.
• Chicken with ham and mushrooms
I forgot what this dish was called. It's pan-fried chicken cooked in butter, with a slice of ham and mushrooms on top, and garnished with parsley.
Taste was passable. The chicken and ham were cooked well; they were nice and juicy. However, it still leaves something to be desired.
All in all, it was pretty disappointing. Also, it turns out to be quite pricey, given the quality of the food.
Service wasn't good either. From the moment we stepped in, I knew something was wrong. The staff aren't very attentive and friendly. The bill took a long time to come too. (It's been said that Don Beppe has great cooking skills, but has a lot to learn when it comes to staff management. I guess that was true in this visit.)
I've heard and read that the owner, Don Beppe, personally greets his customers. He wasn't there at that time. Maybe that's why the quality wasn't in check. But they should still be consistent with the quality of their food.
Oh well. At least my mother and I have new recipes to try out at home!
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If you crave for authentic Italian food, Don Beppe offers just that. Order the Al Forno, a baked chicken dish with sweet potatoes good for 3. The Don Beppe and Don Angelo are the stars of the pizza list. Their obligatory Pesto pasta pleases, but the Vongole remains my ultimate favorite. They have one of the best wine selections in the city as well.
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