By Abigail Javellana
Amare La Cucina is a Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Baguio founded by a local, Edmark Bustos.
The name means "to love a kitchen" in Italian. Edmark, who is no trained chef, shows this through his passion for cooking and experimentation. This drove him to open his own restaurant, which first started in his home until it became the go-to place for good pizza in Baguio.
The name AMARE is also a deliberate combination of the Bustos siblings--Alvin, MARianne, and Edmark.
Here's what we liked at Amare...
The restaurant is located inside EGI Albergo Hotel in Baguio City.
The restaurant has a warm and casual-modern ambiance.
Neapolitan pizza is traditionally about 12 inches in diameter and is meant to be eaten by one person. Its normally should have a wet molten center and a crispy burnt crust.
The owners of Amare decided to adjust their pizza to cater to the Pinoy taste by making it a little more dry and unburnt.
But if you want to have it cooked the authentic way, it's still possible.
One of the best parts about eating at Amare is when the kitchen isn’t busy, customers can get a firsthand lesson in stretching and tossing their own dough the old-school way...
...designing and adding you own toppings...
...and even putting the pizza in the brick oven yourself! Neapolitan pizza is normally baked around 2-3 minutes in high heat, but here, they've adjusted this to get that thick crunchy crust and semi-gooey middle that Pinoys like.
Beef Carpaccio (P265). Thinly sliced raw Beef Tenderloin with extra virgin olive, finished with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper.
This is the chef's personal favorite and ours also. :) Served as an appetizer, the carpaccio is a simple yet elegant dish distinct for its thinly sliced raw meat.
Trying raw meat was quite the adventure--it's about the flavor and texture. We liked how it slightly melts in your mouth. An excellent start to your meal.
Marianne's Special (P295)
You might want to complement your orders with their vegetable salad served with a mix of Romaine and iceberg lettuce, arugula leaves, carrots, cucumber, candied walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and their special vinaigrette dressing.
Wood Fired Ribs with Veggies (P345). Full-slab ribs wrapped in foil and cooked inside a brick oven until tender.
The best part about their ribs is they cut it only when a customer orders and gets baked again in the oven.
The smoky charcoal flavor goes really well with their sweet barbecue glaze. And the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. The buttered vegetables were cooked just right too, giving them that nice crunch.
(Note: Make sure to order this bestseller when it's available as it often gets sold out.)
Frutti De Mare (P340). Mixed seafood with plum tomato sauce, garlic olive oil, and a hint of white wine.
We liked how they made the sauce fresh from scratch. But this pasta was just ok for us.
Foie Gras Pizza, 13 inches (P580). Mozzarella, basil, white truffle oil, and foie gras.
One of many of Edmark's experimental dishes that was once off the menu. But customers simply kept coming back for it that it has now become their bestseller.
Some who don't like the taste of liver may change their minds after trying this pizza.
(Tip: You can customize your own pizza and add more toppings if you like.)
Wagyu Meatball Pizza, 13 inches (P700)
Another must-try pizza with a generous amount of Wagyu meatballs and roasted garlic.
Edmark even showed us his own way of eating his pizza by first picking up a slice, adding some of their homemade chili oil, then folding it at the center and diving right in.
Mint Ice Tea (P85)
Refreshing house blend iced tea with fresh mint.
Speculoos Pizza, 6 inches (P280)
For dessert, order the speculoos pizza topped with roasted marshmallows, sliced almonds, and ice cream!
Thanks to Amare, Baguio can now have a slice of great Neapolitan pizza. We recommend the Beef Carpaccio, Foie Gras Pizza, and the wood fired ribs.
If you're a pizza lover, Amare is worth checking out.
Amare La Cucina
EGI Albergo Hotel, #1 Villamor Drive, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City
Mobile: +63 916 332 1522
Operating hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00am - 9:00pm, Sat-Sun: 11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Live an Awesome Life,
Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Edmark. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. They also sell beer from Baguio Brewery, which is perfect for pairing with their pizza.