Ristorante delle Mitre: Eat like a bishop

Carding's Crispy Pata (regular). You can literally die eating this. At least you die happy and content.

By Anthony O. Alcantara

If you want good food fit for a gourmet, tag along with a bishop and you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many bishops out there willing to dine with you. But good thing there’s Ristorante delle Mitre.

The restaurant is located just across San Agustin Church in Intramuros. In this restaurant, you eat what the bishops love to eat. The menu will show you the favorites of the bishops, exactly how they want them cooked.

So the first thing you do is to think of your favorite bishop. Then you look him up in the menu. No, they don’t serve bishops there. They serve dishes based on the bishops’ favorite recipes. You will see the description of each dish and the bishop responsible for putting it on the menu.

If your favorite bishop isn’t on the menu, well, he probably doesn’t care much for good food. Too bad.

Another option is to scan the menu and ask the waiter for the best sellers or his recommendations. In our case, we asked for the best pork dish and the best fish dish in bishopdom.

Voila! We have Carding’s Crispy Pata (regular). It’s the favorite of His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, the Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu.

One look at this dish evokes images of gustatory bliss. It didn’t disappoint. After eating a piece of the crispy pork skin, I gasped and suddenly poured out hyperboles of pleasure. And after chewing lazily on a piece of meat, tears of rapture almost dropped from my eyes.

The special mix of soy sauce and vinegar and spices added to the heavenly taste of this dish. I can now conclude that Bishop Vidal has awesome taste buds. Not bad.

Grilled Salmon and Chicken Arroz Caldo. Yummy, yummy, yummy.

Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo also has an entry that we liked–Grilled Salmon. The presentation is nice. The sculptured tomato is something I’d like to learn how to do. On top of the salmon is a slice of lemon with a slit three-fourths through and twisted.It’s a great-tasting simple dish.

For our baby Aria, we ordered Chicken Arroz Caldo, an epiphany of the recipe of Bishop Edgardo Juanich, Vicar Apostolic of Taytay. It was very flavorful, not the usual arroz caldo on the streets. The chicken is tasty, too. And judging by the smacking I heard, the dish hurdled the high standards of Aria. Or was Aria just hungry?

Anyway, the price was reasonable:

P288 – Carding’s Crispy Pata (regular)
P238 – Grilled Salmon
P78 – Chicken Arroz Caldo
P604 – Total

If you have P1,000 for a date, you’ll have enough left for your fare going home.

Originally, Ristorante delle Mitre is a place where Bishops dine. And since Bishops feed their flock spiritually, and sometimes with crispy pata and grilled salmon to nourish their bodies, they thought of opening a restaurant to let ordinary people “partake of the Lord’s bounty.” It started as an outreach program of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

You will see a few miters on display in the restaurant.

The text on the menu describes the restaurant as a “place of dining and relaxation after a day’s toil.” It provides “affordable menu for Intramuros workers at lunch break and fine dining for discerning patrons in the evening.”

Another thing I liked about the restaurant is that they provide equal opportunity employment. They have deaf persons as servers. So don’t be surprised if a few people there communicate with hand signals.You may like to tip them generously. In any case, the service is excellent, the food, heavenly, and the ambiance, redolent of Spanish times and religious fervor.

Mitre, after all, is the Italian word for miter, the headdress worn by bishops.

My rating? An enlightening 4.5 stars out of 5.

Spiritually and physically sated. Aria also gets a lollipop from the lady at the cashier.

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