Back in the day, Il Ponticello, more commonly known as Ponti, was a staple hangout and one of them “old reliables” indeed. With good music and reasonably priced drinks it was always part of our list of meet up places. The thing is after a while, you had to be young and willing to shout and sweat and come out with a thick cloud of cigarette smoke hanging over you to want to go back there repeatedly. Personally, I got too old for it. I was never a fan of the second-hand cigarette smoke sticking to my towels and sheets, even AFTER I’ve showered. Twice!
Now, PK (“post-kids”), when I see my friends I like to sit and talk. These moments are few and far between (and in Manila there’s always much to talk about) and because I know I STILL have to get up the next morning and have my faculties in check to care for said offspring, I need it to be a relaxing yet entertaining ambiance. With alcohol of course! 😉 But really, we want to be able to hear each other and enjoy our food and drinks and have enough personal space around at all points in time.
The nice thing about it is, it seems like Ponti has grown up with us too. The place was closed for a while due to a transfer of ownership — and let me tell ya, the new owners fixed it up GOOD.
The owners are of different business and artistic backgrounds, all experts in their fields. From restaurant management to marketing, to interior design and food quality… they’ve actually got it all! 😉 You know you’re in good hands, and you know that every last detail has been thought through to perfection.
It’s now better lit and it gives off a more sophisticated vibe. The smoking section is enclosed (so those who don’t want to smell like smoke won’t come out smelling like smoke) but also so nicely done that you’d still want to sit there and have your drink. If you wanted to have a lunch meeting or an early cocktail (or mocktail), then it’s a good place to do it in.
And best of all — there’s food! Really good Italian food too (I love Italian food!).
I honestly don’t remember the old Ponti having food, though my sister-in-law tells me it did. The head chef (can I say Master Chef?!) comes from Genoa, Italy and has cooked up some awesome stuff, from appetizers all the way down to the desserts. You MUST save space for dessert!
My husband who’s in the restaurant business is very particular about the price (well, who isn’t really?), the presentation and the “portioning”. He’s quite satisfied when we go to Ponti and eats quite a bit. The staff is very attentive and friendly and have been trained to provide excellent customer service. And the managers are always present and very hands on, so if there’s anything you need they can personally attend to you.
Everyone that I’ve spoken to who’s been to the new and improved Ponti has nothing but good things to say about it. And it’s nice to drop in with friends, because everyone and anyone has some memory of Ponti at one point in time. It’s fun to reminisce and see just how much it’s changed — and matured — alongside all of us.
Come to think of it… it’s Friday today. It’s that kind of week and I really feel like I need — deserve — a drink. Or maybe two. Maybe it’s time to round-up the gang and hit them “old reliables”.
So… see you at Ponti? 😉
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