Many people seek out an unforgettable dining experience when traveling. Two of them are couple and business partners Sandy Dimaya-Lange and Martin Lange, who frequent Europe and have dined in various restaurants all over the continent.
Their dream of opening their own was further fueled by an Italian pizzeria in Slovenia that impressed them on their visit. They drew much of their inspiration from that restaurant, whose food was the kind they wanted to serve Filipinos.
In 2011, Trattoria Altrov’é was born in the then-sleepy town of Masagana in El Nido, Palawan. Now that El Nido is one of the country’s top tourist destinations, Altrov’é serves droves of locals and tourists alike who are drawn by the warm and efficient service and the exceptional food.
“Trattoria has become synonymous with warmth and a friendly atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home. ‘Altrov’é,’ on the other hand, means ‘elsewhere’ or ‘a different place.’ In Trattoria Altrov’é, we believe in making our guests feel at home, while spending their time in our humble restaurant,” said the owners.
As the couple is always on the lookout for tourist spots, they have since expanded in other parts of the Philippines with eight branches strewn across Coron, Metro Manila, Siargao and Moalboal.
Panagsama, Moalboal has its share of eateries with rustic sustenance, and Altrov’é has fit right in since its opening in March 2018.
Like the other branches, this restaurant is as no-frills as it gets. Its architecture, design and even its barefoot-only policy are far from pretentious and are reminiscent of a traditional Filipino household.
This particular branch, however, boasts a garden and fountain area. The owners wanted to make it feel homier, as it’s one of the youngest members of the Trattoria Altrov’é family.
Its vibe may be laid-back but the restaurant takes its pizza seriously. You would understand the long lines only when you take your first bite. The hallmarks of a Neapolitan pizza are there—slightly charred, blistered crust with raised edges and a delectably chewy dough that can be folded with ease.
“We always strive for perfection, especially in terms of food quality. Our head chef often travels to all of our branches to ensure that the quality of our pizza and other dishes remains the same and of course, improves. Whenever we introduce new additions to the menu, our head chef would always go around and teach the recipes to our cooks. They undergo trainings as well. Just last year, our head chef took a cooking course in Italy,” said Renz Perez, Altrov’é’s marketing officer.
If you’re unsure what to order on your first time, listen to the owners and go for the pancetta con tartufo pizza. Its sauce made with crushed tomatoes is perfumed and flavored with wild Italian truffle cream and bacon, and finished off with mozarella that just melts beautifully onto the pie.
For the pasta, a must-order is the fettucine gamberi olio d’oliva which has sautéed shrimps tossed with sundried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and crushed red pepper. Altrov’é’s lasagna, available in some of its branches including Moalboal, is also a hit among customers.
Apart from its bestselling pizzas, Altrov’é also offers appetizers, mains and desserts, one of which is its highly recommended homemade gelato.
Its drinks menu does not disappoint either. A selection of cocktails, red and white wines is on offer, as well as coffee from illy, one of Italy’s leading coffee companies.
In Cebu, one can find Trattoria Altrov’é along Panagsama Road, corner Bantayan Road in Basdiot, Moalboal. Business hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.