Bellini's sticks out like a sore thumb at the Cubao X, it just doesn't seem to belong among the thrift shops, shoe stores and other restaurants and bars there that all gasp for space since compared to them Bellini's literally occupies half of the biggest block there. I have been to Cubao X thrice now, the first two times I was unable to go to Bellini's however, I have been to Fred's Revolucion (brilliant article by Cheryl Tiu). Fred's is a fantastic experience in Cuban Revolution and well, other Red revolution memorabilia as you see that Soviet Woodblock type art in their propaganda posters and is worth going to after dinner at Bellini's.
Bellini's is a formal looking Italian restaurant that from what I gather was one of the early establishments in Cubao X. Cubao X for the un initiated is an eclectic mix of thrift shops, shoe stores (Marikina Shoe Expo or showrooms of Markina Shoe Makers) and the odd art store and beauty salon in the mix.
Bellini is well appointed and reminds me of an aged Italianni's, the interior is adorned with famed scenes of Italy painted onto the walls and wine displays of what look like three kinds of wine but in many, many bottles.
I was there on a Sunday with my mom, the great thing was they had a non stop New Wave mix going on which kinda struck me. We ordered two dishes to share, the spaghetti with longganisa, tomato and chili (p270) and a roast pork (P300). The waiter suggested Focaccia bread (P100) to go with the order of spaghetti. Odd because usually you get a few baguette slices with pasta but what the heck. The bread was a loaf without the end pieces and was crunchy on the outside yet soft and warm on the inside.
Bread sticks are complimentary and quite flavorful with a hint of cheese. The spaghetti was just the way I like it, with a light sauce, real tomato taste and perfectly cooked noodles.
The roast pork is well, two thin slices quite well made, tasty but very little considering you need meat to balance the carbs out. I didn't care, I stopped mid way in my meal to sing the chorus of "A Little Respect" by Erasure, wonderful!
I can't give a full opinion based on two dishes but everything tasted authentic, rustic even, free from being drenched in heavy "Italian" sauces, here it is more herbs and vegetables doing the talking, more organic flavors which lend to the authenticity of the food.
The very pleasant owner (Signore Bellini himself!) doesn't seem to speak much English and it is quite endearing to see the waiters speaking Italian to him. There is even a chalkboard with Italian words of the day and their translations.
Each meal is finished with free red wine in shot glasses a quaint and pleasant touch. I am coming back with my entire family so we can share more dishes and try everything. I am typing this while listening to guess.
Bellini's Contact Info from Facebook