It says something when, in the midst of crisis (rice shortage, escalating gas prices, reeling food prices) an institution decides NOT to pare down its service or hike its prices but instead decides to give EXTRA to its dining customers — no charge, without questions, without being asked. Just like that!
I was the first to arrive at the venue so I chatted briefly with Ann and Jori of Yehey (Jori was wearing a cute panda cap that made him look like Po of Kung Fu Panda fame).
I also got to meet Cyril Reyes, the General Manager of Italianni’s Boni High Street, who indulged me as I did an ambush interview.
A long table in a separate room of the restaurant was allocated for us. On my side of the long table were very young bloggers. I met another Jane who has a food blog and UA& P buddies Stephanie, Alexis and Fritz. Later, we were also joined by Jane’s friend, Christian.
Jen Palacio, the Bistro Group’s Marketing Officer, explained the concept behind the EXTRA treat. All dining customers can expect anything EXTRA (appetizer, dessert, drinks, and anything else) that Italianni’s feels could be lacking from your order. While they are initially thinking of keeping this promo till August, they are looking at possibly extending beyond that date.
We were given a menu of available orders for the day so as we were a group of 6, we decided to order one of each dish and just share around.
The first EXTRA we were treated to was an appetizer — Mussels Lombardi. Wowee. Ganito pala ang EXTRAS!
While waiting for our actual orders to come in, Maki of Yehey.com played a “Bring Me” game. He called out items to bring to him but only if they were EXTRAS (in other words, you had to have more than 1 of that item). Well, I won when he asked for an EXTRA SIM card. I whipped out my Sun cellphone and won two (2) Italianni’s GCs worth P250 each.
Ann also gave each of us an envelope and inside mine were two (2) P500 Italianni’s GCs, 2 movie passes to Caregiver (my 2 yayas at home became the recipients of these), free bretas from Yehey.com, and a LOVE button also courtesy of Yehey!
Lunch was served. First came the appetizers:
Our side of the table unanimously voted to get the Sicilian Chicken Salad. My family orders this ALWAYS during our Italianni’s food haunts as it comes with generous servings of grapes and fresh mangoes.
The main course dishes came next:
The EXTRAS did not stop there.
Dessert came next in the form of a birthday surprise for Alexis who celebrated her birthday last June 5. We had a 3-in-1 dessert treat composed of New York Cheesecake, Tiramisu, and Pana Cotta (this was my favorite!)
Italianni’s was overflowing with EXTRAS that made bloggers like us glow with gastronomic delight. Can you imagine what is in store for you when you go dine with them?
Well, we thought that was the end to our lunch — until Cyril came back in with a waiter who belted out a hiphop song for Alexis back to back with “Happy Birthday” in Italian. Where did they find this baritone waiter???? WOW!
PURRRR-FECT! That was my Monday at Italianni’s. You can bet your healthy lives that I will be back to try out the dishes I loved and get treated to more of their EXTRAS.