At Il Primo, Cebu Gets an Authentic Italian Steakhouse

IMAGE JOHN SITCHON

Il Primo, a first in Cebu’s culinary and fine dining landscape, is ready to welcome new and curious guests at The Strip in Nustar Resort and Casino. 

As interesting as the name of the resto suggests, it is, in fact, the first and only Italian steakhouse in Cebu and the first restaurant to open in Cebu's premier, five-star integrated resort. 

Nustar officially opened to guests on May 8, 2022

Photo by Facebook / Nustar Resort and Casino.

Beyond that, it is also the first establishment greets newcomers arriving at Nustar as it is positioned right next to the entrance of the resort.

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Opened on April 17, the restaurant has been consistently greeting guests ranging from politicians and celebrities to families and newlyweds on vacation. Diversity is a common characteristic for guests in Il Primo—a quality wholeheartedly welcomed by its staff. 

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Style is a favorite discussion for Il Primo’s patrons as the interior of the establishment exudes a cosmopolitan vibe that can be paired with a luxurious selection of salads and spirits.

The best Italian delicacies and top-rated steaks are prepared by a team of culinary artisans headed by Il Primo’s chef de cuisine, Chef Luca Angioletti—a veteran in the hospitality industry.

Il Primo's Chef De Cuisine Luca Angioletti

Photo by John Sitchon.

Angioletta has over two decades of experience working in restaurants all over the globe, managing top-performing and award-winning kitchens, and crafting new recipes for fans of his work. But with Il Primo, he wishes to do more.

“We want it to be a vibrant and different for the city, an option for curious tastebuds in the market,” Angioletti told Esquire Philippines.

His Italian upbringing taught him that nothing beats authentic, home-grown cooking, which he wishes to share with the people of Cebu. He does, however, recognize that there is a need to marry familiar flavors with those that come from his home. 

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“For authentic ingredients like burrata or prosciutto, these come from Italy, but the seafood comes from here and we combine these and use what we have here in the local,” he said.

True to his word, Il Primo’s menu consists of genuine Italian recipes that would surprise any Italian culinary connoisseur.

Starters 

Burrata is an Italian classic known for two things: a solid cheese outside texture and creamy stracciatella inside filling. What Chef Luca does is garnish the burrata (P500) with some Italian heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and cold press olive oil, making it the perfect antipasti (appetizer).

Burrata

Photo by John Sitchon.

Il Primo Salad (P700) has become a guest favorite and exemplifies Il Primo’s mastery of combining local with imported ingredients. It consists of locally sourced scallops, garden greens, Italian parmesan chips, and orange lemon dressing.

Il Primo Salad

Photo by John Sitchon.
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Pizza and pasta 

Proscuitto e Fungi (P550) is also a bestseller, and for good reason: It is among the many healthy options that Il Primo offers. According to Chef Luca, “This one is for the kids.”

The pizza is decorated with a lovely amount of Prosciutto Crudo or Parma/dry-cured ham, delectable mushrooms, and arugula. 

Proscuitto e Fungi

Photo by John Sitchon.

Nustar Fettuccine (P600) is meant to be a statement. Edible silver on top of a wave of fettuccine dressed in tomato cream sauce and white wine is fancy enough, but Chef Luca takes it up a notch with some Atlantic scallops, prawns, and red snapper. The pasta is homemade and Chef Luca takes his time perfecting each strand in his own kitchen.

Nustar Fettuccine

Photo by John Sitchon.
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Main course

For the main course, you can expect juicy and precisely cooked US Black Angus Cab Omaha Prime Beef served with asparagus, marbled potato, and mushroom/truffle sauce. 

There's a great selection to choose from, which includes T-bone (800g) for P4,300, Ribeye (500g) for P3,900, Tenderloin (300g) for P3,700, and Striploin (400g) for P3,500. 

Photo by John Sitchon.

"Premium steak like no other," is how many would describe Il Primo's Japanese Wagyu (P10,000). It is seared to perfection and prepared using Josper Grill—a specialized grill that preserves the meat’s aroma, delicacy, and succulence. There are two main options. You can have Striploin A5 (250g) or Ribeye A5 (300g).

Desserts

In Il Primo, a dessert is an artform, and Tiramisu (P500) is one of Chef Luca’s personal best creations. Ladyfingers made of layers of heavy cream and mascarpone cheese are covered in freshly brewed espresso and almond crumbs, then decorated with some sliced strawberries and a chocolate twist over the entire piece. 

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Tiramisu

Photo by John Sitchon.

If you like creamy gelatinous desserts, then Il Primo’s Pannacotta (P400) is for you. The vanilla milk cream pudding is topped with an expertly crafted chocolate leaf and strawberry sauce. As you take a piece of the pannacotta, it melts in your mouth and leaves you with a sweet strawberry after-taste.

Pannacotta

Photo by John Sitchon.
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Il Primo is located at Nustar resort and Casino, Cebu City. For inquiries and reservations, call (032) 888-8282.

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