I found this Italian restaurant by accident during one of my night-outs in Malate. It was standing on a dark corner of Remedios Circle, hidden in plain sight, a simple, plain-looking place that only a few who knew its story would visit.
Everything about Casa Nostra made one feel the place was frozen in time. Lamps, jars and old photographs (presumed to be the relatives or ancestors of the owner) lined up against the walls. Soft, ‘60s or ‘70s music played in the background. It’s cozy, good for dining alone, with a group, or a special someone. At night, the place is dimly lit, making romantic candlelight dinners possible.
|Cosa Nostra’s carbonara, with ham bits, separate serving of parmesan cheese, and a thick heavy cream sauce|
Now that I think about it, I’ve encountered other places that go down in Malate’s history but are now overshadowed by modern hang-out establishments, some of which get closed down in the process. Only the old patrons of Malate and those from the present generation would know of these places.
For example, we had Anthology, an institution for music lovers, that closed down a few years ago, and is now nothing more than a bunch of ruins. Cafe Adriatico closed down when fire damaged its second floor (thank goodness it didn’t stay that way, and it’s still as popular as before. ). And now, we have Cosa Nostra. (Then there’s Hobbit House, but I’ll save some space for that in my blog soon.)
Someday I’d like to seek out the old places in Malate that are still standing despite the changing times. I’ve had enough of the karaoke clubs and girlie bars sprouting all over Malate. I’d like to know how people hung out a long time ago, which were the spots that were popular among the youth, artists, businessmen, and so forth. I’d like to know which places were part of Manila’s old lifestyle.
Argh, I’m having a hard time explaining this. In any case, it would be nice to relive and preserve what’s left of Malate’s past, if only through where the past generation hangs out. I’ll think about how to go about this until my next discovery.