Traliccio, the Restaurant that Connects with the Soul of Marikina

PIO Department


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Traliccio--the homey whisky bar, cafe and restaurant along Guerilla St. that has a nice, spacious garden outside – wants to connect with the soul of Marikina, says one of its owners, Eugene Claravall, restaurateur, musician, chef, advertising executive and more importantly, lover of art.

It was a rainy Saturday night as typhoon Domeng unleashed its fury into Metro Manila, blanketing the skies with enormous rain, flooding streets and aggravating the already horrendous weekend traffic.

But Eugene braved it all in his Vespa motorcyle and arrived dry and not a strand of hair out of place, wearing a black leather jacket, black shirt and black jeans, accentuating his mestizo good looks.

“Anyone here from Marikina news?” he asked as he entered the coffee shop of Traliccio, right next to the gate.

Outside, the garden accentuated by a trellis (where the restaurant got its name only in Italian) and vibrant green grape vines that snaked throughout the structure, was all wet – chairs, tables, concrete floor included. Despite the rain or maybe because of it, the garden, with all the lights on, looked magical, mysterious and romantic. Much like the famed The Secret Garden in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel for children.

After the pleasantries, we moved out into the garden under one of the canopies shaped like an umbrella. He picked a table surrounded by greens, whose leaves were dripping with rainwater. We didn’t mind.

The interview started amid the pouring rain. So why a restaurant in Marikina?

“Marikina is on the cusp of a food boom,” said Eugene. “It’s a good time and place to be here and target the kind of customers that we are trying to reach. More importantly, Marikina has a soul and we want to connect with that.”

Eugene, 43, but looked years younger, knew what he was talking about. He grew up in Marikina and his family left years before the food scene sizzled, punctuated by the rise of homegrown fine dining restaurants offering various international cuisines but with the Filipino and Marikeno tastes at the heart.

“Marikina has its own exquisite culture. One of our dreams here is to touch base with the art scene…with the local artists. They can display their works here. We want to help the Marikina artists find their audience,” said Eugene, who used to be a musician and studied culinary arts while working in advertising.

“Marikina is not just a place for skilled shoemakers. This is also a place that has its own cuisine. Its own tastes.”

Filipino-Euro Cuisine

Traliccio serves what he called Filipino-Euro dishes, inspired by the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, who was among the most prominent Filipino intellectuals and writers who studied and lived in Europe during the Spanish Occupation of the Philippines.

The European flair is prominent on the menu, with the dishes written mostly in Italian with English translations.

“With the popularity of the Internet, Filipinos are now more familiar with international cuisines and world-class dining places. They also want that experience here, even in Marikina. So that’s what Traliccio is bringing here, that world-class Euro experience. They can experience it in their own backyard,” Eugene said.

Bestsellers include: bone marrow flan (with crostini and balsamic reduction) for starters; vongole and carbonarra with truffle oil fusion for pasta; gamberi e calamari pizza bianca (shrimp and squid white pizza), tutto pizza de carne (all meat) and pizza margherita for pizzas; Italian meatloaf, callos, roast beef and osso bucco with gremolata, paella, and pan grilled salmon with maitre d’ butter for the main course.

For desserts, dulce de leche and the sinful chocolate lava cake are among the most sought after. We tried both during earlier visits (days before the interview) and they are indeed perfect with Traliccio’s freshly brewed coffee.

Traliccio also has a breakfast menu (available from 9:00 to 11:00 in the morning only) such as baked meatballs, corned beef served with toasted bread, English breakfast and the Filipino favorites such as beef tapa, longaniza recado, longaniza de Cebu, longaniza de Tuguegarao and pork tocino.

The restaurant also boasts of its own collection of fine whisky (Carlos 1, Chivas 18 years, Chivas 12 years, Dewar’s Scotch whiskey, Don Papa and a lot more) and wines. It also serves cocktail drinks including its signature Traliccio punch, and beers – both local and imported. During happy hours, cocktails are on a buy-two-take-one promotion.

Business Among Friends

Founded by Eugene and two high school friends from De La Salle University -- Eric Sanchez and Egbert Buenviaje – Traliccio opened in December 2016. Traliccio, the Italian word for trellis, also stands for the three friends who are the legs, so to speak, on which the restaurant stands.

Of the three, it is Eugene who has an experience running a restaurant. He partly owns Kanto Freestyle and Chef Arch’s Lime restaurants. His background in advertising also gives him the ability to gauge what their customers want, and what else they need to do to expand the restaurant’s market. As a result, the menu is constantly evolving.

In such a short time, Traliccio has become famous as a fine dining place for families and professionals who want to hold their business meetings and brainstorming sessions over lunch, dinner, drinks or coffee. It is also a favorite venue for holding events such as birthdays, baptisms, weddings, among other occasions.

Eugene said business is growing, owing to the country’s rising middle-class citizens, who are now spoiled for food choices in Marikina and in the entire metropolis.

Despite its classy surroundings and ambiance, dining at Traliccio won’t leave diners in the poor house. A dinner for two would cost around P500. Local beers are priced at 320 per bucket for a bottle of six.

On Friday and Saturday nights, a band plays cool 80’s and 90’s and modern hits in the al fresco dining area. Traliccio also closes late on these nights, until 2:00 in the morning, to accommodate late night customers.

After more than an hour, it was time to wrap up the interview as the rain subsided a bit. It was around 8 in the evening and the band has started playing not-so-old Pinoy hits such as Joey Albert’s “Tell Me” and Gary Valenciano’s “Di Na Natuto.” Songs that remain popular even among the Millennials.

To wrap up the interview, I asked him what are his future plans for the restaurant: “We want to tap the younger generation. Maybe once we succeeded in breaking into Marikina’s soul, we will be able to connect with the younger crowd as well.”

Traliccio Whisky Bar, Café and Restaurant

9 Guerilla St, Marikina City 1900

(02) 635 6038

Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday – 9:00 am to 12 midnight

Fridays and Saturdays – 9:00 am to 2:00 am

For more about the restaurant, please check out its Facebook page:

The restaurant welcomes Marikina artists who want to display their artworks.

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