Osteria Rialto Cuisina Italia (Taipei)
Let’s start 2014 on a positive note — a visit to one of the better Italian restaurants in all of Taipei, Osteria Rialto.
There is a plethora of Italian restaurants in Taipei, many of which are practically indistinguishable from each other and making it extremely difficult to find one that stands out. I had heard rave reviews about Osteria Rialto for quite some time and was able to check it out before the end of the year, and I’m glad I did.
Situated very close to MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall station, Osteria Rialto is a cozy joint that offers a wide variety of handmade pastas and pizzas. Price-wise it is not cheap but competitive, with average per person spending estimated at around NT$400-$800 per person. Lunch sets are available but you never really save a whole lot with those.
On this day we went early, while it was still quiet, and ordered a pizza and pasta, with a soup and dessert as part of a lunch set. It was pretty difficult to choose, to be honest, because everything on the menu looked pretty enticing, so we sought out the recommendations by the waiter before making our choices.
The soup of the day was a seemingly basic potato soup that was surprisingly excellent and one of the better potato soups I’ve had in recent memory. We shared it between two people but in retrospect one each would have been preferable.
For the pizza we went with the eponymous Rialto pizza, which comes with spanish onions, olives, sausage and smoked ham. It was awesome — the base was crispy and hot, the cheese was of good quality and the toppings were not only generous but also complemented each other very well. It’s one of the top pizzas I’ve had in Taipei.
For the pasta we went with a safer option, a chicken and mushroom pasta with pesto sauce. I’ve had a lot of pesto pastas in Taiwan and this definitely ranks right up there with the best of them: creamy but not too creamy and flavoursome without being salty. And there are actual whole pine nuts in the fresh pesto sauce that does not have that fake artificial green to it at all.
It was a relatively light meal by my standards but we had to top it off with dessert, which from memory was an apple cake with real pieces of carmelised apples (kinda like a strudel). It wasn’t particularly memorable but was good enough to cap off a strong meal.
Despite the limited range I sampled, Osteria Rialto is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve experienced in Taipei. Whether it’s in terms of tastiness, service, location or value for money, Osteria Rialto ticks the right boxes. In particular, for me, tastiness is always the primary consideration and in this regard the restaurant certainly does not disappoint. I would very much like to go there again and try some of their other dishes, including the appetizers, and other pizza, pasta and dessert options.
Osteria Rialto Cuisina Italia (雅朵義大利餐廳)
Address: No. 5, Lane 260, Guangfu S Rd, Taipei (nearest MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, blue line)
Phone: (02)2778 1536
Hours: 11:45am-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm