Stars and their businesses: Cesar Montano

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Cesar Montano, multi-awarded actor, director, painter, and recording artist, is proud to add businessman to his already long resume. "Noong bata ako," he recalls, "ang dream ko lang naman, magkaroon ng isang bakeshop. Now, biglang nag-grow 'yong dream, nag-materialize, into having a restaurant."(YES! January 2008 issue)


Cesar Montano may not have won a senatorial seat in the 2007 elections, but he still has a new career outside of showbiz—as an entrepreneur and restaurateur. He's the proud owner of Bellissimo Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in the Tomas Morato area, Quezon City.


Bellissimo Ristorante, whose name means "very beautiful restaurant" in English, officially opened on July 7, 2007. Cesar—or Buboy, as he is fondly called in showbiz—had been greatly inspired by his yearly trips since 1994 to Pordenone, Italy, where his sister Mercedes lives. During those visits, he scouted around for good restaurants, picked up cooking tips, and went "vineyard-hopping" in search of the best wines.


Through Bellissimo, he wanted to bring home the Italian experience, from the casual and cozy dining ambiance to the packed menu of authentic Italian pastas, salads, wines, and the trademark thin-crust pizzas cooked in a pugon, or wood-fired brick oven—all at reasonable prizes.


"When it comes to restaurants," Buboy says, "you should be consistent with the kind of great taste you offer to your costumer. 'Yong maging consistent ang mahirap, e. Parang sa film industry—kailangan consistent ka to give good quality films to your audience."


Buboy also offers good company for Bellissimo patrons. "Kung gusto n'yo makausap kami, if you want to ask anything about making movies, my paintings, dito lang kami palagi nakaistambay. Dito, makikita n'yo, kahit ako magse-serve. Makikita n'yo si Buboy na kung ano siya, as natural as he can be."


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