Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dinner at Antonio's

 My friends and I celebrated 10 years of friendship in Tagaytay. See what they were up to. This is the 2nd of 3 parts.

ANTONIO’S… the reason we took the cliché route of going to Tagaytay for a celebration.

Having been consistently hailed by critics and foodies alike as being the best restaurant in the Philippines, we knew Antonio’s will not fail in giving us a memorable night.

Antonio’s is best visited at night as it exudes a classic elegant charm. Though the place is huge, the restaurant manages to make the dining experience feel intimate and private.

Complimentary bread was served once we were settled.
Poppy Seed Bread
Nothing special in my opinion. At least it was warm and toasted. It was inconvenient to eat as the poppy seeds had the tendency to get stuck on teeth.

Pristine and Vics first ordered fresh dalandan juice and I was able to take a sip.

House Juice Dalandan (refillable at 200php per pax)
 This was very refreshing though I would have to say that it's easy to replicate this juice at home.

Appetizers before the start of the meal:

Roasted Bone Marrow topped with Parsley Salad and Onion Marmalade (550php)
Much raved about by anyone and everyone. At first bite, It immediately dawned on me that that I now know what sinful and divine tasted like. Words can’t describe how good it was though having the bone marrow extra hot would have made the dish perfect. The cool Tagaytay weather must have played a role in turning the bone marrow cold immediately. It deprived me of a melt in your mouth experience which could have sent me to heaven.

Tempura Scallops with Mango Orange Sauce and Lumpfish Caviar. (450php)
The appetizer sounded complicated, but this was simply marvellous. Kudos to Zho for picking this! The tempura scallop was crunchy on the outside but very soft inside. The scallops were also fresh, sweet, and huge. The caviar was a nice touch to temper the sweetness of the mango orange sauce. The play of flavors and textures was genius on this dish. YUM YUM YUM

Every meal at Antonio’s consists of salad, soup, main course, and dessert plus tea or coffee. Price of meal depends on main course.

Let the games begin...

House Salad: Fresh Mesclun Salad from the Garden: Bleu d’ Auvergne Crumble, Glazed Walnuts,
Dried Currants, Dried Cranberries with Raspberry Vinaigrette
I don’t care much for vegetables so I can only comment on how fresh the vegetables were. It was so crisp that I would not be surprised if they were harvested and served on the same day.

Soup of the Day: Mung Bean Soup with Chorizo
I was disappointed when I heard about the bean component of the soup but was pleasantly surprised when I got to try it. It was refreshing, creamy, and delicious. Who knew monggo and longanisa worked well together.

And now for the main course:

Dee’s choice: Beef Fillet on Plancha with Black Pepper Sauce, Pappardelle,
Toss Baby Arugula with Honey Lemon Truffle Vinaigrette (1750php).  
Decided to go with the beef dish with the most basic sauce as I wanted to know how good Antonio’s meat produce is. It didn’t disappoint as it was flavorful and tender. There was goodness in every bite. The mashed potato also added another dimension to the dish making it more satisfying. I barely touched the vegetables though. While my dish was more than decent, I wouldn’t order this again as it didn’t wow me. I would think that there are more worthwhile choices in Chef Tony Boy’s menu.

Here are what my friends ordered. Thank you friends for the commentary.

Wamie’s and Lian’s Choice: Gratinated Beef Fillet,
Gratinated Wild Mushroom, Mashed Potato (1,750php):
Wamie: Class na class compared sa homecooked steak with cream of mushroom sauce! Really tasty. :D

Pristine’s and Teej’s Choice: Grilled Beef Fillet,
Garlic Mustard Cream Sauce, Gratin Potato (1,750php)
Pristine: Perfect! loved the potato gratin! Ang cheesy!
Teej: Potato gratin was yummy!!! Bakit wala ito sa wild mushroom?

Vic’s Choice: Antonio’s Trio (Beef Fillet on Plancha with Black Pepper Sauce,
Grilled Seabass in Tomato Rissoto, and Honey Glazed Lambloin
 Gratinated with Goat Cheese) (1,900php)
Vic's: Everything was good. Five stars!!! Beef fillet was of course yummy and juicy but had a taste of the wild mushroom sauce and it was better. The seabass was very flavourful unlike others I’ve tried which are bland. For the lambloin, it also tasted like steak so it was also yummy.

Zho’s Choice: Roasted Duck Breast Infused with Truffle, Goji Berries,
Seared Foie Gras, Braised Red Cabbage  ( 1,500php)   
Zho: I liked the foie gras. Duck had a funny taste

I also was able to sample all the desserts we had that night thanks to my friends’ generosity. It’s just sad that the dessert pictures turned out blurry due to poor lighting.

1. Earl Grey Flourless Chocolate Cake: I remember this as having the right amount of sweetness. Not the best I’ve tried but is halfway decent.
2. Dark Chocolate Souffle with Cardamom Crème Anglaise: Three of us, including myself, chose this dessert, and I didn’t regret it. It was very comforting to eat and I loved the toasted crunchy parts of the soufflé. Simple but good.
3. Panna Cotta with Vanilla, Caramel, and Chocolate Notes: Panna Cotta is panna cotta. Either you love it or hate it. I appreciated the strong vanilla flavor of Antonio’s version.
4. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake: The dessert I liked the least. I found this too sweet for my liking.
5. Felchlin Marachaibo Chocolate Terrine with Double Cream and Roasted Pistachio: Something light and unique for those who are craving for chocolate but are already full.

Before the night at Antonio’s ended, I visited the wash room and was surprised to see this.

Not for the faint of heart ! 

So is Antonio’s the best restaurant in the Philippines?

When I consider the overall experience (ambiance, service, and food), I have to say that it undeniably is. However, if I have to judge Antonio’s solely on what I had that night, a return visit is in order as I wasn’t completely blown away with my beef plancha.

A perfect excuse to revisit Antonio’s soon!

Antonio’s is located at Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City. For more information, do visit

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