Wednesday, July 28, 2010


4.85 out of 5 stars

It's strange that I wouldn't write about one of the top 3 restaurants that comes off the top of my head. Of how the sprawling "Spanish hacienda"-esque property reminds you of the olden days where love came in the form of prose on parchment and serenaded melodies. Where you'd drown yourself in the huge red velvet chairs, watching the sunset from the balcony overlooking the Tagaytay landscape. A place where a violin quartet wouldn't feel out of place. Yes, Antonio's has never lost its feel for romance and good food all these years. Chef and proprietor Antonio Agustin “Tony Boy” Escalante has done a great job in building up Antonio's to be a world-class restaurant, as evidenced by placing a spot in the Miele's Guide TWICE.

lower dining area

Apart from its unique and swoon-worthy setting, it is known for its set meal, which includes the House Salad, Soup of the Day, Sorbet, Entree, Dessert and Coffee or Tea. The choice of entree will determine the price of the meal, with an additional charge for appetizers ordered. It has expanded its menu to include over 20 entrees and a full page of the same number of appetizers. Martin and I decided on sharing the Steamed & Nori Wrapped Tempura Scallop, Lemon Confit (250 PhP) appetizer, while he had the Antonio's Trio (1,900 PhP) of beef, lamb and cod and I had the Barbecue Lamb Cutlets with Garlic Risoni (1,650 PhP).

upper dining area

The appetizer only whetted out appetites. It contained two huge pieces of scallop. The steamed scallop was perfectly cooked to a tender texture, giving in to the thrust of a fork, and holding its own own flavor to the tart lemon confit and chiffonade fried spinach garnish. The stark contrast of the nori-encrusted tempura scallop goes to show the various ways of cooking the same ingredient. It was leaner, meatier and was a good accompaniment to the light cilantro pesto sauce. Considering I'm not a fan of cilantro, I nevertheless enjoyed the sauce and didn't leave a drop of it on the plate!
Steamed & Nori Wrapped Tempura Scallop, Lemon Confit (250 PhP)

The salad was a delight, made fresh from their own organic vegetable farm. The mix of arugula and spinach burst with flavor from dried blueberries, radish, walnuts, beet slices and bleu cheese drizzled with a sweet raspberry vinaigrette. This was followed by a robust white onion soup, very thick and foamy and drizzled with olive oil and herbs. I didn't even have the chance to take a picture of the green mango sorbet, it was finished in a matter of seconds!
House Salad

White Onion Soup

The Antonio's Trio (1,900 PhP) was composed of Beef Fillet on Plancha with Black Pepper Sauce, Barbecue Lamb Medallion with Garlic Risoni and Crispy Cod Glazed with Kombu Sauce on Peppered Egg Noodles. Our least favorite was the Beef Fillet. It was actually quite cold and tough around the edges. By far, the best sampler was the Crispy Cod. It's crispy, but did not fall apart and wasn't too oily. The sampler dishes were small (each could probably be finished in three big bites), so it was surprising how Martin was full when he finished his platter.
Antonio's Trio (1,900 PhP)

My Barbecued Lamb Cutlets was good, but I preferred it less glazed over with oil. To be fair, it was very tender and filling with a sweet tangy barbecue sauce. I didn't have room to finish the yummy risoni pasta or the side of buttered cauliflower and broccoli.
Barbecue Lamb Cutlets with Garlic Risoni (1,650 PhP)

Too bad I didn't leave room for the panna cotta. It was a lovely dessert, using real vanilla bean generously peppered around the cream. It quivered to the touch of my dessert spoon, and was lined with a chocolate and caramel sauce. Martin's dessert was an sorbet assortment of local fruits, namely guava, mango and calamansi. It was wonderfully light and refreshing, and unlike me, he finished the whole thing in minutes.
Panna Cotta with Chocolate and Caramel Sauce

Sorbet Mix

All in all, we enjoyed our dinner in Antonio's. Although I enjoyed my first few visits a little more than this one, I can say that the restaurant has been consistent with delivering food and service above par. It is worth noting that the service was faultless, dishes coming in and out unobtrusively, waiters being called with the slightest wave of a hand and they'd easily customize food to your request. Truly, nothing is more ideal than to celebrate a special occasion with an out-of-town trip to Tagaytay, then, of course, having dinner in Antonio's. If you're one of the few that haven't checked this place out, isn't it about time that you give yourself this gastronomic treat?

Menu. Click to Magnify

Barangay Neogan
Tagaytay City, Cavite
(0918) 899-2866
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm


TM™ said...

Favorite place for foie gras. What would've made it 5 stars (v. 4.85)? i hope it's not the cilantro.

graey eats said...

Hey Noni!!! It just wasn't as spectacular as our previous visits. But it'll always be one of my faves :)

The Oracle ;) said...

Nice blog!

graey eats said...

Oracle: thanks!!

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