Hours after our plane landed in Manila (from our Vietnam-Cambodia trip), on January 27th, 2009, Ariel and I found ourselves driving to Tagaytay for a romantic dinner at Antonio’s. I called ahead to reserve a table and by 7 pm, we drove into the driveway. It was the middle of the week so very few tables are occupied.

We were led to a garden table by the pond filled with large colorful kois. An oil lamp provided a soft glow on our table while we were serenaded by the cool Tagaytay breeze and the pond’s cascading waters.

We took our time studying the menu. Meanwhile, we were served with ice cold fresh dalandan juice.

Aside from the house salad which was included in the dinner set, we added a serving of foie gras split into two plates. Yummy!!!

I also ordered the soup of the day which was rich and creamy.

I opted for the seafood sampler which consisted of grilled prawns with spicy creole on pappardelle (whatever that is!), Norwegian salmon poached in olives and pan-seared scallops on celleriac mashed truffle cream sauce. Whew!

Ariel chose the Antonio’s Sampler which consists of beef fillet on plancha with black pepper sauce, roast smoked Chilean sea bass on tomato, garlic lemon sauce, and honeyglazed lambloin gratinated with goat cheese. Yum!

For dessert, Ariel picked the flourless chocolate cake…

…while I took my usual panna cotta.

I am so happy that Ariel enjoyed his birthday dinner.

We capped the night with steaming hot cup of brewed coffee. Happiness!

This is the entrance into the dining area.

The chandeliers in the main dining room (we were seated by the garden).

I don’t know why it took us so long to try Antonio’s when I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews over the past couple of years. Anyway, I’m glad we finally took the plunge and tried it, on Ariel’s birthday eve no less. We had a fantastic time. Excellent food. Perfect ambiance. Great company. This is life!

Written by Alby Laran

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