Anniversary Lunch at Antonio’s

Today marks my 6th year wedding anniversary. This year, it also happens to fall on Black Saturday.  Keeping with our holy week tradition of taking our family down to Tali beach in Batangas, we were blessed to already be on vacation to celebrate. And since we were just a half hour’s drive to the Chapel we got married in, we decided to visit and say a prayer of thanks. Content with our plan, I deposited my 3 little ones to my mom and sisters for safe-keeping. My sneaky husband though, wanted to add a special surprise so he prepared a set menu with Antonio’s for a delicious afternoon date.

Antonio’s is truly one of my all time favorite restaurants. So rarely do I find a place that is consistent every single time I return. Even the other restaurants, Antonio’s Grill and Breakfast at Antonio’s have never disappointed me. I have seen Chef Tonyboy in action many times when working with him and he is truly a master. Asides from the wonderful food, his eye for aesthetics is impeccable and it is manifested through the sheer beauty of his restaurant. Upon arriving, guests are already in awe. Whether it is through the well-tended gardens or surrounding foliage, the combination of wood and tile that floors the grounds or the pretty chandeliers that hang from the ceilings, anywhere you look is a sight to behold. Antonio’s captivates all senses. The music which plays ever so softly was obviously carefully chosen to only accent the sounds of nature – crickets, the faint blowing of the wind, or the water echoes from the pond. And if that isn’t enough to keep you from coming back, regardless of how long the drive, they have an amazing staff, all of which are friendly and knowledgeable.

Koi Fishpond and Greenery inside Antonio’s

We sat in my favorite table, the same one I sat in on our 1st anniversary, right beside the koi fishpond. In the mood for something refreshing to sooth my sun burned skin, I started with the apple ginger slush. It came in a carafe and the ice in the glass was made from the juice so that it would not get watered down. It is something so simple but it is also that attention to detail that I appreciate. The taste was heavenly. The ginger infusion was strong so if you are not a fan this drink may not be for you. They have other blends though so I am sure you will find one to suit your taste.

Apple Ginger Ice Cubes

Apple Ginger Slush

Being a set menu, we jumped right into the salad. I love almost all the salads they serve there because the greens are so fresh. The colors literally pop off the plate. They are crisp, light and each leaf holds its own flavor. The one we got had their famous raspberry vinaigrette, which was perfectly accented with a generous amount of blue cheese, walnuts and dried cranberries and blueberries.

Mini Baguette with Whipped Butter

Antonio’s Farm Fresh Mesclun Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Our second course was a hot kohlrabi soup with pancetta. It had a similar flavor to cream of mushroom soup but a lot smoother, which again was delicious. I would have preferred to have it on a cool evening but still it warmed my tummy and satisfied me. Though I couldn’t really taste the pancetta so if you are craving for that flavor it may not shine through. The froth was a nice touch; it made the creamy soup feel lighter.

Kohlrabi and Pancetta Soup

Our palate cleanser was calamansi and sili labuyo sorbet. This was one of my favorite parts of the meal. It managed to make something frozen bring heat to your mouth. It was a fantastic play of flavors with the sour and sweet notes from the calamansi and the spicy after taste.

Calamansi and Sili Labuyo Sorbet

The fourth course was a lovely chateaubriand, which was cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The crust was crisp and flavorful while the inside was very tender (the knife cut through like butter). It had a play of herbs that was almost tea like. It was so tasty that it the muted steamed broccoli and cauliflower accompaniment was perfect. My husband also opted to pair his steak with olive rice. Imagine garlic rice but using minced green and black olives instead. If you are an olive lover, this comes highly recommended. Because it was my anniversary, I decided to treat myself to their tomato risotto, which is one of my favorite items of the menu. The texture is wonderfully creamy and it is the perfect play of tomato, basil and fresh Parmesan cheese. Pure comfort food!

Chateaubriand with Bearnaise Sauce

Salt Crusted Chateaubriand

Slicing the Beef

Olive Rice Side

Tomato Risotto Side

We ended on a sweet note… Even desserts they get right. We started with a vanilla bourbon pecan ice cream, which was smooth and velvety. I loved how the flavor of the bourbon really came through which evened out the sweetness. The pecans added a wonderful bite to the texture. This was followed by their famous Felchlin Maracaibo chocolate terrine with double cream and roasted pistachio. As always, it was rich and creamy and crunchy and perfect.

Vanilla Bourbon and Pecan Ice Cream

Felchlin Maracaibo Chocolate Terrine with Double Cream and Roasted Pistachio

As always, my experience was beautiful. I love how I feel the same way today as I did on my first anniversary. Completely in love with both the restaurant and my delicious date.

At Caleruega, Our Wedding Chapel taken on March 30,2007 by Pat Dy

Antonio’s is located in Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, Cavite. For reservations please call (046)4130975

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