So we were in Tagaytay for a long weekend for a wedding and that’s also when I got to try out all the restaurants of Chef Tonyboy Escalante, the Antonio’s group of restaurants. For dinner in Tagaytay, there can of course be nothing at par with dinner at Antonio’s.
Much has been written and blogged about Antonio’s. Like how it’s the only restaurant that made it to the Miele Guide’s Top 20 restaurants in Asia. Or how it’s probably one of the top restaurants for wedding proposals among Metro Manila residents. But for me, the picture above encapsulates what Antonio’s is all about—romance, fine dining, and the incomparable ambiance. Though the picture was taken from the old location of Antonio’s overlooking Taal Lake and one can no longer get that view in its current location, the ambiance of Antonio’s is still superb and almost otherworldly.The first time I went to Antonio’s was way back in 2007. Then as now, being in Antonio’s was like being transported to another time and place, when the pace of life was slower and the word stress was not a part of our vocabulary.
The garden restaurant splendor of Antonio’s during the day was very charming (for pictures of Antonio’s by day, see my photos here and here) but Antonio’s at night was something else. Everything takes on a more formal and subdued tone, and made more resplendent with the twinkling from the chandeliers and garden footlights. Once again, I felt I was just attending a dinner party at a friend’s house instead of going to a restaurant.
We were seated by the balcony area, with a big group near us. I would have preferred not being seated with a big group which usually tend to be noisy but the alternative would be sitting outside by the koi pond area. Though that would have a more romantic ambiance, we didn’t want to be seated there since it’s a smoking area.
Here’s a shot of the main menu (click to enlarge). For pictures of the appetizers, dessert, drinks and wine menus, head on over to my Flickr album.
Our choice for dinner was simple. We ordered the Grilled Certified Angus Prime Ribeye Steak rubbed with cardamon (P4900 good for 2 persons) mainly because the first time we were there, we weren’t able to sample Antonio’s steaks, which are their specialty. And also because at the end of the day, we’re really just good old steak lovers. This already includes house salad and soup of the day and 2 choices of dessert.
As with any fine dining restaurant worth its salt, the meal started off with hot, freshly baked bread. Then on with the house salad and the tomato soup, which were just light enough to whet our appetite for the main event.
The steak was simply terrific. Certainly one of the best that I have ever tasted. It was well-seasoned—just enough salt to make it tasty but not trying too hard. And just the perfect amount of tenderness. All with Antonio’s steak sauce which I couldn’t resist. Chef Tonyboy really scored a perfect rating on this dish.
Good steak deserves good wine and so I ordered mine to go with a glass of shiraz (P300). We also got a half caraf of fruit iced tea (P315).
Then for dessert, we had the panna cotta sampler and the dark chocolate souffle.
Purok 138, Barangay Neogan,Tagaytay City
Open everyday except Mondays
Lunch reservations from 11 AM to 2 PM
Dinner reservations from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
For reservations and directions, text or call 0917-8992866 and 0918-8992866.
Dress code is strictly smart casual. No T-shirts and flip-flops.