I haven’t gotten the chance to feature here one of my family’s favorite restaurants in Tagaytay. Since I went there recently I took several pictures of the place to post here. Well, there are only a few restaurants we love to visit in Tagaytay- Leslies (who doesn’t like their tasty hot Bulalo), Sonya’s Garden, Buon Giorno, Bag of Beans and, of course, the real and original Antonio’s. As most of us know, the real Antonio’s is famous for it’s fine dining resto. Right now, they have already expanded to two more restos: the Antonio’s Grill, which is similar to Leslies, and the Breakfast by Antonio’s. The two are definitely very delicious, but the real one is just exceptional! 🙂
Antonio’s is not so hard to locate. Well, it used to be, but there are now helpful signs on the way if you’re in the town proper of Tagaytay. If you haven’t been there, you will be surprised that such restaurant actually exists in the area. It’s one of those restaurants you need to call for reservations because if they are full, they won’t accommodate you no matter how far you have traveled just to taste their mouth-watering foods. In fact, there was this one time we were supposed to eat dinner at some other place, but we then changed our mind and went to Antonio’s instead. We were just trying our luck that time since all of us were craving for their steak. As expected, we were asked under what name our reservation was. Hehe! Well, Antonio’s was quite new then and they could only accommodate a number of customers that time. After their expansion, they became quite lenient. Well, of course, only if there are available seats. But if you try going there on special occasions, oh dear, don’t even attempt to go there without calling!
When you get inside their big wooden gate, you will surely notice what type of crowd Antonio’s cater. Most of the time, different luxury cars are parked outside the restaurant and usually, you can see the bodyguards of some of their customers. This is one of the places where you can see the rich and the famous. At the entrance of the big wooden door, there awaits a receptionist. She will lead you to the rest of the crew to welcome you. They will then lead you to your table and bring you their menu. The service is just excellent! Even five star hotels do not give such service. It’s as if there is an allotted server for your table alone and before you say or do something, they are already ready with what you want. They seem to have that gift of reading the minds of their guests. Hehehe!
There is only one kind of dish that we order at Antonio’s, that is their Grilled Certified Angus Prime Ribeye Steak (600 grams). It’s one of the best, or rather, it’s the best steak I have ever eaten in my entire life. Well, this explains the price. The last time I ate at Antonio’s, their steak dinner was already Php 3,800. When they started, it used to be Php 2,000 plus. Their steak dinner is already good for two persons and it includes the following: House Salad, Soup of the Day, Dessert, and Coffee/ Tea. Then, for our drinks, we always order their fresh dalandan juice, which costs Php 200. Well, the price is worth it because the juice is really refreshing. 🙂
During my recent visit at Antonio’s (early March), the house salad served was the Fresh Mesclun Salad from the Garden, Bleu d’Auvergne Crumble, Glazed Walnuts, Dried Currants, Dried Cranberries w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette or Fresh Grapefruit, Olive Oil, Kosher Salt. Sounds complicated, huh?! But this complicated salad is the best fresh salad I have ever tasted. I’m not fond of eating salad but this one has the sauce that’s just unforgettable. It is something you can’t find even in the finest restaurant or hotel. As for the soup, it was a cream soup with chorizo and some veggies in it. It was good. I have always liked cream based soup, plus the added chorizo makes it perfect! Oh, and the soup also comes with a bread, which was topped by crushed olives. I don’t eat olives at all, but this one just tastes sooo good! I didn’t even know it was olives until I finished everything and asked the waiter. By the time the main dish was served, we were half way full already. Hehe! And to my surprise, the steak served to us was placed on a big plate! They used to put the steak on a plate, together with the choice of side dish, and for some reason, the size of the steak became smaller and smaller in our every visit. This time, I was overwhelmed to see the big plate full of steak. I can get full just by mere staring at it! You can also choose a side dish to go with the Grilled Certified Angus Prime Ribeye Steak. Antonio’s Black & Green Olive Rice, Pumpkin Sage Risoni, Rock Salt Garlic Potato Fries, Tomato Risotto, Mashed Potato, Pomery Spatzle, Coriander Gnocchi Potato, and Pappardelle are the options for the side dish. Well, as expected, we were not able to finish everything. Two slices of steaks were left untouched and the side dishes were barely eaten. Finally, our selected desserts, together with the coffee or tea, started to come. Being a chocolate lover, I always order the Dark Chocolate Souffle w/ Cardamom Crème Anglaise. Wow! I missed its taste! Something very unique and cannot be matched by any other! Another picture seen below is one of their newest desserts on their list. It’s Apple Sponge Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream, which will surely be loved by those who are fond of eating apples.
More than the food, it’s also the ambiance that you are actually paying for. Antonio’s used to be a small place; but due to the number of people wanting to dine there, they finally renovated the place. There has been quite a big difference from what it used to look when they were still starting. Now, it’s definitely bigger and, of course, better. It’s not the usual fine dining restaurant we are all used to. When you get inside, you somehow feel you are in a big, big house located in some first class village. You also feel very close to nature as the landscape is just fantastic! And for those who love antiques, you will surely be mesmerized by its interior! Every piece of decoration is something you cannot just see or buy anywhere. Everything is just fantastic, the way it has always been! 🙂 This probably explains their strict dress code implemented in the place, meaning no shorts, slippers, or something too casual. If you are not dressed, sorry but you are not allowed to enter. Well, that’s understandable. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Tagaytay for a vacation. You’re dining in an extraordinary fine dining restaurant so the least that you could do is look presentable.
As a whole, Antonio’s is a very intimate place- perfect for couples and families. I love dining in hotels, but for me, Antonio’s is just far, far better. It’s simply incomparable! 🙂