last sunday we spent a nice day in tagaytay. surprisingly, it was a pleasant, smooth drive, there was not much traffic, considering it was a weekend. maybe it's because they finally finished most of the construction on south super highway. we decided to have a late lunch at antonio's. antonio's is one of those old reliables, where the food is consistently excellent and where you're guaranteed to leave satisfied in terms of food, service, and ambience. we started with steak tartare—we aren't very fond of raw red meat, but spread on a brioche, it didn't have any of that bloody mess and lansa taste we fear. the subtle mix of spices and whatever else he put in there was gentle on the palate. we ordered a bottle of caprice de colombelle colombard (P1,100), which is perfect on a balmy afternoon when you're eating light, fresh food. for our main course—which comes with salad, soup, dessert, and coffee or tea—we ordered grilled gindara, prawns, and scallops on chorizo bilbao rice with parsley chimichurri (P1,450) and antonio's trio: beef fillet on plancha with black pepper sauce, prosciutto-wrapped herbed chilean sea bass on saffron chateau potato, honey-glazed lambloin gratinated with goat cheese (P1,600). what can we say? perfection. if we got you drooling and planning a trip there, well, we have some semi-bad news for you. starting today, antonio's is closing. not permanently, though! they will close for two months to renovate. in the meantime, antonio's menu will move temporarily to breakfast at antonio's (chef tonyboy escalante's other tagaytay restaurant). the dinner service will still be by reservation only, while breakfast and lunch will continue as is. then when the renovation is over by october, everything—breakfast, lunch, dinner—will move to the "new and improved" antonio's, and breakfast at antonio's will close. permanently. so if you love that taal-lake-and-volcano view, take advantage now. we just hope the renovated antonio's retains some of our favorite parts: the salon-style foyer, the signature blue chandelier in the original dining room, and the lovely garden in the back.
antonio's, by reservation only, tel (+63917) 899-2866 or (+63918) 899-2866