La Finca, Tagaytay

As planned, we finally made it to La Finca on a cool, breezy late afternoon. The restaurant is located at the Domicillo Design Hotel, under Aozora, Domicillo’s Japanese restaurant. The place has a very elegant interior, but the main highlight is the stunning view of Taal Lake, which was denied to us because it was pretty foggy when we got there. Still, the weather more than made up for the lack of a view that afternoon.

lafinca_interior1

La Finca Tagaytay

A look at their menu shows that La Finca offers twists on Spanish and Italian dishes, among others, as well as Filipino dishes, as evidenced by our orders. We ordered chicken tocino (nice and basic, but the meat was delightful and the eggs were buttery) and spinach ravioli, which was made up of a nice pile of ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta, topped with longganisa, and garnished with basil.

La Finca Tagaytay, chicken tocino

La Finca Tagaytay, spinach ravioli

Dining was a delightful experience, what with the view, the good food, and the attentive service, making La Finca another nice addition to Tagaytay’s extensive collection of restaurants.

La Finca
Domicillo Design Hotel
Km. 58 Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway
Maharlika East, Tagaytay City
09175647730
09256647914

Don Limone Grill, Tagaytay

My mother and I went to Tagaytay a couple of days ago. I was planning for us to have lunch at La Finca, but while driving, I quickly spotted a sign for Don Limone Grill promising cheesecakes and Mediterranean food. I stopped when I had the chance to look up the place and find their number and directions, and then told my mother we were eating there instead.

Don Limone Grill isn’t hard to find at all. You need to drive past Mushroomburger and when you get to the police station on the right, look over and you’ll see the restaurant on the right side. You’ll enter a small compound and the place is just a short distance in; just follow the signs.

Don Limone Grill has its roots in Parañaque and opened in Tagaytay in December 2014. It’s one of those houses that have been converted into restaurants and serves good food in an elegant, quiet setting—a good addition to the flock of restaurants that make Tagaytay a culinary destination. A flourishing garden greets you the moment you step into the gate and makes you feel like you’re stepping away from the world for a while.

Don Limone Grill

Don Limone Grill

Don Limone Grill, Tagaytay

Don Limone Grill, Tagaytay

Mediterranean is the theme, and according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, they use produce grown only 50 feet away from the restaurant.

To tide us over until our food arrived, we were served a complimentary plate of bread with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette dip. We kept our orders simple: chicken espetada (P695) for my mother and tenderloin espetada (P795) for me. Wikipedia describes espetada as “a typical Portuguese dish made usually of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, skewered onto a bay leaf stick cooked over hot coals or wood chips.” They both came with Limone potatoes, savory rice, and mixed greens. My mother ordered feta caponata for her first course, and I had amaretto pumpkin potage.

Don Limone Grill, Feta Caponata

Don Limone Grill, chicken and tenderloin espetadas

The food, as expected, was amazing; the meat was savory and tender. Each dish is good for one (they also have for sharing plates that are good for two people and some that are good for four to five people), but a couple of light eaters can easily split one.

They also make their own limoncello. Double shots are available for P175, and a whole bottle is sold for P1,200. It’s too bad I didn’t have any more room in my tummy for cheesecake. They have an extensive list of flavors that go well beyond blueberry, such as pecan, pumpkin, amaretto disaronno, mango, limoncello—and there are so many more of that. I’m definitely having some when we go back there, which is pretty soon, because I ordered a half-tray of their baklava, and they have a vast array of dishes I intend to sample.

Don Limone Grill
4870 Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Mendez Crossing East
Tagaytay City
09328732316

Marcia Adams’ Restaurant

A couple of weeks ago, my mother and I headed to Tagaytay specifically to have lunch at Marcia Adams’ Restaurant. The restaurant is actually in Alfonso, Cavite, and it’s pretty easy to get to. You simply have to drive along Aguinaldo Highway, turn right at the arch with the pineapples, and drive several meters. Marcia Adams is on the left side, and you’ll know it by the brown wooden door with the blue trim and the lion’s head knocker.

People are in love with Marcia Adams’ Restaurant because the place has a rustic country charm that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Tuscany. Okay, personally, I wouldn’t know, never having been to Tuscany. But I did like how the place looked, with its interesting decor, stone walls, huge windows that open out to views of far-off hills, and outdoor seating.

Marcia Adams Restaurant

Marcia Adams Restaurant

Marcia Adams Restaurant

The minimum price at Marcia Adams is P700, which already gets you an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. Salads and drinks cost extra, and you have to add P75 if you’re getting other types of desserts. Take a look at their latest menu.

My mother ordered the Amalfi prawns and the fish souvlaki (tanigue).

Marcia Adams Restaurant, Amalfi prawns

Marcia Adams Restaurant, fish souvlaki

She was thrilled with the taste and texture, and was satisfied with the amount of breading. About the fish, I wish I could get anything more out of her than, “Oh, this is really good.” But that should be enough to tell you that it’s a tasty dish.

I ordered the soup of the day, which is Galician soup, and the Corsican beef stew.

Marcia Adams Restaurant, Galician soup

Marcia Adams Restaurant, Corsican beef stew

The soup was blazing hot and ridiculously delicious, and all the meat makes the whole thing extremely filling. I had to leave some of it uneaten so I could make room for the actual meal. The Corsican beef stew was amazing: really tender beef, rich sauce, and an incredible mix of spices.

We rounded out our meal with dessert: my mother chose the banana split with chocolate ice cream, which wasn’t like your typical banana split. Her dessert featured a banana sliced in half and still in its skin, drizzled with Nutella liqueur, with a scoop of ice cream.

Marcia Adams Restaurant, banana split with chocolate ice cream

I decided to pay the extra P75 for the lavender creme brulee. It was pretty rich, but the lavender and the mint leaves made it more refreshing.

Marcia Adams Restaurant, lavender creme brulee

With the incredible setting, quiet area, and great food, Marcia Adams’ Restaurant is perfect for a nice quiet lunch or maybe even a small party. Make sure to text them at 09178011456 first to reserve a table 24 hours before you go there. Marcia Adams’ Restaurant is at J.P. Rizal St., Brgy. Sikat, 4123 Alfonso, Cavite. E-mail them at marciasresto@gmail.com.

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Steak Town by the Lake, Tagaytay

When I was little, I used to see a place called Steak Town along West Avenue, corner of del Monte Avenue in Quezon City all the time. It looked like an old-timey Western saloon and I was really eager to check it out, but I didn’t really know how to invite my family to eat there, or even if they would like it.

Fortunately, when I was in sixth grade, my sister and my mother took me there for lunch, and I was immediately hooked. That was when I realized that I’m a bit of a carnivore, ordering a filet mignon and finishing it off all on my own. I also loved the place itself, because there were signs that look like the usual “Wanted” signs in Western shows and movies, lots of quirky decor, and a toy train that would pass on the track over our heads from time to time. Since then, we ate at Steak Town fairly regularly, even when they moved to Quezon Avenue and then back to West Avenue. There was even a time in high school when I made sure to save my allowance religiously so I could blow it on a post-quarterly exam steak lunch.

Eventually, Steak Town moved to a building in Sgt. Esguerra. Tj and I ate there a couple of times, and he fell completely in love with their London broil. Then a few years ago, it was gone and was replaced by Wil’s Steak Town, which is owned by Willie Revillame. Wil’s Steak Town is decent enough, but it’s no Steak Town.

Fortunately, I soon heard that Steak Town was setting up shop at The Lake Hotel in Tagaytay. We only got the chance to eat there a couple of weeks, though, and I’m glad I finally had the chance to see Steak Town alive and well again.

Steak Town by the Lake

Steak Town by the Lake

Steak Town by the Lake

The place looks a lot more sparse than its previous incarnations. The main highlight is the ever-present salad bar, which offers the usual salad ingredients, three types of dressing, potato salad, and macaroni salad.

Steak Town by the Lake salad bar

The main dishes come with unlimited soup and salad, and you also get a scoop of ice cream for dessert. My mother ordered Beef Steak Tagalog (P450) and I had a filet mignon with pepper sauce (P650+).

Steak Town by the Lake, beef steak

Steak Town by the Lake, filet mignon

In my book, the place can still do no wrong. Who could ever be disappointed by tender, flavorful beef? It’s also a plus that the price hasn’t leaped up as much as I had expected. I suppose the only complaint I have is that the food presentation could be better. That, and the fact that Steak Town seriously needs more Metro Manila branches.

Breakfast at Antonio’s

My mother and I used to eat at Breakfast at Antonio’s nearly every time we went to Tagaytay. Here are a few pictures from our first visit to the place back when it was still along the highway; these were taken in 2004. I had the four-cheese omelette and she had the sausage omelette.

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay, 2004

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay, 2004

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay, 2004

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay, 2004, omelettes

Breakfast at Antonio’s eventually moved to where Antonio’s is located, which meant that we got too lazy to make the trip there over the years (yeah, I know it wasn’t all that far, but eh). So I was pretty surprised and pleased to hear that the restaurant has returned to its old location. We were in Tagaytay a couple of weeks ago, so I suggested that we grab breakfast at Breakfast at Antonio’s.

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay

The place is done up in minimalist black and white this time around, and feels a lot more spacious than the original. Upon entering, you’ll see a shop on the right side which sells various products, from fruit jams to vegetables to bread, among other things. We got a table by the screened windows, always the best place for people who want a view of Taal Lake and the volcano or to be regularly treated to a cool breeze.

We were pretty hungry and just wanted a really basic breakfast, so my mother went with the pancakes (P180), which came with a grilled pineapple and banana, and a cup of hot chocolate. I ordered a pot of herb tea, which is basically the tarragon tea that appears on so many menus in various Tagaytay restaurants, and had the roesti with bacon, egg, and cheese (because a typical breakfast for me involves bacon and eggs) which came with a panini. The waiter even offered me some apple jam to go with the bread. I ended up buying a jar of apple jam (P120).

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay, pancakes

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay, roesti

If you’re visiting Breakfast at Antonio’s for the first time, be warned that the portions aren’t enormous. They fill you up just fine and the food is honestly wonderful. This isn’t food that you should be wolfing down and which is meant only to fill your belly, however. It’s the kind of breakfast you should savor, something you should be eating on a relaxed morning (or noon or early afternoon) with friends or family.