Located thirty minutes from the city centre of Tagaytay by car, Antonio’s surroundings is a luscious, quiet, rural area, setting a mood of a fresh farm-to-table dining experience. What kind of restaurant is it? It is European and American inspired, cooking dishes like Steak tartare, Escargot, Raclette, Tomahawk Steak, Salt crusted Barramundi and Duck Leg confit to get you going. They also serve an array of beverages of old world and new world wines and fresh juices for the non-drinkers.
Antonio’s initially was a farm supplying produce to high-end restaurants, later opening his own restaurant in 2002. It is now one of the many restaurants of Antonio’s group of restaurants, however, it is the only restaurant to win a place in the Miele Guidebook (a regional guide book to restaurants in Asia). Their 2.8-hectare property is divided into 4 spaces.
1. Chef’s room: Available for sixty to seventy guests, overlooking the entire restaurant.
2. The Cabana: This separate structure accommodates 150 guests.
3. Garden greens: Open only during the fair-weather seasons of the year, an unobstructed view of the garden, perfect for al fresco events.
4. Entire restaurant: Exclusive use for three hundred guests, the entire staff will have your undivided attention.
The drive to Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay city sets the tone to a luscious driveway of what looks like a hacienda-inspired property. The gates alone to the property elicits an involuntary “Hola” from the guests. The large arched wooden doors welcome you to a receiving room full of paintings and colourful furnished chairs, where we were asked for our booking details.
After a couple of minutes, we were shown directly to our table in the Chef’s room, where a gentility atmosphere greeted us. Old Spanish ambience, set with encaustic black and white tiles, mood lighting and welcoming well-mannered waiters. It’s probably best to book and plan your visit to Antonio’s ahead, as I also witnessed some disappointed foreigners got turned away, by not following the dress code.
A visit to Antonio’s does not come cheap from experience, especially if you’re bringing your entire family. So may I recommend that you ask what everyone wants to order beforehand, so you can budget your finances for the trip and also avoid being overwhelmed by the choices on the day. In saying that when you order a main (or entrée as it is labelled on their menu) this is already accompanied with soup of the day, organic green salad, your main, a dessert of your choice and a tea. So don’t make the mistake of over-ordering everything on the menu and stuffing yourself senseless, like I do every time.
The food we tried at Antonio’s:
1. Steak Tartare
2. Escargot de Bourguignonne
3. Pate de foie gras
4. Grilled spiced lamb chops x 2
5. Grilled US Shortribs
6. Roasted duck breast
7. Duck leg confit
8. Salt crusted barramundi
9. Torched Akaroa King Salmon
10. Kid’s fish and chips
I do not know about everyone else, but the dishes I found memorable was the Steak tartare, a treat since I don’t eat meat that often anymore and my Duck leg confit, which was crispy on the outside, juicy and tender in the middle. The pairing with the rich gratin, made it sumptuous in state and a delight to keep on mauling on.
A morning brunch for a family, couples perhaps. Or why not a weekend family day? We spent a birthday and Despedida here.
Maybe it’s the pride, knowledge and skills the workers are equipped with, that I could not find a fault in the service. From arrival to departure we were spoilt rotten with their world-class service, it’s too bad that it has to be in such an expensive place I can find that quality of service in the Philippines. Mr Tony Escalante should open a hospitality school if he hasn’t already, and train students to these standards.
Special mentions to our waitress too, who also organised a birthday plate and a bon voyage dessert plate for our celebrants, free of charge. Personally, it’s these little touches and thoughts that patrons will remember and keep coming back to.
For 6 adults and 2 children, we spent close to Php22,000 including tax and service charge.
Address: Purok 138, Neogan, Tagaytay City
Telephone: +63.917.899.2866 | +63.918.899.2866.
TUE- SUN 11:30AM TO 1:30PM / 5:30PM TO 7:30PM
Disclaimer: Please note that all entries on this blog are all self paid for. I am not sponsored or employed by Antonio’s to write this review, these are my biased opinions and thoughts, written to help you, fellow explorers.
Visited on: 25th November 2017
The stairs to the Chef’s room
Kids exploring the garden
The Chef’s room set-up
Happily waiting for our meals
Soup of the day
Pate de foie gras
Escargot de Bourguignonne
Duck leg confit
Grilled US Shortribs
Roasted duck breast
Grilled spiced lamb chops
Bottom area of restaurant
Well behaved kids
Exploring the garden