Thursday, February 16, 2012

2nd's (Comfort Food Revisited) on Valentines

For the record, I'm not a huge fan of this Hallmark holiday. I like that it's a great excuse to go out and have more than one cocktail on a weekday with the guy footing the bill (it's always nice when someone makes you feel special), but what I dislike is the traffic, the really bad flower arrangements, the overpriced Valentine meal sets, the crowds, and the overall cheesiness of this one day of the year.

I had no plans of doing anything on V-Day, until Jericho asked me out to dinner. Looks like he had nothing better to do today as well. With the promise of being wined and dined (and fed a copious amount of chocolate), I was looking forward to spending most of the night sitting at the corner table of a really nice restaurant, enjoying the low lighting, good food, and interesting conversation, preferably with a glass of champagne in hand. Yes, I was setting myself up for failure.

So yes, after a failed attempt at dinner at the Vietnamese joint at Serendra I was hungry, annoyed, and had no intention of elbowing my way through the Valentines crowd at the BGC walkway. "Well, where do you want to eat?" Jericho asked me. I thought of the perfect spot to hang out that was away from the public display of affection and cheesy revelry. "I want to go to 2nd's," I said.

2nd's (Comfort Food Revisited) is a great little restaurant that reminds you of The Library at 540 Park in New York. Formerly Mag:Net, the restaurant is pretty low-key with only a small signboard outside with the establishment's name. Walking up the stairs to the second floor, the first thing that greets you is their big, wooden door with a small window that gives you a sneak peek of the happy patrons by the bar. Happy people by the bar is always a good sign. We were greeted by one of the managing partners, Nadine, and although we had no reservation, were graciously accommodated and given the corner table that gave us the best view of the whole restaurant. Things were definitely looking up!

While waiting for our table to be readied, Nadine and I were giving Jericho the lowdown on why the place is fast becoming one of my favorite restaurants at BHS. I was there the day before and couldn't get over their bestseller, the Beef Rib Adobo (P545) - slow braised beef ribs in adobo sauce, generously sprinkled with crunchy garlic and served with steamed rice and a green mango and tomato salsa . I had a spoonful or three of the Rum Cake Mascarpone Trifle (P445), too - rum cake served in a beer mug with a layer of balsamic and mixed berry compote, topped with honey sweetened mascarpone and candied pine nuts, drizzled with butterscotch, which is ideally meant to be shared by two people.

After being shown to our nook and browsing through their menu, Jericho's biggest dilemma that night was choosing an appetizer. It was a close tie between the Bacon Chicharon (P315) - yes, you read it right - and the Cornflake Buffalo Pops (P295), spicy chicken lollipops served with a blue cheese dip and kamote crisps. In a sacrifice to shrink his growing pooch, he reluctantly went for the latter.

We split an order of Lamb Sheppard's Pie (P485), which J was slightly hesitant to try, being as he really wasn't into lamb, but really had no choice as I was starving and had been craving for decent English food since Christmas (still looking for that elusive mince pie). By the look on his face when he tasted it, methinks he had no complaints.

The pulled lamb leg meat was really tender, the consistency almost similar to that of real corned beef (not that preserved stringy crap you get from a can), merrily swimming with smashed potatoes in a thick vegetable stew, topped with melted cheddar cheese. The entrée is served with a slice of bread and garden greens, but we ate them more to use as tummy fodder at that point. It was so good!

Hankering for a good buzz and wanting to try their cocktails, I tried their Eurasian (P275) - a mix of dark rum, orange bitters, ginger juice, and ginger ale. It tasted a little like Minute Maid for grownups, a perfect complement to the Sheppard's Pie. Nom!

My gut (literally) wanted to order the Chocolate Lava Cake (P295) or Rum Cake Mascarpone Trifle for dessert, but J was adamant on having the Apple Crumble (P245), which he slightly regretted after he saw the trifle being served to couple at the other table. Ayan kasi, walang bilib sa taste ko.

I requested that the Crumble be served Ala Mode (+P100), and it came out in an over-sized cup, with the pretty golden crumble hiding the stewed cinnamon-y apple goodness underneath, served with a shot of mantecado espresso sauce on the side.

Needing my chocolate fix, I got it in cocktail form, as they had an After Eight Martini (P275) - a dizzyingly sinful mix of tablea, crème de menthe and vodka.

We left a little after 11:30, satiated and in high spirits (literally). 2nd's is really a great place to go to just get away from the busy walkway of BHS, and also one of the few restaurants with a great view of BGC. It's a place you'd want to bring your friends to unwind after a day's work, or to indulge in your all-time favorite comfort food. The waitstaff are well trained, making sure you have everything you need, refilling drinks without having to be asked, asking us if we needed anything else and promptly clearing our table after each course. I wouldn't mind paying P500 for a meal as long as the food is good and they know how provide good customer service. This place definitely does - from the owners down to the waitstaff, they definitely know how to take care of you.

The owners are all pretty young (read: motivated, hungry and always open to suggestions), and most of their advertising is done through social media (the only way to go!) and word-of-mouth (through social media!). I loved their warning signs for people descending the stairs.

I see what you did there. I don't know if this was their doing, or from the Nuffnangers in the upstairs office. Either way it's hella funny! It may be a bit awkward for the playroom across the hall though. Thankfully, them kids still can't read. And even if they could, I seriously doubt they'd get a grasp of the bedroom humor. Uh-oh. That's what she said!

2nd's (Comfort Food Revisited)
2nd Floor, Wumaco Building 1 (formerly Mag:Net)
Quadrant 3, 9th Ave, Bonifacio High Street
+632 846 5293
11:00am - 3:00pm and 6:30pm - 11:30pm