Thursday, July 19, 2012

Breakfast at Antonio's: More Than Just a Good Brunch

It was a rainy Saturday morning when Jericho and I made our way up to Tagaytay for a consult with my doctor-slash-nutritionist as well as a late brunch at Breakfast at Antonio's, thanks to a deal he got at Groupon Philippines.

Driving up to Antonio's is a bit of a way from the main road, but well worth the trip. We were greeted by the guards at the gate, and ushered into the restaurant's huge driveway.

I love just how green and lush everything looked! Antonio's looks like a big estate, and is comprised of two restaurants: there is Antonio's, where lunch and dinner is served, and Breakfast at Antonio's, where (you guessed it) breakfast, sandwiches, and pastas are served as early as 11am to 4pm in the afternoon.

The walk up to the breakfast nook was so nice! We took a nice stroll through all the greenery, checking out the vast gardens that make up most of the estate. The garden was lush and green and smelled nice and dewy, especially after the rain showers earlier that day.

Breakfast at Antonio's looked like it used to be the estate's guest house. I especially liked the black-and-white design of the space, bringing a contemporary feel to the otherwise very traditional Spanish architecture.

We stayed out on the balcony, admiring the big, wooden planks as well as green view of the garden down below.

The staff was really courteous, but pretty useless when we asked them what was good on the menu. They recommended everything! Our waiter's spiel went something like this when Jericho asked him whether he'd recommend the burger or the tapa. "Well ser, kung mas gusto niyo ng kanin, mag tapa kayo. Pero kung mas gusto niyo ng burger, masarap din po yung House Burger namin." (Well sir, if you prefer to have rice, I'd suggest our tapa. But if it's a burger you're looking for, our House Burger is pretty tasty, too).You see what I mean?

I was initially leaning towards the Portobello Tagliatelle with Truffle Cream Sauce (P495), but the whole brunch theme made me change my mind and went for the Eggs Benedict (P370) instead. I have a hard time saying no to perfectly poached eggs covered in lemon caper Hollandaise sauce.

The dish was pretty straightforward. The eggs were - as expected - perfectly poached, the slices of ham were thick, and I wanted to bathe in that Hollandaise sauce.

Jericho ended up going with the Beef Tapa (P365) - USDA beef, marinated in a familiar tapa sauce with two eggs made sunny-side up and garlic rice. Allowing me to mooch off his plate, I found it really good, as the meat was tender, with hints of spice, the exact opposite of the tough, sad brown sorry excuses for tapa you tend to get at other restaurants. Jericho, on the other hand, said he's had better. I won't believe him 'til I taste it!

The cheeky staff like to leave freshly baked crinkles and cookies for the kids and the older sweet-toothed customers (yes, guilty). The smell of freshly baked goodies wafted over to where we were sitting and we couldn't stand not checking it out. I still regret not getting a crinkle, just a teensy bit.

We stayed for a while after our meal, enjoying the breeze, the fresh air, and each other's company. I always drag Jericho to all sorts of events to have him snap pictures for me that it was nice to actually talk about life and plans instead of assignment pieces and dissecting dishes for a feature.

We took a nice slow stroll back to the car, saying our silent goodbyes to the beautiful estate we were allowed the privilege to be a part of. Yes, the food is a tad overpriced, but you have to remember that you're not just paying for the food, but for the relaxed ambiance as well, which truly makes a difference.

*Update: We went back to Breakfast at Antonio's with Jericho's fambam in tow on a sunny Sunday - he just had to share the experience with everyone else. The place was packed with other families and friends enjoying the last day of the weekend, I ended up roaming around the garden while waiting for the food to arrive.

I tried their Beef Brisket (P395) that was swaddled in puff pastry and with a very fresh arugula salad on top. The beef brisket was covered in sauce that spilled out after opening the pastry packet. I loved how it was presented like a little gift, with chunks of beef, carrots and potatoes swimming in the rich, aromatic sauce.

Another reason to keep on coming back to Breakfast at Anotnio's when you find yourself mucking around Tagaytay? Surprisingly, they're pet friendly! We brought Mr. Wiggles along so he could enjoy the fresh air and sunshine as well, and he ended up having bits of my beef brisket, Jericho's meatloaf, and Angus beef sinigang before playing around in the garden.

Breakfast at Antonio's
+63 918 899 2866, +63 46 413 1054
Purok 138, Barangay Neogan,
Tagaytay City
Tuesday - Sunday: 7am - 4pm