Friday, December 13, 2013

Sensational Steak Date Nights at Solace!

On going on most first dates here in the Philippines, I always end up at one of the many malls that proliferate the landscape of Metro Manila. And that's, well, sad. I understand that in this country guys think that term "wine and dine" means taking your girl out to one of the many franchised restaurants that crowd the strip, but it's not, and it's boring. And tacky. And just shows me how lazy you are that you couldn't think of a better date than to bring me to a mall for dinner and drinks.

The ideal dinner date for me is someplace private, preferably away from the mall and away from the crowds of people. I enjoy my dinner conversation as much as I enjoy the food, and it helps when I'm not straining to hear you over the blaring music or loud guests at the next table.  I think you would, too.

In Makati, I've found Solace Wine & Dine, the restaurant at One Greenbelt Hotel, to be the perfect place for a dinner date. It's a walk away from the comfort zone of the mall, the restaurant isn't intimidating with it's modern, minimalist design, and their food is enough to impress any discerning date, without having to max out your credit card.

Dinner would usually start with a salad, this being the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (P240). I usually find Caesars to be one of the most boring salads on the planet, but Chef Philip Golding's take gives the predictable starter some much needed zing. I don't know if it was the creamy dressing, the grilled chicken, or the generous shavings of Parmesan, but I finished this big bowl in two seconds flat.

For appetizers, Solace serves up Spicy Potato Balls. Big fluffy balls of potato are stuffed with a mildly spiced beef before being fried a light, golden brown. You can also enhance the spiciness with their aioli sauce that also has some heat. In short, this is my kind of appetizer!

Now, if you really want to impress your date, the only main course on the menu that you should be looking at is the steak, and with Steak Nights happening every day at Solace 'til December 31st, I strongly recommend you make the most of it! Each steak you order comes with a choice of two sides: Creamy Spinach with Croutons, Balsamic Salad, Homemade Fat Chips, Sauteed Vegetables, and Garlic Rice.

The Chuck Steak (P799) is 500 grams of mean lean protein, and best enjoyed when charbroiled a medium rare. The meat is dense and a tad grainy. Drizzle a little of the garlic butter sauce on top or ask your server for your favorite steak sauce. A steak this big is best shared by two!

If a richer, meatier, fattier steak is what tickles your fancy, the Rib Eye Steak (P999) is one of the most affordable in terms of quality and size. Best shared, each bite has just the right balance of meat to fat ratio, and the rich flavors are enhanced further with the garlic butter chimichurri-like sauce. The steaks are best enjoyed with a bottle of wine, and at Solace has a nice collection to choose from.

For dessert, try the unique Bibingka Soufflé - a feather light soufflé with bits of queso de bola inside, topped with a salted duck egg and a yema-like sauce which made for an unbelievable Pinoy dessert. I don't know what I'd be coming back for more - the steaks or this!

So gentlemen, when you find yourselves mucking around Makati with a date this Friday night, impress them with a steak dinner with all the trimmings at Solace Wine and Dine! Oh, and make sure you leave room for dessert!

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Images taken by Jericho San Miguel of Tasty Pixel Photography

Solace Wine & Dine
+63 917 535 7529
One Greenbelt Hotel,
914 A. Arnaiz Ave, Makati
Open Daily: 7am - 11pm