March 26, 2012

Dolce Vita Steakhouse

“One should love beyond emotions, in the harmony of art works, in the enchanted order. We should learn to love each other so much, to live outside of time... detached.”
- La Dolce Vita, 1960

In the world peppered with debauchery and spiced with uncertainty, some of the good things we have and hope for aren’t always meant to last. We envy people who have everything. We fall out of love. We search life’s meaning through seemingly meaningless engagements. Death is inevitable but for those who believe, oh the sweetness of life, remains just the same. Forgive me for the sentiments, silly me and still hung up after watching La Dolce Vita.

Just a friendly reminder though, it’s better you watch the movie first before visiting the eponymous restaurant. It’s like getting acquainted with the mother before meeting the child. The movie tells a story of a journalist’s week in Rome, interacting with the members of the high society, taking pleasure in whirlwind romances, but really searching for both happiness and love, which he soon will discover as elusive as time. I guess the movie made such a huge impression in the owner’s life (that or he got smitten with the feisty Yvonne Furneaux) that he decided to name the restaurant after one of the most widely seen and acclaimed European movies by Italian film legend Federico Fellini in the 1960s.

The movie’s good, realistic and sad at times, but quite honestly I thoroughly enjoyed my Dolce Vita Steakhouse experience more hehe. Thanks to the man behind the good food, Chef Tiziano Cavallini of Modena, Italy, home of the first balsamic vinegar, Pavarotti and Ferrari. He makes life a little sweeter for Filipinos, especially in Ermita area. Try visiting between 2-6 pm, and you’ll exclaim la dolce vita… you’ll see life is full surprises.

Bread with garlic butter and liver pate

Insalata colloseo

Pizza calzone Romano

Spaghetti marinara


Dolce Vita Steakhouse
Casa Tesoro (beside Citystate Hotel)
1335 A. Mabini St., Ermita, Manila
Tel. No.: 526-3993

March 12, 2012

Out of the Blue

If home is where my heart is,
then my home is Out of the Blue.

Hearty breakfast

Pizza margherita

Bacon and leek ravioli with white wine and pesto sauce

Crepes Suzette

In Small La Laguna, Puerto Galera (away from the rowdy crowd of White Beach), there is one place that effortlessly recharges the soul, tickles the palate, and captures the heart. Inaptly named (I guess) “Out of the Blue”, it is by far the best destination in the area if you are looking for sweet relaxation, gastronomic adventure, and “I’m no longer blue” vibes (because there is no room for loneliness once you set foot on this lovely resort).

It is owned by Australian IT businessman John Booth who just wanted to build a vacation house by the beach when he and his wife visited and instantly fell in love with Puerto Galera way back in 1997. A few years later, and with the intervention of his friend Chris Shannon, his dream eventually developed into Out of the Blue, which opened to the public in 2009.

It has clusters of Mediterranean-Filipino fusion inspired villas overlooking Verde Strait (room rates start at 3k+ inclusive of complimentary hearty breakfast for two), infinity pools not strategically positioned hehe, free wi-fi, and surprisingly a little library which contains some great contemporary book and DVD collections perhaps the all-time favorites of the owner (tried looking for Wuthering Heights but did not find one – sad face).

It has an in-house restaurant “Verandah”, a casual fine-dining place with bar and of course a verandah that affords a peaceful sea view. It offers superb-tasting food and wine selection, thanks to Chef Harold Barrios, who was trained by Copenhagen-based chef Henrik. Dining simply becomes magical come dusk time.

But most important, hospitality exudes all over the place, ambabait nina ate at kuya, makuwento pa.

Well, where did the resort get its name? According to the owner, the color of Australia is blue, and “out of the blue” is an expression for surprise. In my opinion though, the name reflects whim, something unanticipated. Anyway, go and surprise yourself. Remember, the only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them. Take a risk - this is a calculated one I promise. Fall in love Out of the Blue.

Out of the Blue Private Villas
Small La Laguna, Puerto Galera
Oriental Mindoro
Tel. No.: 043-287-3357; 0920-9489400

March 11, 2012

Chateau Hestia

“Not all powers are spectacular. Sometimes the hardest power to master is the power of yielding.” 
- Hestia, The Last Olympian

The Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home, Hestia is the eldest daughter of the Titans Kronos and Rhea and the oldest of all the female Olympians. She is the sister of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. She saw to it that the people of Olympus were well-entertained and well-fed and that the fire of Olympus never died-out.

Viennese potato soup

Hestia green salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Chicken cacciatora

Beef stroganoff

Mint mousse, limoncello and vin d’ orange

Yield to the power of Chateau Hestia and experience the warmth of hearth and home, and the simple joy of having a good food.

Chateau Hestia Garden Restaurant
Purok 5, Brgy. Bukal, Silang, Cavite
Tel. No.: 0929-7113289

March 4, 2012

The Goose Station

Sometimes, you’ve just got to be brave enough to love, let yourself be loved, and pay for that Goose signature menu.

Lychee mojitas
Refreshing non-alcoholic starter.

Foie gras cone
Take a bite and be surprised by the magic almond inside.

Assorted rice crackers

Caviar parfait
Gold dusts over caviar. Regal.

Garden salad
Now I hate to destroy such beautiful creation. 
The most glamorous salad in the metro.

Fideua negra
Visually delightful, tasty sea bass, but I wish 
the black pasta tasted divine like Katre’s.

24-hour steak
USDA short ribs cooked for 24 hours. Plus points for that.

Eggs Benedict
For a ‘well-done’ egg lover, guess Benedict 
will make a great mistress.

Deconstructing a cheesecake, mixing it with berries, simply genius! 
Fluffier than any regular cheesecake too.

Strawberry sorbet
Refreshing ending.

Final verdict: My eyes and palate were exceptionally happy. My wallet felt otherwise hehe.

The Goose Station
G/F W Tower, 1117 39th St.
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Tel. No.: 556-9068