Antonio’s by Chef Tony Boy Escalante has been famous for being the best restaurant in the Philippines. Over the years, it has received several awards and distinctions, such as being part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
We had wanted to eat at Antonio’s at Tagaytay for years. We have tried his other restaurants, Balai Dako and Breakfast at Antonio’s, and having those as the baseline, we knew that dining at Antonio’s would be a gastronomic feast.
Fast forward, we were celebrating a major milestone in the family, and so my husband and I decided that it was the best time for us to celebrate it there. So finally, we were able to find out why people and critics have been raving about Antonio’s.
I made the table reservation through their website. Then, I got a confirmation email with the reservation details, dress code, and safety protocol reminders. Reservation was such a breeze! All we had to do next was wait for the date.
Antonio’s is located at Barangay Neogan in Tagaytay. From Taytay, it took us around 2 hours drive on a weekday morning. We arrived earlier than our 11 AM reservation, so after filling up the health declaration form, we still had time to walk around the property.
The Garden with Gazebo
We walked towards the right side of Antonio’s colonial home and headed to the garden. It was filled with lush greenery with a touch of purple hues from the flowers.
We climbed the stairs where we found a bigger space with a gazebo on the left corner.
After walking in the garden, we made our way to the Lanai Lounge, where we found the other guests waiting.
The Lanai Lounge is surrounded by various tall trees and plants, giving a relaxing vibe to its guests. There are a variety of tables and chairs to choose from.
Within the Lanai Lounge, there was a small wooden house with a bar where all the cocktail drinks are made. My husband was so intrigued by their best-seller drink, Life of the Party, that he ordered one for lunch. I know it might be too early, but we went here to celebrate after all.
Since we came from the Lanai Lounge, we entered the colonial house through its back entrance. An elegant black and white vintage interior welcomed us as we went inside. There’s a homey yet sophisticated vibe exuded by the dark wooden beams on the ceiling, victorian tiles, white chandeliers, and wooden furniture.
We were ushered to our table that was by the window overlooking the garden at the back and was beside a water feature filled with plants. The sound of the water and natural breeze was so relaxing.
And now the most important part – the meal. We accessed the menu through a QR code. Our server patiently answered our questions and explained the menu.
We ended up ordering the 40 Day Dry Aged Charcoal Grilled Prime Rib Eye Steak, which already included 2 sets of organic green salad, soup of the day, desserts of our choice, and coffee or tea.
Freshly Baked Bread with Butter
Our meal started with warm bread with butter.
The Lardo Watermelon Salad was beautifully plated with each component on display. It had fresh greens, watermelons, Bleu d’Auvergne on top of the lardo. Each bite should have each component to fully appreciate the texture of the greens, the sweetness of the watermelon, and the saltiness of the lardo and cheese.
After the salad, the waiter served the soup of the day. He poured the hot soup over the mixed vegetables. The soup was light but comforting in the tummy.
To prepare our palate for the main dish, we were given sorbets.
We ordered a full carafe of Dalandan juice and it was sweet yet so refreshing. My husband had a glass of cocktail (party-mode on!). We finished both drinks and I wanted to try out more drinks so we ordered another carafe of Strawberry Balsamic.
The highlight of our meal is the 700g 40 Day Dry Aged Charcoal Grilled Angus Prime Rib Eye Steak. It was served on a hot plate with butter and deep-fried onion crisps. The meat was so tender and flavorful that it didn’t need the extra sauce.
But then again, adding the condiments gives another layer of flavor to the steak. The steak came with these condiments (from top left to right): Gorgonzola Hollandaise, Dijon Mustard, Red Wine & Rosemary Salt, Pickled Garlic, Burnt Onion & Apple Steak Sauce, Dehydrated Chimichurri, and Chili Flakes. My personal favorites were the Burnt Onion & Apple Steak Sauce and Dehydrated Chimichurri.
To complement the steak I chose the Tomato Rissotto. It’s has a good balance of sweetness, tanginess, creaminess in one hearty bowl. My husband got the Duck fat French Fries browned and crisped to perfection.
To end our meal with a sweet note, we got the Duck Fat Pecan Pie and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake,which had a good play of textures and flavors. I honestly thought we didn’t have space for dessert but we still finished it anyway. It was really good.
We had a cup of coffee and tea after dessert. We would have preferred to lounge or walk around some more, but we had to run because we actually had a wedding to attend to after our lunch.
Did Antonio’s live up to it’s reputation?
Yes! For me, the ambiance, the service, the freshness and quality of ingredients, flavor profile of each meal lifted up the whole dining experience.
Contact Antonio’s Tagaytay
Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, Batangas, Philippines
Mobile Number: +63 (917) 899.2866 or +63 (918) 899.2866
Instagram: Antonio’s Tagaytay (@antoniostagaytay)
Note: that they do not accept walk-ins and they are open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11 AM to 3 PM, and 4 PM to 7 PM.