10 Nov2006


We actually had this meal several Sundays ago…but I should have had it this weekend after finding out my cholesterol count was way down and I have decided to eat what I want for the next 72 hours… Marketman & family drove up to Tagaytay with another couple and their kids (great friends and incredible foodies) and we had booked a table at Antonio’s… I had been to Antonio’s many years ago, when it was newly opened, and my foie gras at the time was improperly deveined…in fact, it still HAD most of its veins or litid which was a real turn-off considering how much the meal cost…so despite a pretty good meal at the time, I never went out of my way to return to the restaurant. But this time around, I have to give it two thumbs and two big toes up…it was simply the best meal I have had outside of a residence in the Philippines in the past 12 months. Now that is saying a lot for Marketman. Just everything about the meal was terrific or very good. I know many bloggers and columnists have waxed poetic about Antonio’s and it does deserve a lot of the praise… But instead of writing too much, I will let the photos (which came out surprisingly clear) speak for themselves…

With just four adults and 3 pre-teen kids, this is what we had… First, several orders of green salad came with the meals and a side order of pan seared foie gras came with one of them (foie was an extra charge)… We then had for appetizers a Duck Sampler salad which included a pan seared foie gras with cranberry compote in the photo up top and on the same plate a smoked duck breast with ginger pineapple compote and a pate de foie gras with onion compote…


I ordered a fresh grape juice that arrived in a generous 2-3 glass carafe that kept me happy throughout the meal. I have to say it could have been fruitier but I am nitpicking… The ripe mango shakes of the kids tasted great…


A nice homemade caraway seed roll was a nice touch. I haven’t had a caraway roll in a while and it was both fresh and served with a nice swirl of herbed butter


Another appetizer was pan seared foie gras on several large portabello mushrooms and a slightly creamy sauce (do you get the drift on the foie overdose?)…


There were two soups on the menu that day and two of us had the capsicum and tomato soup that was foamed up and tasted great but the kohlrabi and pancetta soup photographed below was stunningly good. First, it’s unusual to find kohlrabi here, though relatively easy to grow, and the combination with pancetta was inspired…


For the main courses, two of the kids had steak, either with a Maitre d’Hotel Butter and fries or one with a gravy with mushrooms (I think) that were both tender and tasty, while the other kid opted for a very competently made pasta…


The adults opted for two surfs and two turfs…from the sea, the first main course was a Sea Bass and Salmon Roulade with Mushroom Garlic Tapenade on Linguine with Truffle Clam Sauce (is that a mouthful or what?)…


Mrs. Marketman opted for a Pan Fried Snapper with Scallops on Crispy Pancetta with creamed Savoy Cabbage…


I went all the way with an order of Roasted Duck Breast infused with Truffle, Seared Foie Gras on Braised Red Cabbage. The tartness of the cabbage helped to cut the richness of the foie…let’s just say I had my cholesterol medicine with me!


Finally, the last main course was an Herbed Roasted Rack of Lamb with Cardamom Beurre Blanc…


Everything was very very well executed. The staff were attentive but unobtrusive…it would best be described as though you were being served in one of the old great homes with properly trained staff… and dessert makes up another post entirely… Truly, a fine fine meal!



  1. wendell says:

    Great pictures MM! Nakakagutom naman mga yan, lalo na yung Herbed Roasted Rack.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 7:16 am


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    The lunch looks superb with a nice panoramic view of the lake you cannot get any better deal than that. Your fresh grape juice looks terrific. Do you think it is all grapes, simple syrup and throw everything in the blender? I never had fresh grape juice.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 7:35 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Maria Clara, yes, I have a post on grape juice in the archives… Also, Antonio’s is local in the interior (away from the ridge in Tagaytay), so the view is a lush garden…it was a terrific lunch.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 7:40 am

  5. Essa says:

    Hi Marketman. Is a food trip of this magnitude, at that resto, going to break the bank? I’ve been to Breakfast at Antonio’s and I thought it was a nice place. Love the post and the photos by the way.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 8:15 am

  6. Marketman says:

    Essa, I tried to avoid the inevitable question regarding cost but I guess I can’t escape it. The meal for 7, with no wine, but lots of drinks and many desserts (post on that tomorrow) was roughly PHP11,500 + a generous tip for the brilliant service. At PHP1,700 per person, it sounds like a lot and it is, but it was well worth it. I would rather give up three mediocre meals at mediocre restaurants for one meal at Antonio’s. Actually, I don’t eat out that often so I think it is a calculated and justifiable splurge. For those abroad, at USD35 per person, this is a bargain.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 8:30 am

  7. joey says:

    Yahoo! I’m going there tomorrow for my mother in law’s birthday dinner…your post comes at the perfect time! :) Yes, it definitely has gotten better over time…I will follow you into foie-OD-land! :)

    Nov 10, 2006 | 8:58 am

  8. Anne says:

    have you tried their other resto – breakfast at antonio’s? It was really dissappointing considering that Antonio’s has been (and still is) one of my favorite restaurant since it opened

    Nov 10, 2006 | 9:12 am

  9. nikita says:

    their cuchinillo package is quite affordable for those who want to give it a try ü it’s around Php800+ per head but for a minimum of 10 people i think. Comes with a choice of soup/salad and dessert ü downpayment required tho.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 9:28 am

  10. Kim says:

    Antonio’s hosted my brother’s rehearsal dinner last December, and I have to say, it was simply one of the most divine evenings of dining I’ve ever had. In addition to the fabulous meal, the ambience was just sublime…they seated us on one of their balconies, and since we had such a large party we had the area pretty much to ourselves. The main chef (who, if I recall correctly, is Antonio himself…?) came out and greeted our group – quite marvelous service, really. So, I concur with you about Antonio’s: an all-around fantastic restaurant that should not be missed if visiting Tagaytay.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 9:32 am

  11. fely barcelon says:


    Nov 10, 2006 | 10:07 am

  12. Didi says:

    I love Antonio’s! The dining experience out there is divine! It seems like you’re somewhere serene and the food is also superb! I was wondering if they changed the menu – and they did! The pictures look great! Makes my mouth water!

    Nov 10, 2006 | 12:14 pm

  13. Essa says:

    Thanks Marketman!

    Nov 10, 2006 | 1:47 pm

  14. Claire says:

    Have you tried their breakfast place? I heard that the beef tapa is excellent there. I’ve never tried it, since everytime i go there it’s not available. But the ambiance is well worth it. :)

    Nov 10, 2006 | 2:14 pm

  15. Mik says:

    This brings back memories! Antonio’s used to be our favorite haunt and as a result, we had our wedding reception there last year– you’re right, brilliant staff and brilliant food!
    In comparison, I’ve only been to B&A once but I remember liking it– super hazy memories though from 2004 heh

    Nov 10, 2006 | 5:05 pm

  16. Mandy says:

    i’ve never been to antonio’s but after this post (knowing that only the best will receive such a rave from MM himself… hehe.), i will really drag my boyfriend to this place (after i make a reservation). oooohh. that foie gras with the portobellos look divine. i’m getting hungry. i will email this link to my boyfriend for a not so subtle hint. hahaha.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 5:31 pm

  17. mia says:

    MM, I love foie gras in anything! I see some frozen stuff in Terry Selection…is this something worth experimenting with at home or do I simply leave it to the experts and pay an arm and a leg for it every time?

    Nov 10, 2006 | 8:30 pm

  18. Joanne says:

    MM, would you know if unopened cans of foie gras keep for a long time? I have 2 unopened cans in my ref that have been there for 2+ years. I never got to use them cos honestly, I don’t know how to cook it and with what. I’ve checked both cans and they don’t have a best-before date.

    Is it still foie gras inside those cans or a science experiment by now? To think that I hand-carried these from Paris. :(

    Nov 10, 2006 | 9:11 pm

  19. andrea says:

    am a parisian resident and am impressed to read and see the fab meal you had at antonio’s. your description of the flavors & presentation recalls the wonderful meals you can have at some of my favorite bistro’s in paris. for as little as 28euros for a full meal consisting of soup, main course, cheese plate and dessert. i log on to MM site each day since i discovered it 3 months ago. it’s my daily ‘manila’ fix and have tried cooking your apritada & adobo recipes.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 10:04 pm

  20. Chris says:

    I had the same dish when I ate there with my mom and my two sisters. Their orders were so-so, but mine was absolutely superb! Or perhaps their “light” dishes just paled in comparison. (lesson learned: throw your diets out the window when you’re in a temple of gastronomy. What’s a few hundred extra calories? heheh) At first, foie gras and magret together seemed over the top but it made so much sense when I tasted it.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 10:56 pm

  21. Chris says:

    If I may answer Mia’s question, foie gras is actually very easy to cook, that is why chefs like to put it on their menus. Aside from the fact that its name alone catches the attention of even the most cynical food critic.

    To cook seared Foie Gras, just season the liver slices with salt and pepper and sear on a hot pan without oil. Simple. The secret lies in the details- cleaning the foie of veins, which is quite a delicate operation, disgorging it of blood by soaking in milk, and trimming all bile-stained areas which tend to be bitter.

    Nov 10, 2006 | 11:07 pm

  22. atwe says:

    thank you for this revelation, MM. am sending this link to homecoming relations as a way of convincing them that a food trip to tagaytay is a must. ang sarap naman! can’t wait to go and try it out for myself, and never mind the fat content & calories

    Nov 10, 2006 | 11:14 pm

  23. Veron says:

    Wow, I now I know where to go when I visit the Philippines! I will definitely make a trip to Tagaytay. The foie gras looks so good. I normally buy a whole lobe, cut it on a diagonal and vacuum seal it by batch. It’s delicious pan-seared and served with some berry compote or something acidic to cut through all that fat!

    Nov 11, 2006 | 12:23 am

  24. mia says:

    Thanks for your post! Yes that sounds simple enough, except for the cleaning…
    My mouth is watering as I type.
    Ok, so let me rephrase my question: is it worth trying to clean it myself, or it’s too complicated a process?

    Nov 11, 2006 | 9:48 am

  25. Mandy says:

    south supermarket is selling whole foie gras in their freezer section. around 2k per.

    Nov 11, 2006 | 12:31 pm

  26. Jean says:

    Hi MM, thanks for the post. I’ll keep on saving money to afford this divine meal.. someday, I’ll taste for myself all you have written about.

    Nov 12, 2006 | 4:35 pm

  27. Marketman says:

    There was a superb article by the lady who owns D’Artagnan in the U.S. on how to de-vein and prep a foie gras…now if only I could FIND the darn thing… Actually, it’s quite easy to devein a foie, as long as you did at least one term in biology… And it is so easy to cook. Serve with sauteed slices of green apples in butter, or grapes, or even raspberries… yum. And since one lobe serves so many, the price per person is actually not THAT bad… Anne et al, I have been to Breakfast at Antonio’s but prefer Antonios. Which, btw, I understand Antonio or Tony Boy is no longer running the kitchen at Antonio’s or at least that is what another chef told me. Whoever is at the helm is doing a great job. As I said in the post, the first time I went, they didn’t properly de-vein my foie and I was NOT impressed. This time around, the foie was perfect, even if previously frozen in order to get here from the source…

    Nov 13, 2006 | 10:27 am

  28. mia says:

    Of course I had to google ‘d’artagnan de-vein foie gras’ as soon as I read your post…anything like this?

    Nov 13, 2006 | 9:56 pm

  29. mia says:

    Can you tell I’m looking for a heart attack?

    Nov 13, 2006 | 9:58 pm

  30. Marketman says:

    mia, yes, that’s a pretty good description. Just do it with confidence. I have done it 2 or 3 times and the foie tasted great. Don’t let a frozen foie stay totally defrosted for long in our hot weather…

    Nov 13, 2006 | 10:09 pm

  31. frayed says:

    After my meal at Antonio’s a few months ago, I also declared (honestly, I did): “that was probably my best meal this year”. Everything was just perfect.

    Nov 14, 2006 | 6:06 am

  32. gonzo says:

    antonio’s is great. and the lovely ambience doesn’t hurt either. well done, tonyboy. nice down to earth guy too. no superstar chef complex. ang layo lang ng @$#%!. the breakfast place is closer but i agree w some of th posts– i prefer the main antonio’s restaurant.

    hi andrea, could you possibly let me know which bistros/food places you like in Paris? will be back there next week. have french foodie friends born and raised there and some of them own restaurants, but i’d love to know a fellow filipino’s preferences. my email is gonzogourmet@gmail.com, or even post it here, assuming MM doesn’t mind too much?

    Nov 14, 2006 | 4:32 pm

  33. miggy says:


    Do you know where we can get couscous in Manila…so we can try cooking moroccan recipes at home?


    Feb 14, 2008 | 10:53 am

  34. teyza balbuena says:

    im a fresh grad of culinary arts and i wish i can work at antonios garden… khet internship… good dAY!

    May 12, 2008 | 12:42 pm

  35. Yel Guina says:


    I am going home soon. Can you give me the contact number of antonios? I beleive I need to reserve in advance. I would really appreciate the help.


    May 20, 2008 | 9:31 pm

  36. Lyndsay says:

    That’s absolutely mouthwatering! Also, I came across Anotonio’s Fine Dining in Asia’s Top 10 Restaurants. It’s our pride that Philippine restaurant like Antonoi’s are making its mark in Asia, hopefully larger than Asia…:)


    Nov 24, 2008 | 5:29 pm


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