Top 10 Restaurants in Manila to have a romantic dinner

Valentine's day, celebrated the world over, has one of the busiest turnovers in the Manila restaurant scene. They say on average, at 4 in the afternoon each day is when a restaurant is decided upon to have an enjoyable meal away from home. But for the days surrounding the 14th, reservations are made by well-intentioned individuals as much as two months in advanced. And with good reason. It's a once-a-year opportunity to get closer to someone, celebrate serendipity over a good glass of wine, great food, and really good conversation with the person that could most likely finish your sentences. Restaurants pull out all the stops putting together the perfect ambiance, the perfect degustation menu, the perfect wine list. Surely all of us have experienced the high that came from meeting the perfect person for the first time. You just know that he or she is the one. The hairs behind your neck stand on end. The presence felt is so strong it is hard to dismiss as trivial. Then you strike up a conversation and it seems from the onset that both of you are on the same wavelength. Then you ask her out for coffee one time. Then the first date. Your best foot forward. Spray on that cologne that has been gathering dust for the past year. You actually make the effort to search for that elusive blue rose, not because you want to show much money you have, but because you believe it was what she wanted. The following restaurants are what I think are the best places to have a romantic Valentine's dinner. I did not sell my soul to put these restaurants on the list. I would have sold my soul though to be able to eat at these restaurants more often. Most of them require advanced reservations to be made for the red letter date.

Balducci - Part of the famous L'Opera group, this lovely Italian restaurant is located on Bonifacio High Street at the Fort. The ambiance is great. It is a place to be seen. Your date should try the Bresaola all'arancio con rucola e grana padano. Osso Buco f course is a classic. Although their pasta is good, why would you want to slurp it up on Valentine's day? +63.2.856.06.76

Je Suis Gourmand - also located at the Fort, it is more on the quieter side of the area. A French bistro, the atmosphere is laid back, not stuffy. The entrance to the restaurant is not at all pretentious. They have a menu that gets updated often. Try the Beef cheeks in red wine. Really rich. And the Foie Gras is to die for.  Wine selection of course is predominantly French, but none of those supermarket types that you see listed on hotel lists. +63.2.815.88.01-02

Cantinetta - They have two venues, but the more romantic tables at Pasong Tamo Extension in Makati is more secluded. Their wine room showcases all their wine for you to be able to actually cradle a Montes Alpha in tour arms. It is another Italian Restaurant that features great Tuscan cooking, but also has dishes from the southern regions. Must try is their Bistecca di Manzo. Pricy, but well worth it. The wine list is innovative. Each casa features a list of its best wine, instead of being listed by country. Descriptions are provided, and even matching suggestions. The restaurant is located far off from the traffic and hustle and bustle of Makati. It is really a destination restaurant. +63.2.892.98.73

Old Manila - Located at the Peninsula Hotel Manila, the flagship restaurant boasts French cuisine in a space dominated by narra and well appointed dining tables. Must-try is the Truffle crusted veal rib eye. Also of note is the Fine de Claire oysters and the lobster bisque. Wine list is the best available in the area. Do dressup. It's a place to see and be seen. +63.2.887.28.88

Sala - Conveniently located next to the Ayala Museum, the restaurant first made its mark in Malate, and since then getting rave reviews for its great cuisine. A truly romantic venue, their in-house baked bread starts the meal on the right tone. The roasted duck breast will have your date swooning. No nouvelle or fusion cuisine here. Just straightforward classical European cooking. +63.2.750.15.55

La Cosa Nostra - You would miss this great little nook if you were not looking. On Adriatico street in Malate, it is so discrete that it is only marked by a small Campari sign. Once inside, one is treated to the smells of Italian cook who has been running the kitchen for the past forty odd years. Only five tables occupy the dining space. The lighting is subdued. Perfect for a quiet dinner under the dim lights savoring great pasta dishes. Imagine the Disney classic Lady in the Tramp. +63.2.523.78.89

Cafe Juanita - Another restaurant off the beaten track, this place really gets away from the crowd. Though parking is very limited, couples still flock to this little corner restaurant for the food and the ambiance that romance lends its magic to. The food is a fusion of Filipino and European cooking. Wine list is not that extensive, but the cozy atmosphere allows anyone dining in its soft toned space to mingle pleasantly without any distractions. +63.2.632.03.57

Cafe Ysabel -What can spell romance as much as dining in a restaurant based on an antique house in the middle of a wooded area of Quezon city. Run by one of Manila's famous chefs, the restaurant is proud of its FIlipiino menu as well as some international dishes. Cooking from the province of Pamapanga takes center stage, so you know the food is as good as its ambiance. +63.2.726.93.26

Ziggurat Cuisine - If you want a little more spice to your romantic dinner, it can be had here. Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cooking will take hold of your senses. It's not as high class as the other mentioned restaurants, but it is where you can bring your unpretentious date to without having to worry about crashing and burning. This place tells your date that you know good food. +63.2.897.51.79

Top of the Citi - Sigh. A spin off from Le Souffle. And you can expect the same quality of service. What makes this place special is the view. You and your date have the Makati skyline looming before you while you dine on pasta with scallop and sun dried tomatoes, foie gras in filo pastry and for dessert, ice cream. It's relaxing, laid back, and a guaranteed a wonderful experience. Casual dining at its best. +63.2.894.74.37

1 comment:

Kirstz said...

I am glad to visit this blog and to know this top 10 Lovely Restaurant in Manila. I am hoping that I can eat a dinner with my someone in any of those restaurants. Thanks for sharing this info.