Five Women Of Style Share Their Most Romantic Dinner Dates
The arrival of February brings the sudden hit of constant reminders of love and how to celebrate it. With red and pink hearts hanging from ceilings, flower arrangements being sold on the streets, and restaurants promoting special menus, it can be overwhelming to decide the perfect way to enjoy the month of romance with your significant other.
While a trip to a spa’s couple room or a romantic movie is always fun, nothing quite beats a quiet dinner for two, preferably with a bottle of wine and the promise of good conversation amidst the everyday hustle and bustle.
With that in mind, Metro.Style asked a few women in society to share some of their favorite restaurants and dishes, to help guide those looking to celebrate this Valentine’s Day.
Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi, married for 4 years
Jonathan and Stephanie Crespi
Stephanie is known in the food community as a homemaker extraordinaire, having just launched her cookbook Feast with Me, as well as a blog that shares her gastronomic and travel experiences. But more than anything, she is passionate about wine and shares this with husband Jonathan. Though she admits that on Valentine’s day, they opt to stay home, as places tend to get crowded and she doesn’t care for the special menus, she would consider a place like Txanton (http://www.txanton.com.ph), where it is quiet and you can have simple tapas and jamón paired with a wine from their wonderful selection. Stephanie shares that they do celebrate in their own way, “We stay in and drink an amazing bucket list bottle of wine with just cheese—no flowers, no chocolates, the only bouquet I want is in my glass!”
Tricia Centenera, in a relationship for several months
Tricia Centenera and Duane Santos with Paolo and Ria Prieto
One of our channel’s hosts Tricia Centenera is still in the fun getting-to-know-you phase with boyfriend Duane Santos, so date nights are a weekly habit. But for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day, Tricia loves the fusion Japanese fare of Mecha Uma (http://mechauma.ph). “What I love about this particular restaurant is the ambiance and the great service. The waiters all make you feel special and well taken cared of,” which she attributes to the fact that it is a small restaurant. She suggests to order the degustation men, which she explains keeps dinner fun and interactive. “Because Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, I feel Mecha Uma is perfect as it is a place where the owners, chefs, waiters are all quite passionate about the what they do.”
Nicole Ortega, married for 23 years
Nicole Ortega and family
Nicole is known in the food community for her delicious spreads and homemade goodies as well as her blog dedicated to food, nicoleortega.ph. The mother of three likes to spend the holiday with, not just her husband Mannix, but their children as well, sharing, “We don’t usually go out on Valentine’s and we have been celebrating it with the kids at home for many years as we don’t like the traffic and rush of it. If we were to go out though, I’d want it to be at M Dining (http://mgroup.com.ph). Most places have a set menu and are quite limiting. Although M does too, I am sure that the set of food and drink are always excellent.” Aside from the excellent food, she appreciates the restaurant’s cozy interiors and beautiful art work, as well as what she names the most fun gin selection for Valentine romance, she tells me laughingly. She recommends their pasta dishes, saying they are always well thought of, as well as the Mayura beef and the seasonal seafood.
Ria Prieto, married for 12 years
Paolo and Ria Prieto
Fun couple Ria and Paolo Prieto have three fun-loving boys at home, so on a special occasion, she likes to go somewhere quiet where the ambiance is beautiful. This lifestyle editor and blogger's (riarecommends.com) top choice is Antonio’s (http://antoniosrestaurant.ph) in the south’s windy city. “I love the Old World feel of the place and it is just gorgeous. Food is always good and, of course the Tagaytay weather always wants you to cuddle up to your date.” When asked what dishes would be good to order, she simply says, “nothing with too much garlic.” As a fan of Antonio’s ourselves, we suggest dishes you can’t go wrong with—their beef tartare, raclette, and the duck confit. Also, a glass of their perfect freshly squeezed dalandan juice always hits the spot.
Georgia Schulze-del Rosario, married for 11 years
Armand and Georgia del-Rosario
Georgia is a writer and a home baker, who is especially good at creating the most sinful sweet endings. She and husband Armand are parents of four beautiful girls, so it is difficult for them to celebrate a holiday away from their little ladies. “We usually begin the evening at home ordering everyone’s favorite junk food to feast on—Chicken Joy and Jolly spaghetti, double cheeseburgers and Mcdonald’s French fries, pepperoni crunch pizza and mojos, and heart-shaped donuts for dessert,” shares Georgia. But of course, a special date is also a must for the young couple. “Once the girls are asleep, we go to our favorite bar, Mandalay hidden inside Belle & Dragon (http://www.thebelleanddragon.com), where my husband can have a cigar and a glass of whiskey, while I enjoy a cocktail. I love the bar’s awesome service and quiet corners. Though there is a masculinity to the dark colors and overall feel, there is femininity in the elements such as the vintage pieces and low music, which make for a very sexy experience.”