Friday, May 31, 2013

Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary

Finding Savoir-Faire at Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary

by Cityzen | Kathrina Paz Elefante
 If you want to treat your palate to a little sophistication, you need not put on an evening gown or drive to the nearest CBD. Generous helpings of classy dishes at reasonable prices await you at this village bistro down south.

Restaurant and All Things Culinary

Barely a year old, Tito Chef Restaurant is owned by Chef Menoy Gimenez who is one of the founders of Center for Culinary Arts (CCA-Manila). His nephew fondly calls him “Tito Chef” and decided to give his own restaurant the same name, which fits it to a T (pun intended). The interiors are modern but homey, upscale without intimidation - cove lighting, a coffered ceiling, large mirrors and floor-to-ceiling curtains add a luxe feel to the casual setting. The staff also does a good job of making you feel right at home.

The spacious restaurant is divided into six areas: the main foyer, the lounge, the gallery, the lanai or al fresco area and two private rooms for functions and meetings.
Private room
But Tito Chef is not just another neighborhood restaurant and this is where the “All Things Culinary” part comes in. You’ll find their bakeshop at the left side of the entrance where you’ll see the mouth-watering whole cakes inside their fridge and the rows of different pastries and cookies, from Chocolate and Almond Biscotti to Crunchy Cinnamon Bread to Mudslide Cookies. A culinary store and wine repository can be found at the basement, where you can buy different kitchenware, tools and cookbooks.
Gallery area
Aside from that, the whole restaurant serves as an art gallery, with art on display (and for sale) by internationally recognized artist Frederick Epistola.
To my utter glee, Tito Chef’s international menu has Italian and French dishes that I’ve always wanted to try. Being an Italian girl at heart, the Bleu Cheese Alfredo (P265) was more than welcome in my belly. I had reservations with the blue cheese because of a not-so-rosy encounter with it before, but the blue cheese on this dish had just the right sharpness, the amount just enough to make the white sauce’s taste richer.
Bleu Cheese Alfredo
The second entrée was the Cedar Grilled Salmon (P450), which is served with a mesclun salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and pureed potato topped with sour cream and caviar. The salmon was seasoned with a sweet-tasting (which comes from the brown sugar) dry rub and infused with a smoky flavor. The grill marks on the tender fish were beautiful and this has to be one of the best salmon dishes I’ve ever eaten.
Cedar Grilled Salmon
Then came the Osso Buco Milanese (P465) garnished with gremolata (lemon zest, garlic and parsley) and served with a parmesan risotto. The veal was tender and juicy and perfectly paired with the creamy, cheesy risotto.
Osso Buco Milanese
For drinks, I had a tall glass of Cucumber Lime Shake (P155), an unusual flavor for a shake but I enjoyed its refreshing taste.
Cucumber Lime Shake
Familiar strains of Parisian music played in the background while I ate and later on lamented on the reality that I had no more room for dessert. Targets for next visit: Tofu Panna Cotta and Tiramisu.
I went home with a sense of savoir-faire, my love for Italian food notches higher, and thanked the universe that I live in the south metro.

How to get there:
From South Superhighway, exit to Sucat. Then from Sucat Road, turn left to BF Homes entrance and go straight along Presidents Avenue. Tito Chef is on the right side of the road before you reach Tahanan Village.
Establishment Info
Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary
P200 - P499

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