An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour in Tuscany at McKinley Hill

Let it be put on record that am mighty proud of the restaurant scene in Manila. It takes a native to see the diversity of offerings, the variety of cuisines and the excellence of the food available in town now. I love learning how young Filipinos, after being schooled in the great culinary traditions of New York, Vancouver, Sydney or wherever, are coming home to set up shop and pay it forward.Indeed, no longer shall we be called a Third World country if only for this!

In the meantime, new fabulous places in town are sprouting up like the latest strip of Megaworld Corp. called Tuscany at McKinley Hill which is dotted with the latest must-go-to restaurants in the metro.Almost adjacent to the Venice Piazza, I love how the restos were carefully curated so that they are not the same in terms of the menu and cuisine.

Foodies Tour

As a baptism of fire to the great food offerings of the restos in Tuscany at McKinley Hill, we highly recommend joining An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour being organized by top restaurant blogger Anton Diaz and his business partner RJ Ledesma. This will be held on four Saturdays (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 & 21)… a value-for-money treat where you will sample approximately 20 dishes from 8 restaurants for only P1,000. Not a bad deal!

Here’s my own experience of the foodie tour that was held for the media. The evening started sampling a glass of red wine and another of white wine in Planet Grapes. This is a wine place which has a unique vending machine, aside from its extensive collection of bottles from all over the world. There is also a wine connoisseur on standby.

Planet Grapes

Afterwards it was time to go Italian at Trattoria Poggio Antico where we had more wine and food. One good thing with tours like this, you get to share laughs with like-minded foodies. Dieting is never an option :)

Awesome Secret Foodies Tour

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11 dishes in 11 restaurants for P550 at Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill

If you’re looking to go on a food trip this weekend, we recommend getting the Food Adventure Passport at Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill which is ongoing every Saturday of July.

For only P550, you get to sample the 11 specialty dishes of 11 restaurants at the Venice Piazza, one of the bustling restaurant strips in the Fort area. Plus you get bonus gelato and frozen yogurt from Yo Swirls and more discounts from the restos with every purchase. Isn’t that great?

Venice Piazza

We were certainly glad to be at the Venice Piazza last weekend to have a taste of the Food Adventure. It seems the place has changed a lot since we last visited a year ago and there are more restaurants open now. There was even a night market going on and a kids’ playground that was a perfect complement to the piazza’s open space.No doubt, this area wil be a one-of-a-kind destination, especially when the Venice-themed gondolas are in full gear.

In the meantime, there’s the food! I really loved the seafood plates that was on offer for Food Adventure passport holders.

The butter ginger crab claws from The Red Crab Alimango House made my night. Mostly because it’s been a long time since I ate those claws :D The staff provides diners with a bib, wooden mallet and block for an easy time eating the crabs.

Red Crab

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A P600 four-course meal at Harry’s Bar, Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill

We’ve eaten a few times at the fairly new Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill, the latest restaurant strip to open near the Fort. I hear the whole complex has a Venetian theme and there will even be those faux gondolas in the future. It all sounds exciting, but the restaurants we’ve tried on this strip has so far been wanting. Old Vine Grille was a costly disappointment and Stackers burgers weren’t really as juicy and tasty as one expects to be. I am forever waiting for Ristras Mexican Grill to open, mostly because San Juan is a long drive from where we live. But the Ristras branch in Venice Piazza is taking so long to be unveiled.

It was good that hubby’s gut feel led us to the doorsteps of Harry’s Bar & Italian Restaurant, a small trattoria by any standard but very much welcoming with its white chairs and multi-colored plate setting. Silly me even had to ask the server if the resto had any sister-companies and his mention of Trattoria Gourmet (in Shang-ri La Mall) and L’Opera (in The Fort) certainly made us decide to finally sit down for dinner. :D

Harry's Bar & Italian Restaurant

The menu wasn’t a long one, and if one prefers to take the hassle out of ordering, one can just opt for their current promotion – four courses for P600, plus free brewed coffee or tea.I think this price is reasonable enough, considering how expensive it is to dine in a “good” Italian restaurant.

So yes, this is what hubby had for his four courses:

Verdure alla Grilla or Grilled Vegetables in balsamic dressing for the antipasto. The zucchini and eggplants that went with this salad were roasted just right.

Harry's Bar & Italian Restaurant

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