Valentine’s Day, ah L’amour, the day of Love. It only happens once in a year yet it causes a lot of turmoil for couples. There’s always a struggle to find the best restaurant to eat in on Valentine’s Day.
With all other couples also trying to spend a quiet and romantic evening with their partners, how exactly can you and your date enjoy a special night like this? A logical choice would be to pick out a restaurant weeks before the day itself.
If you’re still trying until now to find a good restaurant in Cebu for Valentine’s Day, here are some recommendations and why you might like them.
1. Pasta Bella
Pasta Bella is one of the recently opened restaurants in Cebu City. Its location on the roof deck of KIMA Glass Building in F. Cabahug St. gives it an advantage of a beautiful view and open air to enjoy the evening breeze. The rest of the space is illuminated by string lights, which add a romantic touch at dinner time.
Their great success story comes from humble beginnings, stemming from the Chef’s interest in home-cooked Italian dishes that she served to family and friends. The bestseller, hands down, is their lasagna; which comes in a variety of options fitting the diner’s craving. They offer the Classic All Beef Lasagna, a dish that would bring Garfield to this part of the world. Another must-try dish is the Eggplant Parmigiana that serves as an option for a meatless diet, or the Chicken and Spinach Lasagna; if all else fails.
Other than lasagna, Pasta Bella offers classic Italian pasta dishes such as Aglio Olio, Linguine Meatballs, and the Linguine with Sundried Tomatoes, Pesto and Arugula.
For Valentine’s Day, Pasta Bella has a romantic dinner with acoustic music serenading diners. To know more, call +63 32 514 8865.
Visit Pasta Bella at the roof deck of KIMA Glass Building in F. Cabahug St., Mabolo, Cebu City.
2. Arano’s Bar and Restaurant
Arano’s is one of Cebu’s best kept secrets. It’s a small and cozy Spanish restaurant that’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The adventure begins in finding Señor Arano’s residence, where the Spanish restaurant can be found since 1992. The property is a private compound that was converted into a restaurant with a dining area nestled in a lovely garden.
The unassuming restaurant serves some food fare you’d traditionally find in a Spanish menu. Items like the Lengua, Callos, Gambas, and the Spicy Caldereta are among the local favorites of the Cebuanos. But definitely, you’d be insane not to order the signature Paella; which requires at least two days to order.
Arano’s is located at 31 Fairlane Village, Guadalupe, Cebu City. For instructions on how to get there, call +63 32 256 1934.
3. Circa 1900 Casa Dos
About a couple of years ago, Cebu was astonished when Circa 1900 opened. Many did not know that such a property existed just behind one of the busy areas of the city. When the establishment opened its doors, people were amazed at the old-world charm that the owners were able to encapsulate. Stepping into the property feels like you are leaving the modern world as you enter through the gates of this beautifully preserved home.
After establishing its reputation as the go-to destination for wedding receptions and fine dining options, Circa 1900 opened a new area (still within the same property) called Circa 1900 Casa Dos. Compared with its older brother, Casa Dos has an al fresco, casual vibe to it complete with swimming pool facilities. The extension offers different dining options called Cicada (tapas and comfort food) and The Noshery (gelato and pastries).
There’s also room for function venues Belvedere (open air), Galleria Jereza (enclosed space), and the Swimming Pool area that offers a Dip and Dine option for ₱500 (₱300 consumable on food and drinks, ₱200 as a swimming pool charge). On Valentine’s Day, they will be giving away special cakes to their guests.
Circa 1900 Casa Dos is found at the end of Sanjercasvil Road, Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City. For reservations, call +63 32 417 3886.
4. La Maison Rose
More commonly known as The Pink House, La Maison Rose is a restaurant in Cebu that serves authentic French cuisine. It has been consistently awarded by The Philippine Tatler as one of the Philippines’ Best Restaurants. You can’t leave without trying French classiques like their Le Boeuf Bourguignon, Foi Gras Terrine, and the French Lechon.
Apart from the food, you’ll fall in love with the 19th century Victorian-inspired interior that gives La Maison Rose its signature touch. The lights are designed to produce a dimly-lit ambiance — setting just the right mood for a romantic affair. On one side of the room is a piano sitting ever so lovely, reminiscent of a lost art form.
La Maison Rose can be found along Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City. For reservations, call +63 32 268 5411.
5. No. 9
No. 9 tells the story of two brothers who transformed their 50-year old ancestral home found along, well, No. 9 E. Benedicto St. Whipping up dishes from their childhood, Iñaki and Pepin Martinez take care of the restaurant by themselves. The property has a laid-back ambiance complemented by its floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the beautifully landscaped backyard. When viewed from outside, the home is stylishly surrounded by rising skyscrapers that mold this place into the gem that it is today.
Some of the signature dishes served in the tapas restaurant include Lengua, Escalivada, Fideo Negro, Cerdo, and the Cordero Al Horno.
No. 9 restaurant can be found at #9 E. Benedicto St., Cebu City. For reservations, call +63 32 253 9518.
6. Kayu Kitchen
Cebuanos have a penchant for giving certain words a shorter version when pronouncing them. In this case, Kayu is the contracted version of the word kalayo, the Bisaya term for fire. Looking at Kayu Kitchen’s background, it’s no wonder the owners chose the name for the establishment as it represents the burning passion Cebuanos have for good food.
Where other restaurants try to preserve local cuisine, Kayu aspires to innovate. Armed with the culinary background of Chef Izzy Sy, they are able to satisfy the hunger of Cebuanos for something diverse. Among the best-selling options are the Short Ribs, a dish that takes three days to cook; Glazed Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce, and the photogenic Nutella Cheesecake.
Apart from the appetizing food, Kayu boasts architecture that is inspired by the 1950s as well as intricate interiors designed by the owner Marisse Sy herself.
The family-run Kayu Kitchen + Bar can be found at 32 Sanson by Rockwell, 32 Sanson Road, Lahug, Cebu City. For reservations, call +63 32 516 5842.
7. Cocina de la Casa
Cocina de la Casa is one of the newly opened establishments that can be found smack in the middle of Cebu City. True to its name, the restaurant serves comfort food inspired by the travels of restaurateur, Stephen Aznar. Together with his business partners, Stephen transformed an old white house from the 60s into an elegant restaurant wine lovers will greatly value.
Among the must-trys are the Oriental Spring Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Sauce, Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank with Couscous, or the Cream of Salmon Pasta.
Visit Cocina de la Casa at 6A Morales Street (behind Harold’s Hotel), Kamputhaw, Cebu City. For reservations, call +63 920 958 5117 or +63 32 401 0750.