Moms' Pre-Christmas Night Out at The Bayleaf in Intramuros

First Friday of the month: Food and Dining

Umpisa na ng mga Christmas get-togethers. My December calendar is getting filled and I can already feel the festive mood in the air. I haven't completed my gift shopping yet (panic mode) but I've already blocked the dates for holiday dinners and parties. The first for this season was a night out with friends at The Bayleaf hotel.

I think it was the first time for most of us to visit The Bayleaf, a charming modern boutique hotel on Muralla street in Intramuros, Manila. Chef Carlo Santiago, the executive chef, is the brother of our friend Eliza. She organized this Christmas dinner many weeks ago so her brother can prepare something special for us. Hearing rave reviews about the food there, I was so stoked especially after I saw the drool-worthy menu for our dinner.

Last Wednesday night, the #TitasXmasDinner happened at Raffaele restaurant, with the chef's specialties paired with three different bottles of wine throughout dinner.

First 6 titas to arrive, with Chef Carlo

Let the food porn and chikkahan begin.

Eto, welcome bread -- tinapay palang panalo na! =) I think we had two additional requests for more tasty toasty bread with balsamic-oil dip.

Top photo shows the Gamberetti -- this video will show you how it sizzled when it arrived on our table. Succulent shrimps in oil, lemon, garlic, chili, and almonds. Remember, we asked for more bread -- to dip and wipe off the garlic oil, yummeh! Watch this!

There were two kinds of salads:
The classic Caesar Romaine with smoked anchovy dressing and chunks of pancetta, and the Uva with seedless grapes, almonds, candied walnuts and ricotta -- a refreshing salad that we all loved. Clean plates lahat!

Before the food came out, we ordered a bottle of chilled Collavini Pino Grigio (below, rightmost), perfect with the starters. 

Starters pa lang ubos na ang first bottle of wine, heehee... *hick*.  I also brought a bottle of my all-time favorite Beringer White Zinfandel (below, in wineglasses). It was opened right after we finished the pinot grigio and aptly paired with the pizza and pasta.
The Broquel Malbec was the second bottle we ordered, a red wine we paired with the main dish. (Right photo by chef Carlo)

Raffaele is famous for their woodfired pizza, and rightfully so coz they don't scrimp on the ingredients. You can see, smell, and taste the freshness of the toppings and crispy-chewy texture of the crust.

Quattro, made with gorgonzola, provolone, mozzarella and parmesan, on a perfectly-baked crust -- a cheese-lover's dream. My kids will surely devour this one.

Pizza alla Pescatora was more hearty, which I liked very much. Loaded with assorted seafood, mozzarella and fragrant basil.

I love pasta. I cook and eat pasta a lot, and I can honestly say, these two are some of the best I've had.

Riccio di Mare was unique and bursting with flavor -- that's the sea urchin on spaghetti with pesto, chilis, lemon, and bottarga (cured fish roe). Simot na simot, bitin! =)

I can't refuse truffle-infused dishes. This Tartufo Funghi was also a winner for me! Penne with assorted mushrooms cooked in brandy, truffle cream and pecorino sauce -- simple, delicious.

The meats are here! Bring out the red(wine)! =)

Agnello -- I'm not a fan of lamb but these ribs were really tender and well-seasoned, served with garlic potatoes, arugula, and mint jelly. The rest of the ladies who love lamb really enjoyed this one.

The Angus Bistecca was my kind of meat. A perfect medium, seared angus ribeye in aged balsamic and sea salt with lots of roasted garlic, potato fries, and arugula. Excellent.

The eight full, happy, and very satisfied mamas with chef Carlo, who offered to serve our desserts at the Sky Deck View Bar. Let's go!

The cool December evening was just perfect. We all brought up our wine glasses (see bottom photo). Siyempre tuloy ang inuman at kwentuhan sa Sky Deck.

Our view from the top. That's the Manila clock tower all lit up. Beautiful!

We got to relish the sweet endings with a magnificent view of the Manila skyline under the moon and stars.  Bagay sa mga gustong mag date under the stars! =)

Two ways with chocolate.

After-dinner coffee with this light Tiramisu con Chocolat and decadent Dolci al Cioccolato

I preferred this warm chocolate cake with crème anglaise -- moist, dense and dark. Sweetented just right. I think I ate more than my share of this dessert! 

Lahat masarap, I swear! Kudos to the chef! The whole set menu was value for money, even the wine we ordered were very good!

It's always a riot with this bunch (missing a few who didn't make it) and this was really a night to remember. Great company and superb dishes by chef Carlo. What started out as casual blogger "Tweet-ups" years ago over coffee or milk tea has now evolved into more meaningful ties among moms, bonding over gourmet food and wine. Nag-mature na kami! =) 

This #TitasXmasDinner was the beginning of more "sophisticated" nights out with these mamas, for sure, hahahaha!

Cheers, from The Bayleaf elevator! Happy holidays!
Instagram Photo by Eliza @momama_ph
From back left: Jenny, Rone, Kris, Cai, me, Neva   Front: Eliza and Jen

The Bayleaf Intramuros
Sky Deck View Bar
Muralla corner Victoria streets

Intramuros, Manila

Tel: (632) 3185000  /  3283170

Email: inquiry@thebayleaf.com.ph

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