Monday, December 3, 2012

A Piece of Napa in Quezon City

Sometimes you find great food in the most unexpected places. Tucked away in Quezon City is a culinary gem specializing in classic Italian American comfort food, a cool find that's worth the drive. 

Formerly Bistro Napa located at Il Terrazo also in Quezon City, the owners decided to move to a new location, converting a residential space to house the new Napa Restaurant and Bar. The fun and eclectic mix of wooden and wicker chairs with wrought iron chairs and plush sofas add to the overall charm of the place.  The overall look emphasizes relaxed dining, an appropriate backdrop to Napa Restaurant and Bar's cuisine. A piece of the wine country in the middle of Quezon City. And with the new location comes an updated menu, with a focus on comfort food like pizza, pasta and other popular favorites. 

Napa Restaurant and Bar's cool interiors immediately makes one feel at home. And since the restaurant is in a converted house, this homey and casual vibe is felt in every corner.  

The different areas of the former house is maximized with different dining spaces, offering open as well as intimate corners, private function rooms, including al fresco dining. Perfect for large gatherings or an intimate dinner for two. Very cool.

I was fortunate to be part of a group of bloggers invited to sample some of Napa Restaurant and Bar's  signature dishes last week, a cool dining experience where the food and place complemented each other perfectly. Appetizers were served, starting with the Very Veggie Crisps (P 145), with a side of sour cream, a cool twist on chips. Veggies never tasted this good...

This was then followed by the Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Dip (P 240), rich and creamy chicken served on warm toasted bite-sized crostini for a nice blend of flavors and textures...

...and a familiar and comforting favorite, Buffalo Wings (P 210) with celery sticks and blue cheese dip. A mild spicy glaze over crisp chicken, a rich blue cheese dip, always a perfect combo.

A refreshing Chef's Chopped Salad (P 275) came next, with tender strips of chicken breast, ham, crisp bacon bits, and Napa's special dressing. The deliciously crisp greens, the sweet and tart dressing, and the various meats combine well for another great starter. Next up, rustic pizzas baked in a traditional wood-fired brick oven...

Napa offers quite a selection of pizzas prepared the traditional way. A cool feature at Napa is the old world wood burning brick oven located in one of the dining areas where you can see pizzas prepared and baked right before you.

And just after a few minutes, the fresh baked pizzas are ready to serve.

The Cinco Formaggio (P 420), yup, not just four cheeses, but five. A cool blend of mozzarella, cheddar, swiss cheese, blue cheese and kesong puti (local white cheese).

Each bite provides a delicious burst of flavor, as you can taste the sharpness of the blue cheese in one bite, and a mild, creamy mozzarella in another. The subtle notes of the cheddar then completes the flavors in another bite, while the tart kesong puti adds in a new flavor in another bite.

Next, the High Protein Panizza (P 550), thin crust pizza topped with pepperoni and served with fresh arugula,  alfalfa sprouts and chili oil.

And part of the fun is topping the slices of thin crust pizza with fresh arugula and alfalfa, then rolling it. Drizzle some chili oil before rolling the pizza, for a little extra kick. Nothing like the taste of pizza fresh from the oven. Then, the mains arrived... 

Sicilian Chicken (P 375), perfectly grilled chicken breast marinated in a blend of spices topped with tart, fresh salsa with a side of light, fresh pasta and buttered vegetables. The tender slices of chicken breast are richly enhanced by the salsa, a hearty and filling main dish.

Beef Cabernet (P 430), tender braised beef with red wine reduction and served with rich and creamy mushroom risotto and buttered vegetables. The risotto is a perfect side for this hefty dish, the rich buttery texture complementing the savory beef.

Pasta Gamberi (P 320), fat and juicy shrimps in a richly spiced sauce, almost like spicy gambas on pasta, a nice new twist on the usual pasta dish. The rich pomodoro sauce covers each noodle for full flavors in every bite. 

Pork Chop Grande (P 395), large juicy pork chops perfectly grilled drizzled with a tasty red wine reduction, served with rich and creamy mashed potatoes and buttered vegetables.

The pork chops were richly flavored, perfect with the red wine sauce and mashed potatoes, classic comfort food.  

To cap the evening, we were served some of Napa Restaurant and Bar's signature desserts. First up, The Triple Chocolate Mousse (P 150), a decadent layered dessert with white and dark chocolate, perfect for chocoholics...

Dayap Dulce de Leche (P 95), moist and not too sweet, with just a subtle note of dayap (local lime) to complement the sweet layers of smooth dulce de leche. And the almonds add a nice texture as well, rounding off the flavors.

Napa Restaurant and Bar also served its newest dessert, with their take on the popular Red Velvet. Rich, creamy and not too sweet, perfect with a cup of brewed coffee.

And finally, Napa Restaurant and Bar's bestseller, the Lava Cake (P 190), moist chocolate cake with thick chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream. Seriously, what's not to like?

It was amazing to sample a full range of signature dishes in one evening, but there are still so many more dishes to try at Napa Restaurant and Bar. It's definitely one cool spot to check out in Quezon City. Special thanks to Chef Lanie Lim and her kitchen staff, and for an awesome dinner.

Napa Restaurant & Bar is located at No. 12 Scout Borromeo, South Triangle, Quezon City or call 414-8272 for inquiries and reservations.

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  1. Too bad I was too tired to attend this event. I wanted to try their Buffalo Wings. :|

    1. hey mich, the food was great! Great to hear from you!

  2. Sounds like a great place, those buffalo wings look amazing!

    1. Hi Caroline, the wings were awesome! Great to hear from you, Caroline!

  3. That flat bread pizza looks so good! Great place!

    1. Hi Marina, it was great specially with the fresh arugula and alfalfa sprouts, great to hear from you Marina!

  4. Meat! Pizza! Pasta! Desserts!! You are one lucky dude this looks like a fine, fine meal you had. Happy for you, buddy. I'd seriously love to eat everything. It's times like these that make me really want to visit the US! And when I do, you have to take me out for food to show me around haha....... Whenever that may be eh? Guess you can say one can only dream, sigh

    1. hey Winston, thanks bud! It was an awesome dinner, from starters to desserts! Great to hear from you bud!


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