Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Tomahawk and Speakeasy at Dillingers 1903 Steak and Brew

Not many bars have great food to go with their cocktails. And rarer still to find a bar with great food and cocktails, and two cool bars in one venue. Now you can have a great dinner, a few cocktails, and go to another bar for more cocktails without even leaving the place. Now how cool is that?

Since it first opened three years ago, Dillingers 1903 Steak and Brew has redefined the bar and pub slash bistro scene with great cocktails and great food. More than the usual pub grub, the new menu at Dillingers includes a wide selection of dishes and flavors, comfort food and international classics, elevating bar chow to a whole new level. Named after the notorious Depression-era gangster, the interiors of Dillingers exude an old world yet casual vibe with the use of dark wood and colors, just the place for a few drinks. And yes, even dinner.

Dillingers' signature Sliders, a combo featuring the classic Burger, Cheeseburger and the Western Bacon Burger, all in deceptively small bite-sized servings yet can actually be quite filling. The mini patties are thick and juicy, and the veggies round out the flavors. Large thick-cut fries are served on the side. Two or three Sliders would be more than enough for those with smaller appetites. Dillingers also serves the larger All American Burger in case you're seriously hungry or flying solo.

Buffalo Wings are mandatory for any self-respecting bar, and Dillingers' version is quite good. Perfectly cooked and crisp wings tossed in Dillingers' very own secret buffalo sauce, served with blue cheese dip and thick-cut fries topped with cheese, bacon and jalapenos. Perfect with a few beers.

Gambas, plump shrimps sauteed in olive oil, fresh tomatoes and mushroom sauce with loads of garlic. Light with rich flavors, a perfect starter and great with a few cocktails.

Salpicao, tender beef cubes sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Seriously good, I had to restrain myself from ordering some garlic rice...

Clam Chowder Soup served on a bread roll, loaded with fresh clams, bacon, potatoes, onions, celery and carrots. The chowder is thick and creamy, comforting and filling.

A smooth and refreshing Dillingers Sour, just a preview of some of Dillingers' award-winning cocktails, a cool blend of JW Black and red wine with cheery liqueur, fresh strawberry, raspberry syrup and grenadine.

If you're in the mood for something heavier, try Dillingers' Locomoco, an all-beef patty on jambalaya rice topped with a sunny side up with a distinct pineapple gravy. Complex flavors that work quite well together, definitely new and different.

Cajun Grouper, a light yet flavorful dish with grilled cajun seasoned grouper topped with fresh mango-tomato salsa. The subtle flavors of the grilled grouper are complemented by the salsa, delivering full flavors without the guilt. Then the next dish arrived...

This. Dillingers' Tomahawk, a 42 oz bone-in premium ribeye seasoned and grilled perfectly, served with red demi-glace wine sauce, rock salt and creamy mac & cheese. As soon as the huge chopping board was laid on the table, there was a spontaneous cheer...I'm told Dillingers' Tomahawk has that effect. And rightly so, this slab of premium meat, all 2.625 pounds, is probably one of the best ribeyes in the metro.

Perfect for sharing, each tender slice is perfectly grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center. Add a pinch of salt and that's really all you'll need for steak this good. Rich, beefy and buttery, with the right blend of red meat and fat for added flavor.

This alone is worth a visit to Dillingers. A slab of premium beef on a wooden board...just can't get better than that. Seriously good.

For dessert, try Dillingers' very own Chocolate Lava Cake, served in a martini glass. A perfect ending to any meal at Dillingers. But hang on, you can't leave just yet...

After dinner and dessert, it was time to check out Dillingers'  back room for some cool cocktails. Inspired by real speakeasies during the prohibition era, the deceptively simple entrance reveals an entirely new and hidden section of Dillingers. Aptly named Prohibition, the speakeasy-inspired joint is the place for some of the coolest cocktails in the metro.

Beyond the simple and austere steel door is an entirely new venue, with a much cooler and different vibe. Award-winning bartender Sam Alcantara at the bar, preparing some of Prohibition's signature cocktails.

I go for an old personal favorite, and Prohibition's version of Old Fashioned just hits he spot, a traditional and clean blend of Scotch and orange bitters. Prohibition's master mixer and winner of Diageo Reserve World Class 2013 Bartender of the Year Allan King-Roxas has more concoctions up his sleeve. With ten new signature cocktails, there should be one with your name on it. Coffee? Try Prohibition's Black Coffee, a smooth blend of JW Black, creme de cacao, Drambuie, port wine with a dash of cinnamon and coffee beans. And there's a cool little fire show when they prepare this drink. Sweet and Spicy? Go for the Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Martini, a cool mix of fresh cucumber, red hot siling labuyo, sugar syrup with Tanqueray Gin. Tequila? Try the Kin Kan, a tequila-based cocktail with kumquats, basil leaves, agave syrup and fresh lemon juice. Still can't decide? Leave it to Allan and Sam to come up with an interesting potion just for you.

For something unique and different, go for Prohibition's rum-based cocktail infused with popcorn...sweet with a refreshing kick. Different, fun, guaranteed to a leave a smile.

A Tomahawk and a Speakeasy. All in one place. Check out Dillingers' new menu, and don't miss Prohibition's new signature cocktails. And you can do both without stepping out. Now that's cool.

Dillingers 1903 Steak and Brew is located at the 3rd Floor, Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Ayala Center, Makati or call 621-6790 for inquiries and reservations. Visit their cool Facebook Page at for more information.

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  1. Pass that plate of ribeye over, Please! Gorgeous foods!

    1. Hi Angie, the Tomahawk was awesome! Great to hear from you!

  2. It looks delicious, just love your photography

  3. Wow! I think we should try here. Yummy! Thanks for the info!


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