Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dinner 71 Floors Above Makati at 71 Gramercy

There's nothing quite like dinner high above the city. And 71 floors up, dinner at 71 Gramercy is one of those special places with a bird's eye view of the metro for a unique dinner experience.  

Chef Carlo Miguel matches the dramatic views of the Makati skyline with his elegant cuisine and hand crafted cocktails at 71 Gramercy. Said to be the highest restaurant and bar in the country, there's really nothing quite like an elegant dinner and a few cocktails 71 floors up.

71 Gramercy's two outdoor patios (L) are the perfect spots to catch the sunset as the city below flares up in a blaze of lights for an equally impressive show. A long dining table was set up for the special dinner, and you just know it's one of those truly unique dining experiences, with an unrestricted view of the city at night.

Enjoy the sunset with a classic Negroni, a sweet, bitter, and dry cocktail with gin, Vermouth rosso, and Campari bitters with an orange garnish to match the sun's fiery yet fading light. Go for another round, and a third, to start dinner on the right groove.

The evening's dinner was paired with the a Chardonnay 2013 and Shiraz 2013 from Benchmark of South Australia's Grant Burge Wines. The light appetizers paired perfectly with the Chardonnay, with its light and crisp floral and fruity notes, while the Shiraz, with its deep and robust spicy notes, paired well with the evening's main dishes.

Our dinner 71 floors above Makati began with Chef Carlo Miguel's Asian-inspired Green Tea Cured Salmon with arugula, feta, ginger, and shallots. The creamy and buttery texture and flavors of premium imported salmon are kicked up by the smooth yet distinct notes of the green tea, ginger, and shallots, while the feta adds yet another creamy finish to cap the dish.

French Fine de Claire Oysters, laid on a bed of salt and served with lemon and cocktail sauce, the premium and imported oysters are known for its less fleshy texture and high water content for balanced flavors. The oysters are said to be finished in shallow clay ponds for its distinct clean flavors. A squeeze of lemon is all you need to bring out the fresh flavors of the Fine de Claire oysters.

Chef Carlo Miguel then served his salad course, the elegantly plated Prawn Salad, with grilled prawns and Guimaras mango salsa drizzled with vanilla dressing. The complex blend of flavors and textures, highlighted by the freshness and subtle briny sweetness of the prawns layered with the sweet and tart mango salsa and a hint of vanilla combine seamlessly, with the fresh micro greens adding that minty note and fresh texture to the dish.

Chef Carlo Miguel continued to weave his flavors in another masterful blend with his rustic and comforting Tagliatelle Truffle, with rich and nutty truffle cream, crisp prosciutto and Parmesan topped by a delicate 62 degree egg. Simply break the yolk and mix the pasta to coat each noodle with the egg. The soft yet firm tagiatelle bursts with the indugent richness of the truffles and egg, punctuated by the distinct sharpness of the prosciutto and Parmesan for bold and contrasting notes.

Chef Carlo Miguel then served the first of several main dishes, starting with the Chilean Sea Bass, pan roasted with lemon oil crushed potatoes and eggplant relish.  The infusion of lemon to the mashed potatoes adds a zesty note to the dish, complementing the delicate flavors of the fresh and premium Chilean sea bass.

The signature Gramercy Burger, with its hefty 200 grams of ground US Angus beef chuck, ribeye, and short rib on a homemade soft and light brioche bun topped with Gruyere cheese, mushrooms, and foie gras, is a worthy burger to match the dramatic skyline. Full-flavored, robust, and beefy, with the buttery richness of foie gras, the nutty notes of the mushrooms and creamy flavor of the Gruyere in every bite, it's one seriously good burger. The blend of premium chuck, ribeye and short rib simply elevates the burger to an entirely new level. And 71 floors above Makati, you just can't expect to have anything less.

Pork and Lobster, a slow roasted Berkshire pork belly on green pea puree and marsala sauce with lobster, for a unique surf and turf combo. The richness of the pork is balanced by the subtle briny notes of the lobster, delivering a fresh "snap' in every bite. The green pea puree and rich marsala sauce adds even more layers of flavors to an already flavorful dish.    

Chef Carlo Miguel's creative and playful Breakfast for Dinner is a comforting dish of home cured smoked Berkshire pork belly laid on mushroom and tomato fondant with a perfectly executed 62 degree egg on crisp potato hash. Breakfast for dinner? Absolutely.

But Chef Carlo Miguel is just getting warmed up. The US Angus Choice Grade Tomahawk is a fitting finale to the parade of main dishes, an impressive slab of beef served with fritas, mac & cheese, and creamed spinach. One look, and you just know this is a serious steak.

The beef is juicy and tender, with a texture to remind you that this a slab of premium beef, as you go for another slice. And this one tastes as good as it impressive main dish high above the cityscape.

Dinner continued on a high note, with Chef Carlo Miguel's indulgent desserts and his take on an old family recipe, My Mom's Apple Pie (L), served with vanilla bean ice cream; and a flavorful Almond Tart (R), with strawberries, rhubarb, and burnt butter ice cream...

...the Chocolate and Banana Souffle (L), twice baked with butterscotch sauce and salty peanut ice cream; and probably the best little chocolate cake I've tried yet, Chef Carlo Miguel's over the top #LEGIT Chocolate Cake (R), with three kinds of chocolate offering five kinds of distinct textures...worthy of its very own hashtag.

Another round of the classic Negroni for the road, and one last look at the dazzling lights of the city below and the stars above. Seeing the city 71 floors up seems to put everything in perspective, a unique look at the bigger picture. And with Chef Carlo Miguel's culinary style, the bigger picture just got a whole lot better with richer flavors. And that's what you can expect 71 floors up above the city at 71 Gramercy.

71 Gramercy is located at the 71st Floor of the Gramercy Residences, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City or call 478-8788 for inquiries and reservations. 

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