I had the opportunity of dining in Napa Restaurant & Bar one January evening with blogger friends --- those who I had the honor of working with at last year's FBW 1st Grand Eyeball. The admins and I wanted to treat the volunteers from that event to a thanksgiving dinner of sorts. Thus our post-Christmas gathering at NAPA.
NAPA is actually a casual dining restaurant in Quezon City (by Scout Borromeo). A nice place where warm greetings will immediately welcome you. The food establishment that serves both American and Italian dishes looked a lot like a cozy and stylish home. But other than that, the beautiful interiors of NAPA was also inspired by the rustic vineyards of Napa Valley in San Francisco, and was lovingly designed by Cynthia Gaerlan.
I actually came a few minutes after 6 PM. But I was still able to sample the appetizers that were served earlier that night.
The Very Veggie Crisps (P165) was our meal starter. This bowl of tasty treats consisted of yellow and purple fries that were cut thinly and were fried to perfection. It blended well with the capers-mayo dip too. Now, the best part about these veggie chips was that it didn't feel greasy to the touch. It may look ordinary. But it certainly tasted good.
The Buffalo Wings (PHP 235) were actually a personal favorite. This would have to be a staple for me whenever I frequent American restaurants. So I was quite pleased when we were served this spicy yet sweet dish. The Buffalo wings were 'hot' but was still pleasing to the palate. The sweetness in the recipe also helped balance out the spiciness of the wings. I loved it even more when dipped in sour cream. And since I'm a sucker for celery sticks, I ate those too. =P
The next dish that I was able to taste was the Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Dip (P270). I probably had a couple of these bite-size treats while waiting for the Entrées to be served. This dish was made with 4 kinds of cheeses that were garnished on top of several toasted breads. These were also topped with chicken chunks and spinach.
The Entrées were the best ones yet! By the time the main dishes were served to us, more of our blogger friends arrived.
A picture can paint a thousand words. But this Pork Chop Grande (P450) tasted better in actual. I never thought that I would be able to taste something as juicy and perfectly seasoned as this slab of meat. Cutting through the grilled pork chop was a smooth one. And each bite literally exploded with tastes unimaginable. Of course, it was marinated with Napa's special mix of spices, whilst slathered with wine reduction sauce. It was also paired with steamed rice and buttered vegetables.
The Sicilian Chicken (P420) would have to be a personal favorite of mine. I love how the salsa complemented the grilled chicken breast, mashed potato and buttered vegetables. It was delish! It was a perfectly marinated chicken that was worth indulging on.
ITALIAN AT ITS BEST!
The food servings didn't end there. After a round of American dishes, came some Italian food afterwards. NAPA's house iced Tea was also the perfect thirst quencher that evening.
Our group was served sumptuous bowls filled with Pasta Gamberi (P360). Our tomato based pasta treat was cooked with a generous batch of shrimps, along with some sauteed pieces of garlic, chili and olive oil. I actually had to drink my anti-histamine medicine just so I could taste this slightly spicy, seafood dish.
Along with our pasta, came two kinds of Pizza's: a pan each of Cinco Formaggio (P420) and Vegetarian Panizza (P395).
The Vegetarian Panizza was a winner for me! You can either eat it flat or roll it along with some alfalfa sprouts and arugula. It simply reminded me of Yellowcab's 'Dear Darla' pizza. The Italian dish, which consisted of pomodoro pizza sauce, mozarella cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, tasted better with some of Napa's SUPER Chili oil. It had a kick that your throat would certainly roar about.
I also enjoyed the Cinco Formaggio, which was 'brick-oven-cooked'. The pizza also consisted of 5 kinds of cheeses: cheddar, swiss cheese, blue cheese, mozzarella and kesong puti. Yes, our very own kesong puti was also mixed into this tasty creation.
I was already full with tasting everything that was placed on our table. But it didn't stop me from getting a few bites out of the desserts that were also served to us that night. The Mango Torte (P165) and the Lava Cake (P190) were quite decadent!
The Mango Torte was layered with cream, wafers, cashews and walnuts, whilst topped with a generous serving of sliced mangoes.
I'm a chocolate person, so the Lava cake won me over more than the first dessert. I loved the Mango Torte too. But the chocolate syrup that oozed out of the Lava cake was more delectable to both my eyes and mouth. It was even more perfect when paired with the Vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly!
COMPLIMENTS TO NAPA'S TEAM!
My friends and I really enjoyed the meals that were served to us. We sent our personal compliments to Chef Joseph Apolinario, and of course to Sir Rich Ilustre for hosting our dinner that night. The food was sumptuous and was perfectly presented, along with the cozy ambiance that surrounded us that evening. When I left the place, I knew that it won't be my last visit.
SOMETHING SPECIAL, PERHAPS?
You can experience the same tasty dishes, cozy ambiance and friendly service by visiting Napa's, especially now that their offering their Lunch Specials.
And since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, how about bringing your special someone to Napa's for a romantic night out. They're hosting a Valentine's special with 5 courses for just P950. Quite affordable, right?
ENDING THE NIGHT RIGHT
Of course, what better way than to end this delicious entry by posting a photo of us beside the awesome chef of NAPA. Truly, it was a gastronomic experience worth coming back to.
Explore & Be Free!
*Photo Credits to Sumi of The Purple Doll and NAPA.