TIME OF YOUR LIFE
Here are two restaurants worth visiting from day to night
Breakfast seems to be a luxury nowadays as we constantly find ourselves skipping it in favor of leaving the house early to avoid the morning rush. But there's simply nothing like taking time to enjoy a cup of coffee with a filling breakfast. If your family is a fan of al fresco dining, Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is one stop you cannot afford to miss.
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo sits in the garden of a colonialstyle home. Proprietor Portia Baluyut describes the 130seat restaurant as " rustic, unpretentious, and homey." The space was designed by Portia's mother, who is an artist. Lamps, shells, bottles, and tiles can be found hung and scattered all over restaurant. Tables and chairs are set up on mini gazebos, so you can still enjoy some privacy even when the restaurant is full. Bestsellers include the quintessential breakfast fares like pancakes and waffles, so don't forget to try the two- piece Real Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon and Hash Brown ( P220) and the Crispy Waffle served with Homemade Pancake Syrup ( P150). Drop by this holiday season to be one of the first to try the newly launched Churros Waffle. For fans of omelet, a must- try is the Meat Lovers ( P190), which has bacon, longganisa, onions, and cheese and is served with bread and jam. For something different, try the Gourmet Hotdog Sandwich ( P240)— hotdog on a bun topped with chili con carne and a sunny- side up egg. Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is open daily from 8 a. m. to 4 p. m. At 6 p. m., it turns into Isabelo's, a reservation- only garden restaurant, so book ahead to sample the dinner menu.
If you're up for some drinks and conversation with friends, head on over to Sidebar, an elegant restaurant from the 1771 Group.
Sidebar's interiors resemble a well-traveled friend's living room: red brick walls are decked with original paintings and trinkets from the owner, Ricky Gutierrez’s travels. A mix of classic, indie, and contemporary rock music plays softly in the background. The bright red chandeliers give the sophisticated bar a splash of color, matching perfectly with the upholstered arm chairs.
Start off your night with a martini, skillfully mixed by Sidebar's well-trained bartenders. For something tangy, try the Lychee Martini (P135). If you prefer something creamy, go for the Choco Martini (P125). To go with your drinks, have some Salbacho Pizza (P420), a thin-crust pizza cleverly named to indicate its toppings: salami, bacon, and chorizo. The Pulled Pork Sliders (P230) is another must-try if you like salty-sweet meat. For the more adventurous, Sidebar has its own take on kilawin— the Salmon Crudo (P280), which is Norwegian salmon cured in coconut vinegar, olive oil, chili, preserved lemon, and spices. The Pinoy favorite, sisig, also makes its appearance in the menu in the form of the Sisig Wrap (P240). The sisig is wrapped in a thin piece of flat bread and is served with a shot of Bacardi.
Sidebar is open from 5 p.m. to midnight on weekdays, and 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays. It can seat about 50-60 people, but can house a total of 80, standing. The menu changes from time to time, so you are sure to get something different every time you set foot inside this hidey-hole.
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo, #11 Isabelo Mendoza St. San Roque, Marikina City. www. rusticmorningsbyisabelo.com. +63(2)510-6914, +63(2)681-2461, +63(917)700-5810. For leisurely mornings with family... Real Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon and Hash Brown