La Maison Rose + World Pizza + La Vie Parisienne
02.12.2014 - 02.12.2014
Four years ago, my then-girlfriend-now-wife decided to go out on Valentine's Day. The lines at the movies were traumatic. Any place that served dinner whether it be a fastfood joint or a fancy bistro was jam-packed. The 14th of February became one of our least favorite dates to go on a date.
Since then, we spend Valentine's day at home over home-cooked dinner OR we go out before or after the 14th. This year, pre-valentines dinner date won over home-cooked, so we decided to go out and try La Maison Rose/La Vie Parisienne in Cebu City. We have driven by this restaurant several times since it opened around a year ago. You could easily tell that they are packed most of the time since there are cars (double) parked outside everytime we pass by - they have parking spaces inside too, FYI. We finally jumped in the bandwagon to find out what the hype is all about.
I can only imagine how hard parking would be tomorrow because parking was not very easy yesterday, considering that it was a Wednesday night. We almost had a bad experience until the owner (if I heard the security guard right) humbly moved his Porsche 911 and lent his parking slot to my almost beat-up hatchback subcompact.
They did not stop making good first impressions there. We were welcomed with smiling and knowledgeable staff and an iPad which had their menu. As we scrolled through the touchscreen menu, we noticed that there were other establishments inside. The main restaurant was La Maison, serving French, La Vie Parisienne is their bakery/deli, an Ice cream stand (that we decided to ignore and re-visit next time), and World Pizza serving, well, pizza. The waitress gladly told us that we can order from the other stalls, and gave us the World Pizza menu as we requested.
As we waited for the food, we were served complimentary bites. A bite of homemade pasta with pesto (which we initially thought was caviar), a piece of toast topped with tomato and cheese, and a tiny cheese tart. Nothing very notable except that they were free, and that's a good thing.
We ordered Sicilian Pizza, which was topped with anchovy and capers - our favorite. By the way, the pizza menu was extensive since they brag about going "around the world in 80 pizzas". It's named World Pizza, go figure. We liked the crunchy/chewy crust and the generous amount of anchovy put in.
Then came the appetizers. We had their Poached Egg Surprise which was served with Serrano ham and greens. The surprise there was black caviar inside the poached egg. We also had Pumpkin Soup with Truffle Oil topped with walnuts and a piece of toast, and their Cheese Platter, which we paired with croissants and sourdough rolls that we bought from the bakery.
We paired these with a good bottle of white sparkling wine, which I dare not call Champagne, even if it was in their 'Champagne Menu'.
Needless to say, we enjoyed the night. It was easy to overlook the small flaws here and there most especially if you spend the time with someone you love. It's the love month after all, so allow me to be cheesy. The wife went home happy. And you know what they say about happy wives and happy lives.
I am closing this with one assignment though. We passed by the bakery/deli one more time before we left, to find out that the same exact bottle of wine we had was sold there for almost half the price. They have seats at the bakery but they don't serve full dinners, just sandwiches and freshly baked breads.
* Would you go for cheaper priced wine weirdly paired with a sandwich...
...or the same wine for a higher price with better choices for pairing?
- Or can you have dinner at La Maison and order wine at Le Vie?
These questions plus the ice cream stand calls for another visit.