By Alexis Yap
IT WAS going to be a night just like most – a couple of drinks and food selfies before actually eating. But I was gladly wrong. With the right company, it was the perfect recipe to a perfect meal. If non-stop laughter, questioning your soy sauce, appreciating the nose of your whiskey, and consulting with a cruise connoisseur about finally going on your first ever cruise is your idea of an unforgettable evening, then so it was.
Jan Rodriguez of Ila Puti fame is the man behind the Weekend and it was exactly one year ago since my first and only visit to his new (well, now one-year-old) baby at The Greenery. I can’t believe I haven’t gone back since, because tonight, I was reminded of how satisfying both his cocktails and his dishes are. Yes, I use the word “his” because Jan himself creates everything you see on the menu. He is very particular and is very hands-on (literally even) in the kitchen, the bar, and the dining area. And it is obvious from his staff around him who actively strives to do everything just right.
This is the Jan Rodriguez brand that I have personally come to admire through the years. His passion for creating not just a marriage of delicious flavors but, equally as important, also the right experience that should come along with it.
He started us off with a Dark Daiquiri, using aged rum in the concoction – “the perfect way to loosen up everyone,” he said. It sure did the trick as we all started settling down and got comfortable in our seats.
For starters, we got to try The Salmon Kinilaw canapé style, a dish that isn’t on the menu and will be served Poke Bowl style when it debuts. It will be another sure hit as everybody loved it.
He calls his salad Jupiter’s Acorn, a nice, refreshing combination of candied walnuts and sliced apples with romaine lettuce and arugula in maple vinaigrette, blue cheese and yogurt.
Our pasta dish was a decadent shitake and shimeji Mushroom Popper Dell in cream tarragon and prosciutto oil. It was then followed by my favorites: the Bourbon Bacon Steak, The Fat Bastard, and The Weekend Ribeye. Believe me, it was every carnivore’s dream.
The casting that night was perfect and so were the people! Tita Honey Loop of The Philippine Star was with Tito Glenn, her husband. There was Kalami Cebu’s Carlo Olano with his camera of course… The one and only Dr. Nestor Alonzo whose pearls of wisdom are truly valuable… The incomparable Patty Taboada and Anton Java of Platform Social Media and Public Relations… and “Puti” himself, the passionate Jan Rodriguez who is one of the very few people who can successfully coerce me to a couple of cocktails. Can you really blame the girl?
It is Weekend’s first anniversary and it is clearer now how its name lives up to its promise of providing the perfect concoction to simulate a weekend to let your hair down and unwind. More than its good food and drinks, its cozy and upscale interiors, and its impeccable service, the right company will surely complete the formula to a great weekend any day of the week.
Cheers to the Weekend! Happy birthday!