We’ve passed Mano’s Greek Taverna in Tagaytay so many times in the past but we never dined there. Many reasons. First, I’m wary of restaurants that claim to serve authentic regional cuisines but are nothing but trying-hard copycats. Second, my daughters are even more wary than I am. Third, we are relatively unfamiliar with Greek food and we didn’t really know what to expect.
Then, last Saturday, we finally decided to try Mano’s Greek Taverna. We arrived in Tagaytay at around 2.30 p.m. for a three day-stay, we hadn’t had lunch yet, so, after dumping our bags in the house where we were staying, by 3.30 p.m., we were off for a very late lunch.
The lateness of the hour proved fortunate since there were very few diners and parking was ample (Mano’s Greek Taverna has meagre parking space on its frontage).
The dining room is not air-conditioned — not many restaurants in Tagaytay are air-conditioned since tourists flock there for the naturally cool air and it shouldn’t have been a problem, really, except that we’re in the midst of El Niño and it was humid.
The interior is simply designed. Blue and white tablecloths — the colors of the Greek flag — which echo the facade.
Empty bottles of Green wine, and posters and prints depicting Greek sceneries adorned the walls.
I ordered the chicken a la Corfu, a sweet and slightly sour stew with a succulent whole chicken quarter topped with greens which appeared to be spinach and leeks. Raisins provided the sweet flavor.
Since my chicken a la Corfu came with neither bread nor rice, I ordered Greek bread on the side. It was 3.30 and I hadn’t had lunch — I needed the bread.
Sam had the beftekia scaras — grilled patties made with minced beef, French bread, milk, red wine, olive oil, egg, salt and pepper.
Speedy opted for the koptoupolo scaras — grilled chicken marinated in olive oil, vinegar, salt and oregano.
Alex, the pasta fiend, had baked macaroni with minced meat.
And how was the food? Except for Alex who said my baked macaroni is better, we were happy with what we ordered. I tasted Sam’s patties and Speedy’s grilled chicken and I loved them both as much as I loved my stew. In fact, if Mano’s Green Taverna serves authentic Greek food, then, I can say that I’ve fallen in love with Green cuisine — to the point that I will try and make the stew, patties and grilled chicken at home. Very soon.
And the price? All four dishes but two extra orders of French fries came to a little over a thousand pesos. Not bad.
And the service? Ah, now that’s where things fell short of my expectations. When we wanted more drinking water, Speedy had to walk up to the waiters’ station to ask. After our orders were served, no one was checking if we needed anything else. Apart from that, well, we were happy. Happy enough to go back there.