Lunch at “Buon Giorno!” in Tagaytay

I have never written a restaurant review in this blog before. Not only does it not naturally fit my overall theme or thrust, but I am the farthest thing from a food critic — I love all food! Nonetheless, I’m making an exception for this one.

It was a welcome break from the past two weeks and that alone makes it noteworthy. However, add to that the fact that they have really good food and my message is clear — thank you to Mark and Linda, and to everyone else, please visit them!

Me with Mark, Linda and son, JonathanBuon Giorno! (Good Day!) is owned by Mark and Linda Floro, a photographer and food stylist team that no doubt makes for a great, solid couple. My mom used to work closely with Mark when he used to do their photography work for their ads. Now that it has been a while since my mom has retired from advertising, this has been a pleasant reunion of sorts. The couple have long wanted our family to drop by their restaurant.

Their menu is undoubtedly Italian. I’ll be honest: Italian food isn’t my favorite. With all its breads and pastas, I find Italian to be quite a cheat — they get you full before you taste anything. Thus I don’t have high expectations for Italian. I just expect to get full, taste some tomatoes and that’s it. I rather have it with no pretensions and get by with restaurants like Italianni’s or Don Henrico’s. Once in a while however, there are Italian restaurants that drop the get-you-full-and-drown-you-in-tomato-sauce mentality and treat you to taste sensations almost as colorful as Chinese or Thai. One that comes quickly to mind is Cibo. Now add to the list, Buon Giorno!

The servings are generous without being excessively hefty. Everything is cooked after you order, and their herbs are rich and fresh. (I had the pleasure of visiting the couple’s garden home where they raise all the herbs they use for their restaurant.) The tomatoes are luscious and don’t taste like can. I’ve had the pleasure of ordering their salmon and asparagus risotto which was rather good if only I wasn’t too full already (we’ve been eating since 9AM actually). The rest of our table was filled with salads, pastas and pizzas.

To have a better idea of what Buon Giorno! is all about — and apologies to those who don’t frequent Tagaytay — think Antonio’s given a healthy shot of Italian and a more reasonable price. (Those who frequent Antonio’s, give these guys your money instead. They have breakfast too.) The place is excellent, the interiors are wonderful, and a visit feels like one of those great escapes. While located in the Cliffhouse Plaza shared by stalls such as FIC, Cafe Breton and Yellow Cab, Buon Giorno! is on a league all its own. It is already a very successful pit stop favored by a lot of travelers — it was the only restaurant in that plaza with people waiting outside for a table.

Mark and Linda, congrats to all the success and I wish you the best of luck in your Shaw Blvd. branch! Yes, people, they’re coming here to Manila very soon. But of course, Tagaytay will always be a different experience all together. Whether you’re a family celebrating good times or a couple on quality time, this place is for you. Today however, was all about family.

Our little trip to Tagaytay was also a get-together with one of our family friends, the Veloso family. While Tony (blue at center) has given me a sideline as of late, I really haven’t seen my Tita Chinky (third from left) in a long time. She is one of my mom’s favorite friends and an avid reader of this blog. Here’s a special shout out to you! Today was really, really fun. I can’t believe we haven’t stopped eating since 9AM and thanks for all our side trips. I’m sure they’ll all come in handy in my next trip to Tagaytay which is bound to be very soon.

Thanks for this wonderful Sunday!

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3 thoughts on “Lunch at “Buon Giorno!” in Tagaytay

  1. Buon Giorno will be coming to Shaw Blvd. in a couple of months. The lamb is a must try, too. Watch for it! You must try Tagayaty though since there is a most popular, much-booked Opium Bed by the veranda that offers an unobstructed view of Taal Lake. They’ll serve you wine and dinner there. Call first to reserve this best seat in the house. Yesterday it was drizzling, bit foggy and so cool, a perfect day at Buon Giorno!

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