After a fun, but hot beach weekend in Nasugbu, I decided to treat the family to a relaxing and cool Sunday lunch atop Tagaytay ridge; the first place that came to mind: Chateu Hestia. Nestled amongst the rolling pineapple orchards that flank the volcanic ridge, CH is both a meticulously tended tropical garden (complete with a breezy lawn for outdoor dining and an African inspired suspension bridge!) and a quaint European tavern replete with heirlooms from the Fil-Austrian proprietors' family and charming paintings by Juliana, their 9 year old daughter.
The menu is a mélange of tasty Austrian family recipes and innovative Asian-inspired twists on classic European dishes. Not to be missed are the French onion soups, "cheesy" pizza, and the fresh salads; worth savoring are the locally brewed liqueurs and home made ice creams as well.
Most notable, and this is always the winning recipe in my book, is the hands-on service of Lope (one of only 2 very capable wait staff) and of Johanness (the proprietor himself).
Dining at CH is always a familial experience to me -- it's almost like going home to the Austrian family I never had!