The Line: A combination of excellent food and impeccable service to provide you the perfect dining experience in a comfortable setting.
The Bait: Good steaks, according to glowing reviews
The Hook: An extensive menu and like the line says, impeccable service
The Sinker: Always crowded
The Catch: P1,000++ per head, excluding wine
"Ano! Foie Gras na naman!" Okay, that sounds terribly noveau. And it was meant as a joke. But half meant after all the rich food we've had during the holidays. So even if it's our anniversary dinner, we were hankering for something that resembled comfort food. Duo is not the obvious place to find comfort food, but we've been wanting to try it for a long time.
For starters we had Seared Tuna Sashimi (P320). Good, but nothing beats the first time I've had something like this at Good Earth. Then we had Beef Carpaccio (P345). Mmmm. I'm trying to stop my eyes from rolling up as I remember it. It tasted divine and so fresh I could imagine the cow grazing just hours before it selflessly dedicated its life to us. The carpaccio was topped by this very refreshing vegetable, which the waiter told us was miniature arugula. Of course, we had to order the famous Tessie Tomas Salad (P390 for small and P675 for large), which tosses together roasted prawns, salmon, shitake mushrooms, and greens. What I loved about the salad is the not-so-ordinary balsamic dressing; very, very good.. And the small sized order is quite satisfying.
Good start. Okay, those were not necessarily comfort food but we were comforted by how good everything tasted and the fact that the good reviews were not just hype.
Moving on to our entrees. The menu presented an overwhelming list of steaks, seafood, and steak and seafood combinations. We were intrigued by the Blackened US Angus Porterhouse (P730) served with fried potatoes so my husband ordered it. It did not disappoint. I especially loved the Cafe de Paris topping.
But what made me a Duo fan was my entree, the Seafood Saffron Stew (P590). The waiter described it as something like bouillabaisse so I was a bit disappointed when I saw that the sauce was more like broth, rather thin. It wasn't what I expected, but it was a very pleasant surprise to taste it. I'm no food expert and I don't have a trained palate, but I can tell that this dish was created by a genius. It was such a soulful dish it was elevated immediately to comfort food in my book. And it felt healthy to be eating fish and mussels too.
Another thing that made us happy was the way the manager obliged our request (made when we reserved) for a discount on corkage for our first bottle of wine. Service was very good. The restaurant was booked for a birthday party and so we had to take the outdoor tables. We were afraid the service might suffer because of that arrangement. But our waiter was very attentive and very gracious. Not snooty at all as one might expect from such a restaurant. I also liked that even if we forgot to indicate that we preferred the small serving of the salad, that they automatically gave us the small one when they could have conned us with the large order.
The weather was very cool that December evening. The food was, as promised, excellent. And we did find comfort food on our anniversary.