Perfect Pair

Palazzo Verde's love-filled gastronomy
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

Celebrate the Day of Hearts with a sumptuous Valentine dinner at the enthralling Palazzo Verde, one of the most romantic events venue in the metro, featuring a unique gastronomic experience that's capped with romantic ballads from crooner Markki Stroem.

To give media attendees a foretaste of the upcoming Hearts Day dinner, the Laudico Group proffered a four-course meal as preview to the romantic evening.

For starters, we savored two kinds of lumpia: Fresh lumpia ubod rolls topped with Nilasing na Hipon and Crispy lumpia cone served with frozen spicy vinegar. We then partook of the Bagoong Starters: Pakbet Puree with Bagoong Cream and Mesclun salad greens of garden vegetables, three kinds of mangoes (ripe, green, and dried), kesong puti, and cashew nuts in Dijon bagoong vinaigrette. Prior to blending, the squash has been roasted while the eggplant and other veggies were grilled for a smokey aftertaste. The mangoes, on the other hand, went well with the French mustard in the vinaigrette.

"Diners will be treated like royalty. The appetizers, soup & salad, main course, and dessert all come in pairs," revealed Chef Rolando 'Lau' Laudico, who concocted the dishes with wife Jackie, an expert pastry chef.

For our main course, it was the delectable Two Bisteks plate: Slow-roasted Angus beef and Grilled Pacific black cod in Bistek Tagalog pepper sauce, served with roasted vegetables and sweet potato croquette. This sea-and-earth surf & turf featured the belly part of a cow that was slow cooked for nine hours over low temperature, and local gindara that's so rich in omega oils, drenched in onion pepper sauce.

For sweet endings, it was a Coconut Pairing: Suman Cake with Coconut Panna Cotta and Maja Blanca cheesecake. These tribute concoctions to the tree of life and the Pinoy staples, rice and corn, played up coco cookies and maja blanca for the cheesecake, and complemented it with panna cotta for more structure.

"If I were a flavor, I'd be spicy and Jackie would be sweet. She'll tone down my fiery nature. We've been enhancing the Pinoy flavors, bringing new twists to the Filipino cuisine," intoned Chef Lau.

Located within Vista Alabang's prime development community, along Daang Reyna's thoroughfare, the enchanting Palazzo Verde will treat its Valentine guests to a four-course set menu that will consist of a fusion of distinctly Filipino flavors infused with a touch of European inspirations prepared by celebrity chefs Rolando and Jackie Laudico.

Simply dubbed "Perfect Pair," the Palazzo's hundred-foot dome, stunning landscape, and signature amenities wil be the backdrop of the wine-paired gastronomic affair; complemeting another extraordinary event experience.

Encompassing more than 2.3 hectares of lush, vibrant foliage, the former Fernbrook Gardens now offer beautiful ceremony venues with the gorgeous Notre Dame De Vie chapel and the Gazabo Garden that's perfect for couples who want a lovely outdoor occasion; while the magnificent Grand Conservatory offers a touch of decadent grandeur.

There's also the Colonial Ballroom, a stateroom adorned with Renaissance paintings and magnificent chandeliers inspired by the Buckingham Palace.

The Palazzo also has two Byzantine garden venues: One with glass walls for a picturesque view of the surrounding outdoors, a pocket garden and koi pond; while the other has indoor gardens nestled in water cascades.

For an atmosphere of royalty, bridal couples or celebrators can chose from between two Victorian-inspired rooms: One with gold-plaited pillars and delicate ceiling frescoes, ideal for a young bride's fairytale matrimony or a debutante's grand celebration; wile the other boasts of an extensive indoor garden and accoutrements influenced by the opulence of the Victorian era.

Both the Byzantine and Victorian rooms can be put together to create one big ballroom that will accomodate grander celebrations.

"Palazzo Verde is the first full-service venue in the country. It has the biggest garden setting that can accommodate up to 1,200 persons in a single night, especially during the month of December.

"The property is bounded by the cities of Bacoor, Paranaque, and Las Pinas. It is now a Vista City, and part of a themed community, after The Villar Group initially acquired the Fernbrook Gardens in 2012, until ultimately owning it in 2015. We enhanced the surroundings from what the original owners did. The turnover was timely because the place has already gained popularity. Despite its garden setting, it can go with different themes that our guests would want to do, like a Hunger Games motif that went very well with the environs," shared general manager Emma Ruth Amores.

Other details that will make events more memorable include a gondola ride, horse-drawn carriages, dance panels, well-equipped suite rooms for changing and/or resting and a coffee bar for refreshments.

"We have at least five accredited suppliers per category. So with an all-in P500K fee for weddings, which you can settle with the friendliest of terms, you already have food, entertainment, bridal/groom cars, planner/coordinator, stylist, and photo/video on both pre-nup and wedding day, plus free ample parking spaces.

"But you may opt for just the venue which you'll easily get for P132K on weekends and P247K on peak months like December. Eighty per cent of our bookings are for weddings, with debuts, corporate events, and birthday parties filling the rest. Up to ninety weddings fill up our monthly calendars. Our least number of weddings still outnumber the days in a month. We have five suite rooms to take care of changing needs and we have tie-ups with all the hotels in Alabang to help guests with their lodging needs," she added.

A stunning events venue, Palazzo Verde is a top choice for weddings, anniversaries, birthday celebrations, and life's other milestones. Without a doubt, it is one of the best venue choices for intimate or much bigger celebrations. For more IG-worthy snapshots, the Palazzo have featured hilltop and pocket garden views where one can take photographs.

To book seats to the Perfect Pair dinner, check out MetroDeal for a special rate of only P2,499, inclusive of all applicable taxes. Simply get in touch with mobile # 0917-8703838 and/or email for table reservations. Covers will be set up for couple seating or by groups. Dinner starts at 7 in the evening.

"It's the Palazzo Verde's tenth anniversary and this Valentine dinner greenlights a series of events within the year, including the summer launch of Mango Grove at The Islands in Dasmarinas, Cavite," revealed Amores at the close of an intimate media luncheon.

For more information, visit the company's Web site,



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