As was true for us, the first time you wind up at The Fireplace Steakhouse & Grill will likely be for a special event or some momentous occasion. Indeed, this fine-dining restaurant at the New World Manila Bay Hotel (formerly Hyatt Manila Hotel & Casino) is an amazing place to hold an event to remember. If we give it a grade for vibes alone, it would get an A! The Fireplace looks like an ideal date spot to get excellent food and wine. This is one of the better places to eat in Manila.
New World Manila Bay’s Executive Chef James Williams partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Manila to prepare and present an opulent four-course dinner paired with a fine selection of wines by Robert Mondavi from Napa Valley, California last Aug. 18. Dinner was awesome. People who share the love for wines gathered and the mood was quite contagious. James Du Vivier (CEO of FTI Wines), Eric Khan ( Marketing Director for FTI Wines), and Samantha Befus of Constellation Brands (distributors of Robert Mondavi) were also present to host and support the event.
It was also a good chance to learn about the interesting life story of Robert Mondavi and how he came about developing a number of premium wines fifty years ago. His vision? To make wine a daily staple on the table like salt and pepper shakes. Grand! Mondavi’s tireless promotion of Napa and his wines is a big factor in transforming the way Americans buy and drink wine. It also helped turn the valley into a tourist mecca as it is today.
4-Course Dinner with Robert Mondavi Wine at The Fireplace (New World Manila Bay Hotel)
The design concept of Fireplace at New World Manila Bay looks pretty much exactly as how the name describes. A classy fireplace takes center stage, and with the beautiful backdrop highlighting this part of the dining room, it can’t go unnoticed. With floor-to-ceiling glass panels, impressive wall of wines, minimalist artworks, stone walls, brass accented decors and leather furniture, the ambiance is upscale. It’s a dream restaurant that should sit on top of your bucket list, especially if you’re into steak and wines. 😉
We started with a simple yet balanced salad composed of beetroot, chevre, asparagus, and broad beans. This elegant salad showcases earthy pink-toned beet and greens that tasted sharp and tangy with the vinaigrette.
Paired with the salad was the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi (Sauvignon Blanc 2014). Lifted by hints of grass and green pepper, this white wine is a bouquet of citrus fruits and tropical fruits, especially merinda and ripe mango. The palate contains tropical fruits, grapefruit, lemon and pineapple.
For the main course, we had the confit belly pork which was so tender and full of flavor. The confit was a little crispy on the outside, and I just loved how the pork fat held the concentration of rich flavors together. With white bean cassoulet and lentil vinaigrette in the mix, this dish turned out as a good alchemy of complex tastes that exploded with each bite.
The dark-hued Pinot Noir 2012 from Robert Mondavi Private Selection was recommended to be paired with the confit pork belly. It’s a seductively smooth wine which features ripe black cherry and blueberry aromas on the nose, backed by notes of violets, spices, and plum. The palate is silky and smooth with gentle fruit and a hint of oak in the background.
Fireplace’s slow-cooked USDA flat iron with potato fondant, spinach puree, confit onions was truly decadent. Steaks at Fireplace translates to a buttery tenderness on the plate, and I strongly suggest you head in that direction if you see one on the menu. It’s a solid star of the meal.
As a complement, the Robert Mondavi Napa Range (Cabernet Sauvignon 2010) was served. It’s a Napa Valley Classic made with dense tannins that are soft and silky. It’s a rich setting for juicy fruit flavors of dark plum mingling with notes of dark chocolate and vanilla oak.
Rounding up our meal perfectly was the vanilla bean panna-cotta with macerated fruits. Light, velvety and luscious, this creamier-than-cream and not-too-sweet dessert was impeccable and almost moan-worthy. It’s so pillowy soft and smooth that it melts in the mouth. Yummy! 🙂
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi (White Zinfandel) was my favorite among all. It’s a delicate, low alcohol, slightly sweet pink-colored wine with summer fruits and cranberries for the palate. The nose is filled with red apples, raspberries, and orange blossom, with hints of cashew.
Looking for a can’t fail spot for a private party, date night or a business dinner with VIP guests? Get high hopes on Fireplace Steakhouse & Grill. Its tasty entrees will get your attention and there’s always a good bottle of wine to share. And if you’re in the mood, try one of Mondavi’s quality wine selections to keep you company.