I was at Lâ€™Opera recently for a writing assignment for a magazine. The restaurantâ€™s been around since 1994, and itâ€™s kept its legion of fans since its location hops from Jupiter Street, Greenbelt, and now at the Fort. Though Iâ€™ve never eaten at Lâ€™Opera, I had little tastings of each dish that was brought out for the shoot. Suffice it to say that Iâ€™m impressed. Although, from the group that also owns Caffe Maestro, I canâ€™t say that Iâ€™m surprised. Lâ€™Opera deserves another look-see from me.
Here are photos that I took during the shoot while the official photographer was fixing the lights between takes.
Lâ€™Opera looks like an old-world classic Italian living room, complete with regal chandeliers. Itâ€™s hauntingly lovely yet modern at the same time with three eating rooms: the main dining room, the more casual â€˜al frescoâ€™ spot, and the mezzanine on the second floor.
This is smoked and fresh salmon tartare with condiments (P380). Itâ€™s a light, cold salad that has an entire spectrum of flavors going for it, from sour to sweet. I like how it looks like an edible fireworks display.
This is one of Abba Napaâ€™s absolute favorite dishes. Sheâ€™s the daughter of one of the owner-partners of Lâ€™Opera, as well as the restaurantâ€™s PR/Marketing manager. She describes this duck filled ravioli in truffle sauce (P440) as â€œkiller.â€
This dish may be my downfall. Itâ€™s baked prime US beef tenderloin (P1,100) in Lâ€™Operaâ€™s famous truffle sauce atop pan-fried foie gras served with fresh spinach and asparagus lightly sautÃ©ed in olive oil and garlic. Itâ€™s the dish that I took one bite of and I felt my knees turn to jelly.
It seems almost an afterthought, having a side of vegetables in the company of such luxurious dishes. But this plate of broiled fresh asparagus with melted mozzarella and parmigiano cheese is luxury all by itself.
Panna cotta is one of those dishes that makes me weak. I think that when Iâ€™m on my deathbed, Iâ€™d like to be propped up and served a plate of it little by little. Then I shall die with a smile on my face. Now thatâ€™s what I call a happy death. At Lâ€™Opera, they serve their panna cotta with honeyed truffle sauce and sweetened balsamic vinegar. The vinegar sounds like it shouldnâ€™t be there, but it adds a tangy, quite refined taste dimension to the dessert which offsets the cloying nature of the cream. Which means I can eat more without feeling sated. Always a good thing.
The Fort Entertaiment Complex
26th St. cor. 5th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
889-3963 / 889-2784