We may be quick to typecast February as, of course, the love month. But apart from this, the Philippines is also celebrating National Arts Month and because of this, several culture-related projects are being staged across the country. From Feb. 18 to 21, for example, the best of contemporary art will be exhibited in Art Fair Philippines at The Link in Makati City.
Metro Manila is a flourishing nest of culture and the arts. Luckily, there is already a stretched space for the arts as galleries and museums are seeing progress in the local scene.
From a gastronomic standpoint, restaurants have also started adopting artistic concepts—incorporating art not only in their interiors, but also in their menus. We listed five art-themed restaurants that will let you play the part of a curator or a wide-eyed art enthusiast while scarfing down good food:
Each corner is brimming with color in this funky lifestyle store. Aside from their food, CO/OP sells merchandises like furniture, bags, and ceramic goods, to name a few. The industrial design of the restaurant is paired with a continental comfort food menu and some good ol’ caffeine.
Must-try: Spanakopitas (P235), Deli Meat Special Sandwich (P420), and Shrimp Diablo Pasta (P370)
CO/OP. 189 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City. (02) 925-5885. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page
#2 Artists Haven Café
In a space that also houses a gallery and workshop, Artists Haven Café not only feeds hungry stomachs, but also the ravenous appetite for art. Various works of local artists are hung all around and soft music is usually played to render that museum-like atmosphere. Meanwhile, their menu is a fusion of sophisticated Filipino and western food baptized with names patterned from some famous artists.
Must-try: Andy Warhol Sopas (P135), Seafood Olio Pasta ala Winslow Homer (P250), and Van Dyke Roast Beef (P250)
Artists Haven Café. 190 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City. (02) 825-8810. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
#3 Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
Yearning for a rural and rustic dining experience? Head over to Rustic Mornings by Isabelo in Marikina—a city fast-evolving as a culinary gem. Lush greenery and elaborated ornaments enclose the place, with trinkets and artwork displayed all over. For those who’d opt to eat indoors, expect to see ceramics and artsy fixtures painted dominantly in white and blue. On the other hand, its garden venue gives you a feel of nature, and there is even an exclusive area where more art pieces and upcycled décor can be seen.
Must-try: Bacon, Eggs, and Herbed Hash Browns (P180), Cheesy Chicken Fricasee (P380), and Sausage Pizza (P400)
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. 11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, San Roque, Marikina City. (02) 425-8610. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Over the years, Xocolat has already sprawled out to more commercialized branches in Eastwood and Promenade, but its mother restaurant along Katipunan Avenue remains a humble artistic abode. Their homey atmosphere and chocolate-laden menu matches their aphrodisiac-theme. Even the calligraphies on the bucolic furniture are beautifully-scribbled, and even a trip to the loos can be picturesque.
Must-try: Spiced Xoco Chicken (P225), Chorizo Blanco Pasta (P225), and Xocolat Fries (P125)
Xocolat. 172 B. Gonzales Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. (02) 929-4186. Open from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekends. For more information, visit their website.
#5 Gourmet Gypsy Art Café
Staying true to its name, the Gourmet Gypsy Art Café boasts of functional art pieces all over. Their wooden door, for starters, is custom-made by Filipino sculptor Julian Araos. Walk further inside and you’ll see a colossal wooden table designed by Julian’s late father and fellow sculptor, Jerry. The light bulb fixtures also have an innovative cage scheme fashioned by one of the restaurant partners Gwyn Ganzon, a former interior designer. Meanwhile, their menu is an urbane assortment of western and Asian cuisines.
Must-try: Parrot-Fish Chermoula (P480), Chicken Souvlaki (P380), and Spicy Coco Mango Pasta with Pinipig-Crusted Fish (320)
Gourmet Gypsy Art Café. 25 Don A. Roces Avenue, Paligsahan, Quezon City. (02) 662-0880. Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Sundays-Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit their Facebook page.