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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

My Country House: Tagaytay’s next dining destination serves up refreshing ambiance and nostalgic fare

Welcome to My Country House Tagaytay, where they aim to recreate the nostalgic atmosphere of those cherished childhood memories. Their dining destination offers a refreshing ambiance and serves up delightful fare that will transport you back to those simpler times.

As you step into their sanctuary, you'll immediately feel the stress of the city melt away. The serene surroundings, with lush greenery, breathtaking views, and a cool climate, provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Whether you're seeking solace from the busy urban life or looking to create new memories with your loved ones, My country house is the ideal destination.
@lola_lamon Executive Chef Arnold Gozon creates a menu that reflects refined country cuisine and a more sophisticated approach to heirloom dishes. The menu, which is a collaboration of the Wisniewskis and Chef Arnold, is inspired by classic Western cuisine and familial memories showcasing their heritage. #mycountryhousetagaytay #tagaytay #foodie #raintree restaurants #lafang #bestcochinillointown #foodtiktok ♬ Memories Are Forever - Roald Velden & Morrison Kiers

The goal is to evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminding you of the joyous times spent at your grandparents' house. The interior is designed to exude warmth and comfort, with cozy nooks and inviting seating areas that encourage you to unwind and connect with your companions. Soft lighting and rustic decor elements further enhance the ambiance, transporting you to a bygone era.

And of course, no nostalgic experience is complete without indulging in hearty, homemade meals. The menu features a selection of dishes that evoke a sense of familiarity and evoke fond memories. From classic comfort foods to traditional family recipes, each dish is prepared with great care and attention to detail. Chef Arnold use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create flavors that are both comforting and satisfying.

You can start your day with a hearty breakfast. For lunch, they offer a variety of options, including homemade soups, filipino favorites like , and hearty salads that showcase the best of seasonal produce. And for dinner, savor the selection of comforting main courses, such as slow-cooked stews, roasted meats, and flavorful pasta dishes.

To complement your meal, try their extensive beverage menu that includes a range of refreshing drinks, from freshly squeezed juices to signature cocktails. And don't forget to leave room for dessert! Indulge in homemade pies, cakes, and other sweet treats that will transport you back to the carefree days of your childhood.

 

At My Country House in Tagaytay,  create an experience that combines the tranquility of a countryside retreat with the warmth of cherished memories. Come and reconnect with your past, savor delicious meals, and make new memories in a place that feels like home.



This is the thrust of My Country House Tagaytay, the latest restaurant added to the impressive portfolio of the Raintree Hospitality Group to remind everyone of the good ol’ times through good food and relaxing ambience.

The House Built on Memories

Tucked inside the same quiet street as Raintree’s farm-to-table concept Farmer’s Table, My Country House used to be a residential home before being turned into a 130-seater restaurant with an outdoor terrace and a sprawling garden. The home belonged to a previous family, but after experiencing the food next door at Farmer’s Table in 2022, they reached out to the Wisniewski Family (founders of the Raintree Hospitality Group) to offer their Tagaytay rest house for any project they have in mind.

“As soon as I saw the video of the home, I said ‘done’,” recalls Martin Wisniewski of the Raintree Hospitality Group. “This is a dream project for us.”

The task of transforming a traditional rest house to a culinary oasis began swiftly. While the family matriarch, Mrs. Annabella Wisniewski, came up with the vision for My Country House, it was the collective efforts of her sons Andrej and Martin together with Chef Arnold Gozon and his hardworking culinary team that turned her vision into reality in just a matter of months.

The open-air concept allows the cool Tagaytay air to blow throughout the property all year-round, while the interiors are filled with tropical inspirations and thoughtful details that give the place a warm and cozy feel. Standing almost devoid of walls, the restaurant is often filled with bright natural light. It’s a great place to relax and just enjoy the sounds of nature while you enjoy a hearty meal. Aside from the birds merrily singing throughout the day, the restaurant also has a free-flowing waterfall and koi pond where the soothing sounds of cascading waters give the place a more relaxing atmosphere.

To add to that, the goal is to evoke memories of the good ol’ days spent at your lola’s house, playing in the garden, relaxing with the rest of the family, and of course enjoying amazing home-cooked feasts.

“If you ask my children, they’ll say it looks exactly like my house,” Mrs. Wisniewski shares, in which Martin wholeheartedly agrees. “I wanted a place where people can relax, feel at home, just enjoy the food and their company. That’s what a home should be.”

The Main Dining Area houses the well-stocked bar to the left and the retail area near the entrance where diners can purchase pastries, cakes, and locally made ‘pasalubong’ (souvenir) items like snacks, hats, scarves, essential oils and fragrances, bottled specialties, and even hand-carved charcuterie boards. Behind the bar is the Terrace, where roughly 30 guests can comfortably lounge and catch up with cocktails in hand.

Across the Main Dining Area is the garden with over 40 different species of flora. The garden’s flat terrain and spaciousness makes it the perfect place to celebrate milestones like weddings, birthdays, and reunions. The garden is also open to art exhibits and installations, encouraging local artists to proudly display their creations. And just like a real home, expect to encounter beloved pets during your visit. Don’t forget to say hi to three American Silky chickens Tina, Ike, and Gonzo — the fluffiest residents of My Country House. This also means furry family members are welcome at the Terrace area of My Country House, provided that guests can look after their pets and make sure they won’t disrupt other diners.

The Flavors Built on Experience

While the Wisniewskis worked together to build the vision for My Country House, it was up to Executive Chef Arnold Gozon to create a menu that reflects refined country cuisine and a more sophisticated approach to heirloom dishes. The menu, which is a collaboration of the Wisniewskis and Chef Arnold, is inspired by classic Western cuisine and familial memories showcasing their heritage.

Utilizing his experience of being in the culinary industry for over three decades, Chef Arnold curated a menu combining heirloom family recipes, like the Sunday Pochero — a family favorite from both his family as well as the Wisniewskis, My Country House’s answer to Tagaytay’s ubiquitous Bulalo — which has fall-off-the-bone beef shank and oxtail, Spanish chorizo, chicken, chickpeas, carrots, plantains, cabbage, and choi sum all cooked and served in a rich bone broth. The difference? It’s served with three different condiments, each coming from their family members: Tomato Sofrito from family members, Charred Eggplant Salad Relish from Chef Arnold’s family, and Squash Compote from the Wisniewskis. 

Another heirloom dish from the Wisniewskis is their signature Lengua Estofado, which has ox tongue braised low and slow until incredibly tender and served with wild mushrooms, Spanish chorizo, Spanish green olives, and served with potatoes with crispy Jamon Serrano. The dish was inspired by their late grandmother, Mrs. Honorata Fajardo, who was also a successful restaurateur. The Sunday Pochero and Lengua Estofado are prime examples of the vision behind My Country House.

 

The menu also contains timeless European favorites, like Cheese Gougeres, French pastry puffs filled with cream cheese and basil and topped with shredded parmesan); Italian-inspired Handmade Pappardelle with Slow-braised Oxtail Ragu topped with gremolata, rosemary, and freshly grated Parmesan; and of course Paella, which comes in two variants: Negra (Arborio rice cooked in flavorful squid ink with bonito flakes, aioli, squid, and pimento) and Seafood (closer to the traditional paella with prawns, squid, mussels, Toscana peppers, and whole roasted garlic). 

Popular American dishes are also available with added flair, like the char-grilled 100% Angus Beef Cheeseburger with house-smoked bacon, onion jam, arugula, and English cheddar in a buttered brioche bun and served with hand-cut fries and house-made pickles; and Steak to Share, a bone-in U.S. Angus Ribeye dry-aged for 21 days and served with garlic confit, roasted tomato topped with Maldon Salt, and your choice of two sauces among the following options: tarragon bearnaise, merlot bordelaise or truffled mushroom gravy and a choice of two sides among the following options: potato gratin, creamy potato puree, creamed spinach or miso butter glazed carrots.

Some dishes have been modified to cater to the Filipino palate while exhibiting Chef Arnold’s expertise and dedication to excellence in every dish, like the Crispy Pork Knuckle Confit, Pinoy classic crispy pata made using French techniques and served with sweet apple calvados relish, whole grain mustard, and horseradish; and the Country Chicken Relleno, which reimagines chicken galantina with a more posh serving style — boneless half chicken stuffed with local sausages, seasoned ground pork, olives, pimento, and various herbs and spices, before being sliced and served with au jus made from the chicken’s own juices.

 

Even their desserts are combinations of Western favorites and local flavors, like the Sticky Date Pudding with warm brandy and muscovado sauce; the light and fluffy Canonigo with dulce de leche, and Fresh Fruit Pavolva calamansi curd and fresh seasonal fruits.

 

For those looking for something from the bar, My Country House offers two signature cocktails: the London Fog and Irish Coffee, which are reminiscent of the time the Wisniewskis lived in San Francisco, California where the family owned and operated a hotel and a restaurant named after Ms. Annabella Wisniewski’s mother. There are also must-try non-alcoholic beverages at the bar like Butterfly Iced Tea, Grapefruit Rosemary Soda, The Booster, Dragon Eye and cocktails like Mimosa In The Garden, Viva La Margarita, Si Sir, among others.


“We want to serve familiar flavors, food most of us grew up with — something that will bring back good memories just like how it reminds us of our own family,”  Martin shares. “With this dream project, our goal is to provide a respite, an escape just a quick drive from Metro Manila. We want people to feel at home when they visit, spend time, walk around, explore and just enjoy being together.”

My Country House is located at #115 Pulong Sagingan Street, Brgy. Maitim, 2nd West, Tagaytay City. The restaurant is open daily, Monday to Sunday, from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Reservations are highly encouraged via 0917 875 1154 (Viber) or call/SMS 0960 456 6873.. For regular updates, follow My Country House on Facebook and Instagram.

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