I have a rather simple definition of fine dining. The food doesn’t have to be expensive (that would be expensive dining) nor the servings big (that would be overeating) . But it definitely has to be good (not just fine) in terms of taste and presentation. It’s about the experience. And it has to have cloth napkins.
Mariano’s, tucked away in a quiet residential village in Iligan City, meets my definition. The family headed there tonight for dinner. The place definitely has good ambiance. Clean and well-designed. The indoor tables are air conditioned and cozy. The outdoors tables are bigger and give the al fresco experience further accentuated by the Chinese bamboo plants lined along the wall.
We sampled a variety of dishes: shrimps in squid ink pasta, barbecued pork ribs, crispy braised chicken, herbed lemon pork loin, and aromatic fish. The food not only taste good but look good, too. Pardon the photography, I’m blaming the poor lighting :P But really, they do look good. The desserts were also good. We tried the New York cheesecake, and the truffle cake, and the panna cotta.
Pricing is a relatively high for the area but quite reasonable considering the food, service, and ambiance is comparable to better known restaurants. Unfortunately, they don’t accept credit cards so you have to bring cash.
Meadow Lark Street, Isabel Village, Pala-o, Iligan City, 9200
Email: [email protected]