Friday, March 07, 2014

Cafe Adriatico is historical itself. 35 years ago, journalists and artists hang out to this quaint space at the Remedios Circle while Mr. Larry J. Cruz, the owner, former journalist and information man, swaps stories with them. Fast forward to 2014, Cafe Adriatico continues to be loved my many Manilenos and even spreaded out all over the country to serve good food and a homey ambiance.
That's why it was a pleasure when the LJC Group invited us bloggers to try their homegrown dishes and even the new addition to their menus. I remember telling Ms. Malou Evidente-Domingo, their Marketing Manager, how I loved Abe, one of their many restaurants, and enjoyed it with my officemates. It was a lunch hour and we were having fun, not too bad for a manic Monday. 

At Cafe Adriatico, here are the dishes that we feasted on. It was literally a feast, because there isn't a single food served that we didn't tasted. I guess probably because the flavors are all close to home:

For starters, Cafe Adriatico presented us the Gambas Al Ajillo and Hummus with Pita Bread. I was savoring the taste of the shrimps because I love seafood. On the other hand, the Hummus with Pita Bread is so natural, it competes with the ones I've tasted in this Persian restaurant I've been to. 

We were next served with Cream of Two Mushrooms soup. This is a combination of button and shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms bits are very delectable. I think that if I were very sick, I'd get well in an instant because of this.

I can't believe the size of the main dish the first time I saw it. As their introductory food for their 35th year, Cafe Adriatico offers the Garlic Pork Leg Espanole, a Spanish style pork leg with fried whole garlic cloves and potatoes. This is served with a tangy herb sauce. We were also the first who tried this delectable creation. 

If love is a steak, then the U.S. Tenderloin Steak Solana must be love! This dish is pan-fried and topped with seared onions and shiitake mushrooms. See how big their mushrooms are? That's also love. It is served with buttered zucchini slices, mashed potatoes and mild peppercorn sauce. 

Or if you are craving for seafood, then you should order the Blue Marlin Provencale. I just adore the richness of its tomato and caper sauce. Definitely a must have for dinner. And it's healthy too.

With all the food that was served, I thought that I don't need rice anymore. But no, you just have to try their Pilaf Rice, a french style buttered rice. This is best paired with the Buttered Vegetables.

And there's room more for dessert! This mango crepe may look simple, but its chocolate syrup and fresh mango gave it all away. I think I'll have some of these again, please. 

Ms. Lorna Cruz-Ambas, daughter of the late Larry J. Cruz, proudly continues her dad's legacy. She makes sure that the LJC Restaurant Group constantly provided good food, warm service and charming ambiance. They have 15 outlets namely: Cafe Adriatico, Cafe Havana, Bistro Remedios, Larry's Cafe and Bar, Abe, Fely J's Kitchen, Lorenzo's Way, Abe's Farm and the LJC Group Catering Service. She also mentioned that they don't do franchise to preserve the business to the family. 

Chef George, the man behind Cafe Adriatico now happily joined us and checked if we enjoyed the food. See how he's game to pose with me. So cute.

We also took home this yummy Chocolate Decadence cake and also Mr. Larry Cruz's book, Larry Can't Cook, which is now at the hands of my chef brother. I'm pretty sure that he'll learn more from it, from a man who established a restaurant colony. 

Truly, Cafe Adriatico and the LJC Restaurant Group is a haven for foodies and the true-blue Pinoys and even Pinoys at heart. I can stay here for hours with my friends and feel as if we were transported to 35 years ago. 

For inquiries and reservations, please call the LJC Marketing Office at 522-0403. Visit them at or LIKE them on Facebook at

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