Restaurants in Metro Manila are bringing out their luxurious ceramic plates and silverware sets this Valentine’s Day to lure customers back after almost two years of the pandemic.
Avelina’s Modern Kitchen, a restaurant along Mother Ignacia Ave. in Quezon City, rebranded its name and upgraded its offerings in the hope of convincing couples to dine out on Valentine’s Day.
Rodrigo Pelayo, a serial restaurateur and one of the owners of Avelina’s Modern Kitchen, is hopeful that the occasion could see the return of diners.
“Many restaurants have closed amid the pandemic, even after their owners sold their cars and other properties. We are fortunate to be among the few that remain open,” says Pelayo, who also had his share of financial challenges in the past two years.
He says that aside from the spread of the virus, what hurt their businesses is the repeated lockdowns declared by the government. The restaurant managed to survive by offering food deliveries, catering to weddings and other events, and selling fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.
Despite the challenges at the peak of the pandemic, Avelina’s Modern Kitchen did its part by sending nearly 7,000 packed meals to frontliners and serving free coffee and food to Grab drivers. The restaurant also provided food and collected donation for victims of calamities and poor families in Metro Manila.
Pelayo is hopeful that the virus would be put under control this time and that the government would give entrepreneurs like him a leeway to recover their losses and turn in a profit.
To prepare for the opportunities made available by the less stringent Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila, Avelina’s Modern Kitchen spruced up its al-fresco dining space, garden, roof deck, and exclusive areas for Valentine’s.
Pelayo says tables and chairs were rearranged in compliance with health protocols to provide diners with a romantic vibe perfect for the event.
He says Avelina’s Modern Kitchen offers fine-dining experience for celebrants in an intimate and romantic setting or under the star. The restaurant has a roof deck that provides a stunning view of Quezon City at night.
“It is a fusion of casual dining and fine dining in one place,” says Pelayo about their new food and drink offerings.
The restaurant offers four-course meals and seven-course meals paired with wine for the week around Valentine’s. Its garden setting at the ground floor serves western menu on a casual dining set-up, while the second floor and roof deck serve a 7-course dining experience, which is by reservation only.
The menu includes imported steak, baked salmon, roasted tamarind chicken, pork ribs and local cuisine favorites such as sisig, bagnet and kare-kare.
On Feb. 12 to 15, the restaurant will also provide live acoustic music to entertain diners.
Palayo hopes that this will be the start of the recovery of the restaurant industry after a tumultuous two-year period.
Avelina’s Modern Kitchen, formerly H Cafe Events Place, is located at the quiet nook of Mother Ignacia Ave. and Scout Limbaga Street.