Meet Ilocos Norte’s Belles of the Gustatory Ball: Bistro Al Fresco Edition

If you feel that you weren’t able to explore the north’s gustatory offerings, you may have to book a flight soon. You may have already tasted the proverbial empanada and other street food fare from Ilocos Norte but I am quite certain that you did not have enough time to explore other places. 

I will be writing a number of articles about my favourite restaurants in Ilocos Norte. Here’s one of them.

Bistro Al Fresco

Marcos Ave cor. Castro St. Brgy. Caunayan

Batac, Ilocos Norte

Must-Try: Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Suggested Pairing: Virginia Blush


Located in a neighbourhood just a few minutes from downtown Batac, Bistro Al Fresco is a culinary gem waiting to be discovered by tourists and Ilocanos alike. Chef Annabel Rosel is an expert in making Italian and French pastries and an upcoming star when it comes to Mediterranean food. If you’re lucky, you’d get to try her macarons. If not, there are other equally mouthwatering dishes on the menu. The chef, for example, has gelato on stand by if you’re planning to visit Ilocos Norte during the warmer months.

The restaurant doesn’t serve our wines but if you want to pair their pasta dishes with Virginia Blush or Basi Maria, get a bottle from our shop. Wilfred’s, our physical store, is just a 10 minute drive away from Bistro Al Fresco.

My absolute favourite, one that is also a fave among my friends, is the chef’s Moroccan Chicken Tagine. This is a filling dish meant for people who love a lot of texture and a symphony of flavours in their food. It is peppered with raisins, has curry that doesn’t overpower the freshness of the meat, and it is served with an ample amount of white rice. I think I will bring a bottle of Basidina the next time I go there. I will likely try their pizza too.

The chef grows the herbs she puts in her dishes, adding to the freshness of every meal she prepares.

Visit the restaurant the next time you are in our neck of the woods.

Warning: The restaurant is closed on Mondays.


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