I’ve written before about Gianni’s in Aruba. There is no doubt it is a great restaurant, and while dining there you would sooner think you were in Italy than Aruba. On this visit I decided to indulge in their best known dish, Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmiggiano which they describe as “An authentic Italian dish flamed with whisky at your table with fresh tomato sauce and basil”. It is a great display, and the pasta is already cooked in a light marinara sauce of fresh plum tomatoes, garlic and basil. So they come to the table with a carved out parmiggiano wheel of cheese, and scrape up more of it with forks and then pour in flaming whiskey. I asked them what type of whiskey and they said its scotch, I asked the brand and while I could not quite understand with the accent, I am thinking its Lochan D’ora, which is actually a whiskey flavored with honey and herbs. It might seem trivial, but scotch can be quite smokey in taste, and I really was not tasting the scotch. Even though almost all of the alcohol would have burned off, there should still be the taste of the scotch itself. Lohan Ora (which I knew in the 1970s as Lochan d’ora) makes sense, its sweet, not so smoky. You can experiment like I do at home, but below is the result when it was presented at our table.
I understand that dining out means that items you can easily make at home can be far more expensive. There is rent, electricity, staff, permits, tax, insurance, etc etc. So trying to keep that all in mind, its still very painful for me, as an Italian cook to digest pasta that costs roughly $50 for 2 people. For $50 I can literally feed 100 people, no problem, no exaggeration. You can do the math yourself, and again, I know that there are overhead costs for a restaurant just to open the door each night, however, this still does not justify the cost and make it mandatory 2 people must eat the same dish.
But, the reality is, not everyone has a $300 wheel of parmigianno reggiano in their kitchen. Of course, you can buy a smaller piece, but you might not get the same effect.
This restaurant has such high standards. Everything is done in the true, authentic Italian way. The service is almost too good (I don’t like random wait staff constantly asking me how everything is when I have food in my mouth or when I am trying to have a conversation with my girlfriend). The freshness of the food is clearly a quality that is Italian. Even a plate of the antipasti is to be savored. Though I’ve been here 3 times, it was not nearly enough times to sample all the things they have to offer.
Gianni’s Ristorante Aruba
J.E. Irausquin Boulevard, Noord, Aruba
Phone: +297 586 7794 Web: giannisaruba.com