Enrique Balestrini

An evening with Tommasi wines at Casa Nonna New York

By Enrique Balestrini on 10th October, 2019

Aruba may be small in size, 75 square miles to be exact, but its culinary offering is mighty! As a Caribbean foodie hot spot, there are regular special restaurant events on – none better than a recent evening with Tommasi wines presented by Tropical Bottling Company at Casa Nonna New York. Our on-island Online Contributor, Enrique Balestrini was invited to the wine tasting supper.

 Enrique Balestrini

Here in Aruba, we have a fun tradition called it Kibra Siman. It basically consists of doing something fun on Wednesdays to have a break from the routine and to give us that extra push to make it to the weekend. It can be going out for a drink or to indulge in something, just for fun. We love it!

The Ritz-Carlton Aruba, in partnership with Tropical Bottling and Tommasi Wines, gave us the perfect way to kibra siman! Scents of Taste, a culinary event hosted at Casa Nonna NY, where we gathered for a packed house that night!

My expectations were surpassed as soon as we arrived. We were welcomed with a fresh mojito at the Bacardi station right at the entrance. Then we took a look at some luxurious goods by Montblanc at a pop-up they placed in the entrance of the restaurant. I could tell the Ritz-Carlton’s team was committed to stimulating all of our senses!

Now, let me tell you about the food and wine!

 

Dish: Parmesan | wine pairing: Filodora Prosecco DOC Tommasi

Parmesan cheese is a blessing in itself, but in this mousse interpretation, it was just sublime! That note of olive oil let us know that we were in good hands for the night. Who knew a cheesy mousse could be so great? The wine pairing was crisp and fruity. I just love prosecco so that will always be a ‘yes’ for me! Just look at this picture!

 

Casa Nonna Restaurant Aruba

Best fine dining on Aruba | Casa Nonna

Dish: Heirloom tomato carpaccio | wine pairing: Le Rosse Pinot Grigio IGT delle Venezie

Heirloom tomatoes were a first for me in this carpaccio. With a very interesting appearance and texture along with strawberries, citrus segments, asparagus and a pomegranate dressing. This dish was a wild display of colors and flavors! The wine had a smooth taste with a little citrus.

 

Best restaurants on Aruba | Casa Nonna

DISH: Cured Italian Salumi | WINE PAIRING: Rompicollo Rosso Toscana IGT

Charcuterie boards are one of my favorite things. When this one was served, immediately knew I was in the right place. Just look at that presentation! It had 3 types of cured meats: Prosciutto di Parma, 3 months aged Coppa, and Salami Finocciona. Truly a gift! Vino tinto, of course, was perfectly paired.

 

Casa Nonna Restaurant Aruba

Wine tasting on Aruba

Dish: Shrimp Ravioli | wine pairing: Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC

Shrimp and ravioli together is a match made in heaven and served with the Casa Nonna signature tomato sauce… just unreal! With crispy polenta on the side, it was Italian at its best.

The wine really lives up to its great reputation. A vibrant dark red with cherry and vanilla notes.

 

Casa Nonna Restaurant Aruba

Wine tasting on Aruba

Dish: Veal & Wild Mushroom Risotto | wine pairing: Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG

Another work of art in presentation and taste. A different risotto with wild mushrooms –which, by itself sounds exciting– with veal loin, topped with the best wine sauce I’ve ever tasted, and some pecorino flakes. Glorious! I am an aficionado of intense red wine and this Amarone is such a great one! Lots of dark fruits, oak, and tobacco flavors.

 

Casa Nonna Restaurant Aruba

Fine dining on Aruba

Dish: Cassata Siciliana | paired with: Espresso Martini

If I’m out for dinner, you can bet I won’t skip dessert–and I won’t share either!

This dessert was, honestly, so memorable because it reminded me of my childhood, specifically, the nougat we would eat at my grandma’s home during the holidays. It was really special. I had to give the chef an A+ for that presentation, the flower was such a nice touch.

To end the evening, we had an espresso martini, which was delightfully unexpected and very much appreciated… so I had two!

 

Casa Nonna Restaurant Aruba

 

Casa Nonna truly is the gift that keeps on giving. One course after another continued to blow our minds, not only in flavor, but the well-thought choices they made along with the presentation. Next time, count me in! It never disappoints.

A huge thanks to the Ritz-Carlton Team, especially Yahira Santoni, who was a great table mate, my friend Dave Troeger for the incredible pictures, and all the Casa Nonna NY Team for the invite. It was one for the books!

To reserve a table at Casa Nonna NY or to find out about upcoming special events click here.

 

Special Thanks / Credits:

Yahira Santoni at The Ritz-Carlton Aruba

David Troeger @jetlagstudio

Edited by Samantha Corrado

 

For more culinary adventures and travel inspiration check out Enrique Balestrini’s Instagram channel

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Read more: The Ultimate Aruba Guide by Enrique Balestrini