Anna-Maria's Autentico Ristorante Italiano
Aruba Tel: +(297) - 586 2833
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We heard of Anna Maria's in2012 and went with our group of 11. Everything was great! I'm an Italian who rarely eats Italian out, but it was perfect. I can't complain about the length of time because we knew that. However, last year, things were different. Actually, I loved my pasta graced with various seafood. But no one else enjoyed their meal. The portions were much smaller and just not the same. We remembered how great the fried calamari was, but were told that they had none. The homemade connolli that we loved last time were ordered again last year, but we were told there weren't any. The bill was a whole lot more than we remembered as well. But because I lived it so much in 2012, I will give it another try this year, some time between July 26 - Aug 8.
A Dining Experience to Remember
Let me first start off by staying I'm shocked to find negative reviews of Anna Maria's. Sometimes when your unhappy with yourself nothing will make you happy. I've been going to Aruba for years and have had dinner all over the Island. Anna Maria's for me was simply a great night with friends and family in an homey atmosphere over light fresh Italian food. They are a little pricey but the service, food and atmosphere make it worth it. Our Server Jean-Pierre went out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed and also volunteered alterations to meals to suit our liking. Christopher, the owner also came out and was just as pleasant and delightful as Jean-Pierre. If your looking for something different in a laid back cozy quiet setting this is your place
Atmosphere was lovely and warm feeling of being in someones backyard. That was the best part. Service was slow, the owner was rude and the food was fair at best. Disappointing for sure!
A Tate of Italy
Always a must when we are in Aruba. The lasagna is our favorite. All food is cooked to order. The pastas are fresh and cooked to perfection. Seafood is superb. Close your eyes and you are in Italia!!!!
Heard about Anna Maria at poolside and visited that evening .
Rang the bell and was greeted by a wonderful staff member that escorted us to the dining room in the back yard patio . After being seated we were greeted immediately by a very knowledgeable waiter that took us through the menu and explained each dish. We placed our order and wow everything was better than we could have expected. We have been coming to Aruba for 16 years now and are so happy to have found Anna Maria's and will be sure to make it one of our dining favorites. The food, ambiance and service make it a winner for sure. I could go on and on but when you are in Aruba give them a try and you will be very glad you did.
Great Italian Restaurant
This is a MUST do restaurant in Aruba. We found out about this restaurant from our cab driver last year and loved it. We returned to Aruba in May and enjoyed this restaurant again so much that we went twice in one week. Entrance to this gem is gained by ringing the bell to a house. A waiter appears and you are escorted around back to a courtyard, where you will find maybe 8 or 9 tables, a picture painted on the wall of Italy and delightful dinner music. From the beginning appetizer to the final cordial everything satisfies the palate with utmost blends of taste and texture. Everything was perfect. The waiters Jean-Pierre and Carlos orchestrate the serving of the meal with finesse and attention to the diner. Christopher, the owner/chef, takes the time to introduce himself to every table. We would love to also meet Anna Maria next time. If you are not in a hurry, go and enjoy a wonderfully prepared meal, made with the freshest ingredients. We will be back again in September and this restaurant will definitely be on our reservation list.
THE WORST IN ARUBA
As an Italian from Queens, NY, I can attest that this is the WORST italian food in Aruba. What an absolute joke. From the food, to the waitstaff, service - horrible. Everyone has an attitude, no one smiles and the food tastes like it's from a can. The calamari was rubbery, the pasta overcooked and the meatballs, I think that's what THEY call them are terrible. I wouldn't go back here if it was free. One poster said it was romantic - HA, you're sitting in someone's backyard. Ok if that is romantic for you, then so be it. I guarantee they will be out of business in a year.
one of the best in Aruba - will eat there anytime I come to Aruba and I come very often - will tell my friends who also come every year
A True Delight
We have been blessed to travel all over the world and dine in some truly remarkable restaurants. Frankly, there are only about 8 to 10 restaurants that truly stand out as being exceptional and a remarkable experience. Anna Mariaï¿½s Autentico Ristrante Italiano is truly at the top of the list. The owners ï¿½ Christopher and Anna Maria are truly delightful!
This beautiful restaurant was highly recommended by some very close friends and the recommendation was correct. Reservations are essential and were handled with extreme professionalism. We were met at the gate and escorted to our delightful table for a romantic dinner.
The menu is outstanding and the service was beyond compare. The atmosphere is very intimate and romantic. The staff and owners are dedicated to making your dining experience a true delight. The food was beyond fabulous! The menu is extensive and everything we selected was a culinary delight.
Throughout the entire evening we were honestly treated like royalty and it was a remarkable evening. I would highly recommend Anna Mariaï¿½s for a wonderful dining experience!
VERY NICE EXPERIENCE
Our last review of this place seems to have caused a bit of a stir amongst those who do not share our opinion of this place, Nonetheless, we find that the majority of reviews do agree with us and we are pleased to see that. ANNA MARIA'S continues to be a unique dining experience that is quite pleasurable and satisfying. Though we continue to regard it as one of the better ITALIAN eateries in ARUBA, this year we have found some credible competition that may join it as being amongst the better Italian venues. That would not diminish our opinion of this place but it may provide an alternative to those that do not appreciate the leisurely approach that Anna Maria's provides.
Many of those who oppose Anna Maria's seem to have some type of issue with the owner and his aggressive rebuttals to some criticisms. What they appear to regard as arrogance or nastiness, we tend to view as the passion and concern that the owners have for the place. It is the same type of attitude that abounds at the Hostaria d'Vittorio and it justifiably exists - it is a reflection of the striving to maintain the highest of standards. Another way of thinking about it is that if you are good at what you do then you are entitled to show it. There is nothing wrong with that and those who take offense to it simply are thin skinned.
ANNA MARIA'S continues to be a wonderful dining experience and it is one that we recommend to all. Remember to make reservations and remember to plan on a long, leisurely, and enjoyable evening. Also remember that the genre of ITALIAN food is that of being SICILIAN based.
High hopes but fell way short
While I wanted to give this establishment a 10 star rating unfortunately it started off strong and ended on a less than positive note.
Arrived for 7 PM weeknight reservation -
1) Decor and atmosphere are great and authentic (5 star) -- roughly 10 total tables (6 with 2 seat arrangements and the others with 4-6 seat arrangements.
2) Appetizer - we ordered Calamari and they were well cooked and the breading and sauce were very good.
3) Main course -- 10 star rating -- eggplant lasagne was excellent and the gnocchi with vodka sauce and mushrooms were both excellent.
The price of the appetizer and main course were reasonable and the timeliness was good for these two courses.
Now for the bad --
The Sangria carafe is about 2 liters (with ice) and costs around $63-68. While the glasses that come out have fruit in them the Sangria carafe does not. We were told it had 6 liquors in it and my 125 pound wife and I finished the carafe and neither of us had the slightest effect of alcohol. The Sangria while it tasted good was definitely lacking in alcohol content -- for around $65 I would expect a lot better. Minus 2 star.
The worst however was the meal was going quite well and ended the main course around 80-90 min after arriving and onto dessert. I was so looking forward to some Tiramisu and was told initially they were out - I mentioned I was really hoping for this dessert and if they didn't have it that we would just take the check and call it a night and I would pickup some Tiramisu Gelato back near the Occidental Resort. Well 5 minutes goes by and the waiter comes back out and mentions that they do indeed have Tiramisu after all . Great -- ordered Tiramisu and my wife ordered a Cannoli. This is at 830... OK so 845 no dessert, 850 nothing, 855 nothing. The place is half empty and the two waiters are focused on getting the entrees out to the tables and no dessert in sight. 9 PM no dessert... Finally at 905PM after 35 minutes I asked for the check -- credit card in hand.
I get that meals are prepared based on what was ordered and they take time but dessert should be out within 5-10 minutes (15 min tops). When I asked for my check after sitting an additional 35 minutes after ordering it the dessert was no where to be found. Ended up going back to the hotel and stopping to get Tiramisu Gelato -- which while it was good was from somewhere else and not what I had my heart set on. Would have been better if they just said they didn't have it -- would have been a 3.5 star review rounded up to 4 probably.
Minus 2 star for Sangria that missed the mark (if two people drink an equal amount of 2L Sangria and the wife doesn't feel any effect of the alcohol there is a problem).
Minus 4 stars for the dessert fiasco -- It did get uncomfortable just sitting there from the 90 min mark to 125 minutes waiting for the dessert that just never arrived -- also changed the mood of the dinning experience. There isn't enough guests to miss this and we were right by the sliding door that goes into the kitchen -- I had a notion to pop my head in and ask if someone was running to the grocery store to pick it up.
The best, I don't think so. The absolute wor
My wife and I along with another couple heard about this restaurant from a cab driver and we decided to check out the reviews on this web site as well as 1 other site. Based on the rave reports we decided to give it a try. Folks, all 4 of us live in New York City and frequent Little Italy often. We know what real Italian food tastes like and believe me this ain't it. I had the lasagna which was actually a lasagna soup. Watery and no taste. My wife had the spinach crepe which was a disgrace. She isn't a big eater but when she finished she asked the server for the rest of her meal as there was nothing to it. 2 small crepe with some tasteless spinach inside. when she was told there was no more she asked for a bowel of pumpkin soup. She said that was worse that the crepe. one friend had an order of spaghetti and he said the sauce was wattery and in fact looked much like my lasagna and the fourth member of our party had a chicken dish which he said was just O.K. We arrived at 5:45 for a 6:00 reservation and were seated by 6. We were given a small dish of bread, 1 piece each with dipping oil. 1 small piece of bread for each person so when that went which took about 30 seconds we asked for more. We were told there was an additional charge for extra bread and dipping oil. So we ordered another dish of bread along with 2 glasses of wine, and 2 sangrias. The wine was definately a house brand and the sangria came with too much fruit and maybe 4 ounces of watered down sangria. My last observation is the time it took to bring this terrible dining experience to an end. As we waited and waited and waited we couldn't help but observe 2 complete parties of 4 and 6 people who came in after us and ordered after us receiving their food quite a while before we did. Finally I brought my observations to our server and he said the people we refered to ordered before we did. I called him on that and everyone at our table said the same thing: We definately came in and ordered before either of the 2 parties I refered to and there was no doubt about it. He just shrugged it off. I have no doubt regular customers are taken care of at the expense of all others. We paid our inflated bill which came to $154 for trash and walked out at exactly 9:55 PM, thats 3 hours and 55 minuted of a really bad evening at a horrid restaurant. As we drove back to our time share we all agreed, the people writing the rave reviews about Anna Marias must be eating a lot of Italian food at Pizza Hut because no true Italian food lover would ever consider this junk good.
As an Italian from Brooklyn, I can attest that Anna Maria's is without a doubt the BEST Italian restaurant in Aruba! We were among the first to eat at Anna Maria's when it first opened (the cab driver even had difficulty finding it back then - not a problem today of course!) and have NEVER been disappointed! Every year we make sure to email our reservation request well in advance, so as not to miss out. This year I had the calamari as an appetizer, and it was as tender as I have ever had it. The main course was puttanesca, which I rarely eat, because it needs to be prepared very carefully. When I ordered it, the waiter, Jeanne-Pierre, noticing that I was wearing a white silk shirt, asked if I would prefer rigatoni instead of spaghetti, which of course was a much appreciated suggestion. It was by far the best puttanesca I have ever tried, achieving the perfect balance of flavor in the ingredients, especially the olives and anchovies - neither was overwhelming, and the result was absolutely perfect. But the most wonderful part was Anna Maria's home made tira-misu - hers is the best we have ever had, including in New York City and even in Italy - the flavor was absolutely extraordinary. As time share owners, we will be repeat customers of Anna Maria's for as long as she and Chris are willing to cook for us - when you're so far from home, the home cooking that they offer really makes you feel at home!
My wife and I just returned from dining at this restaurant and I must say, it was very disappointing. Pasta with clams, mussels, some shrimp and probably, wahoo, was $40.00.
My wife ordered Clams over pasta, and she told the waiter the clams did not taste right. She asked if she could have another pasta instead. The waiter brought it back to the kitchen and soon returned, telling us that we would be billed for both the pasta that she returned as well as the new one that she wanted. This was the first time in my entire life, I was ever faced with this announcement. Several minutes later, he returned and apologized, and reversed this terrible response, charging us only for the one she actually ate.
Several nearby tables had not been cleaned well after the people left the restaurant. The stood dirty for at least 45 minutes, perhaps longer. There were two waiters and no bus boy.
Napkins from the tables lay on the floor for almost as long.
Perhaps this was an off night, but I won't find out, because we will NOT return.
Anne Maria continues to be our favorite restaurant and that opinion has not wavered especially after our visit there on October 11. We have been fans of Ann Maria for four years. Even with our high expectations, every time we go we continue to be impressed by the food, service and attention to detail.
Jean-Paul is an outstanding waiter and we are glad that he was our server now for the past two years. For the food, starter salads were excellent with tasty dressings, main course be it traditional lasagna or another type of fish was fine, properly prepared and quite a nice presentation. Many other selections as well looked great. Best Cappuccino we think in town. Since everything is prepared fresh, you will be spending a bit more time at the restaurant but who cares! It's not that you have a show to catch and the owners are very cordial. Can't wait until our return next year.
Best Italian restauraunt in Aruba -- bar none
My wife and I have been to Aruba 19 times, and have eaten at several Italian restauraunts. We dined at this restauraunt on October 3. We shared the Fried calamari appetizer, which was the best calamari we have ever had anywhere. The frutti di mare was fresh, the sauce was light and delicate. You can choose how spicey to have your sauce on a scale of 1 to 10. My wife hadp enne alla vodka, which was also delicious. The service was slow but impecable. You cannot be in a hurry when you eat at this restauraunt. It is a bit expensive, but well worth it.
Average Food/Horrible Service
My friend and I ate here a few nights ago and were extremely disappointed. This restaurant is in someone's house and there is no sign at all so you have no idea where it is. We finally found it and we're greeted by a server who did not smile or greet us. We sat in the yard where there are apporximately 8 tables. Our server barely talked, smiled or read any specials. We shared the calamari and shrimp appetizers and they were bland and somewhat undercooked. My friend had the spaghetti puttanesca which he said was good. I had the spaghetti carbonara and if you're Italian like me you should know how this is supposed to taste. There were fresh pieces of bacon in it which were good but a very peppery taste to it. In fact, there was a dark watery residue at the bottom from all the pepper. This is not how carbonara is supposed to taste. We also shared a side order of meatballs and they weren't even round, more like little hockey pucks and the sauce there were in tasted like a can of Hunts tomato sauce. The best part of the meal was dessert which was a cannoli. I left a similar review on Tripadvisor and was absolutely floored at the nasty, unprofessional message that the owner left me. He was so rude that he shouldn't even be in a business that deals with people. If you don't like his food, he leaves nasty messages. I wouldn't return to this place because of the people that work here and of course since the food is NOTHING to write home about.
We heard about ANNA MARIA'S last year - a little too late to take it in - but what we heard was all favorable and, though we normally like to wait a while to let a restaurant go through any start up issues, the comments we were hearing were so favorable as to entice us into going sooner than later. A new trend in Aruban dining is that of private casual dining and it is fair to say that ANNA MARIA'S is part of that trend. What that entails are small restaurants which accommodate no more than 30 (and sometimes no more than 20) patrons each day that they open and they do so in exquisite settings and with the finest of food and ambiance - some with fixed menues and some without - and some with themes and others without. ANNA MARIA'S to no ones' surprise is ITALIAN themed and it does not have a fixed menu. From the moment you arrive at ANNA MARIA'S home which has had the rear portico converted into a most quaint dining area you feel as if you have been whisked off to ITALY and are treated a visiting royalty. Service is deliberately slow and impeccable (do not plan on rushing your meal or having it rushed - you will be there for a while), the ambiance is sublime, and the made-to-order, homemade food is simply delicious. This is one classy operation and the experience is truly an enjoyable one - maybe eating on a gondola in Venice might be more original - but this comes so close that you do not even notice the difference. The foods are authentic Italian and the sauces are made of the finest ingredients (the sweetness of the San Marzano tomatoes came through wonderfully in the tomato sauces). Some dishes may not appeal to everyone, but there is something for everyone on the menu - including children. All-in-all, it is a wonderful dining experience which is leisurely presented and enjoyed - even more so when the evening is concluded and the chef makes the rounds to be sure that you are satisfied. There is no question in our mind that ANNA MARIA'S is by far the best Italian eatery in Aruba and that it leaves all others far in the dust. It is about time that Aruba had an Italian restaurant of this calilbre and it is a welcome addition to the Aruban dining scene. Do yourself a favor - GO and ENJOY. This place deserves every compliment that one can imagine.
A very good meal at Anna Maria was had by all. Had heard good things about this restaurant but were told to be patient because everything was made fresh to order, and therefore dinner service was long. We went with a group of 12 which had us concerned as to whether this small restaurant could handle such a crowd. There was not a problem. The owners, who run the place and are the chefs, made sure not to take a lot of reservations at the same time our group was dining, so as to give us the proper attention and service.
The restaurant itself is out of the way, in the backyard of the owner's home. It is nicely decorated and a comfortable setting for dinner.
As for the food, it was basic and delicious. It is true that everything was made fresh to order, and the freshness was noticable. Flavors do not compete with each other and each ingredient stands out. Several of our group had a wonderful paella that had to be ordered in advance at the time of our reservation. They said it rivaled any paella they had in Spain. The crepe stuffed with ricotta and spinich topped with a sweet tomato sauce was incredible.(Note: the tomato sauce used on all the dishes was very sweet...unusual/different than what we are use to in the Northeast US). All pastas were liked except that the vodka sauce tasted a little like tomato soup. Fish dishes were well prepared.
Overall, a different, very good experience that is worth trying.