Bati Bleki January 14

WINE FOOD & ART. Today’s columns only talks about Wine, Food & Art, which reminds me that the Westin Resort Aruba just announced that its annual festival is set for June, stay tuned for exact dates, and that this year promises new event formats and guest celebrity chefs!

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD. I feel like I am the island’s food ambassador, because I do get around. Over the past couple of weeks I ate my way through town, and as a result gained a few pounds, compelling me to tell you about the standouts! At Le Bistro, Paseo Herencia we shared three salads: Salad Nicoise, Salad Le Bistro, and Caesar Salad with Garlic Chicken, all so fresh and crisp! The veggies tasted like they were picked in the garden and delivered to the kitchen that same day. We liked our salads so much that we went back the following day and ordered them again, as take-outs. Surprise, they were equally good! Duo Close Call, with Martin Buitenweg on guitar and the exotic Sanghita providing the vocals, may be found at Le Bistro on Wednesdays, they play classics by Sting, and Paul Simon, among other giants and sound lovely and jazzy. We can’t be equally enthusiastic about CILO, in Oranjestad, where the Dijon Greens Salad with goat cheese, sits on a pillow of shredded iceberg lettuce and diced tomato, a very small pillow, chased by a tepid Onion Soup served in what looks like a finger bowl. But duo 1/2 Step Down with Roger Peterson & Kevin make up musically where the culinaria fails . . . At the Local Store, on Weststraat 4D, you will find a menu of deliciously pressed and toasted Panini, escorted by crunchy commercial chips, nicely presented in basket, during lunch time. It washes down well with Balashi or Chill beer. Panini is the plural of Panino. What we call a Panini, is really a Panino, a single sandwich, unless of course you order two bread rolls, then you may call them Panini . . . I finally went with some friends to Zuzuroh, on Eagle Beach, the hottest, newest restau on the island. We were welcomed by Evert & Margarita who took the plunge to open Zuzuroh together with chef Bas and his wife! The partners worked together at Rembrandt and Da Vinci last, and are now serving hearty and delicious meals for reasonable prices at a friendly and inviting out-of-the-way location. The place is hopping with tourists and locals, apparently the Lamb Chops and the Veal and the Spaghetti Formaggio, are tops! I loved my Greek Style Mussels in tomatoes and feta cheese and my Eggplant Parm!  Everybody else had a good time with their food. We ate more bread than is good for us. Zuzuroh bakes crusty white spongy bread that was made for dunking!  Then I went back with another set of friends the following day, and loved the Spaghetti alle Vongole, and the Lamb Gyros, and the four pieces of Baklava for dessert. No amount of walking can make good for that. Evert reports the name of the restaurant means whisper, sus’surro, in Italian, and now that I whispered in your ear that it is excellent, you should make a reservation before jumping in the car. The place is small, and finds it hard to accommodate walk-ins.


WHISPERING ANGELS. Govert van der Hout with the Arion Wine Company reveals that the latest best seller carried by his company is a rosé wine called Whispering Angels, which is marketed under the slogan “If You Drink It You Might Hear Them.” The pale and beautiful wine is made by Alexis Sacha Lichine, who is the heir to a venerated wine family. He is now making this most exclusive wine in the South of France. Govert says it’s a new chapter in the world of rosé! Remember, it is made by Château d’Esclans, called Whispering Angel, and it comes from the Côtes de Provence, France.

ART RULES ARUBA IS COMING BACK FOR THE 4TH EDITION. The dates for Art Rules Aruba this summer are July 15th till July 27th. Ayra and Ira Kip, of the Pancake Gallery, have started the program here in 2010, and they are returning this summer for the 4th consecutive time, offering international art educational workshop programs to about 200 youthful participants. Art Rules Aruba offers these workshops in 9 art disciplines including this year for the first time a bonus workshop: Culinary Arts! The Kip sisters decided to add cooking as an art discipline when they saw Urvin Croes, Executive chef / Owner, White Modern Cuisine, on Dutch TV, on an episode filmed in Aruba, where the chef used anything from seaweed to flowers to enhance his dish. The girls happily share that the government’s department of education has confirmed that it will be donating the Pieter Boer School, as the program’s headquarters. They are making the whole school building available to Art Rules Aruba, and will be getting a gorgeously artistic mural, in return. Having gone to school in San Nicholas the girls are hoping that perhaps Aruba Aloe will agree to build a local Aloe garden in the school yard, combined with a community service day to clean up the entire facility! Count me in!

NEW GENERAL MANAGER. The Radisson Aruba Resort Casino & Spa has a new General Manager, Mark Lyttleton-Frances, who comes to us from Saint Lucia where he was the General Manager of an all-inclusive upscale spa resort called The BodyHoliday. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to working in the Caribbean he served as regional general manager for development with MacDonald Hotels and Resorts in England. He started his career in his native country, South Africa, where he managed a number of hotels as well as the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Described as down-to-earth with exceptional people skills, and a sense of humor Mark arrived in Aruba this week and was warmly welcomed by staff members and management at the Grande Dame of Palm Beach!