Still haven't had time to do a full trip report but I promise, next week...
My family loves Italian food and have tried almost every Italian restaurant in Aruba and have always been left with some disappointment. We discovered ANNA-MARIA'S thanks to this bulletin board prior to our December trip to Aruba. We went twice in two weeks in December and just came home from another two week trip and went their twice again. Having been there four times in as many months, I feel that we are confident to do a full report on this new restaurant.
The restaurant is small and run by a husband and wife team. You are seated in a lovely backyard setting and reservations are a "must" as they try and limit the number of patrons to the number of staff working that they feel they can accommodate properly. This is not a place to come if you feel that you want to be "in/out" in one hour. This is truly a dining experience and I wouldn't recommend you come if you had children with you. All four times, it has taken approx. 2 hours but so worth it. Our last visit, we went later in the evening so at the end of our meal we spent some time with Chris and Anna-Maria and got some of the back ground of the restaurant. Currently, they have increased their kitchen staff and working to be able to handle their new found popularity. At the beginning, it was Anna-Maria, Chris and neighbour Dave who ran the place, then slowly they hired a woman to be their appetizer Chef (who was unexpectedly off work a number of weeks ago for two weeks) to currently having about 6 kitchen/wait staff.
Their food is prepared "lovingly" by Chris and Anna-Maria who are passionate about what they do. Chris will "pop out" of the kitchen, if time allows to ensure his customers are all happy with their food. Everything is fresh and prepared as you order which accounts for the more relaxed pace of dinner. If there is something not on the menu, Chris will try to accommodate as he did for my DH.
The Calamari is the best I have ever had as are their soup and salads. We have had multiple pasta dishes and chicken dishes over our four visits and we all have loved everything. Prices around the $20 range, which is comparable to the other Italian restaurants on the island.
Dave is a mixologosit and his Sangria is to "die for"! Wine prices are on par with what you find around the island.
So if you want a wonderful Italian meal and have the time to spend and want a quaint, relaxing, homey atmosphere, this is the place to go. We have recommended this place to many people on the beach and all reported back how much they loved the experience.