About the Fools, then the latest on Tierra del Sol
CHEF BAS KUURSTRA BECOMES A FOOL. No offense meant, it’s true, one of my favorite chefs, in fact Aruba’s only private chefs, joined 2 Fool & a Bull, the gourmet studio on Palm Beach 17. When chef Fred Wanders retired, Bas replaced him as the cooking partner. I didn’t tell you before because I waited for a formal announcement. It came last weekend, when I met Bas in the parking lot of a popular supermarket and he said, all is well, I am fooly satisfied, I get along dandy with Paul Faas, the sommelier partner, life is good, we’re going sailing. So now you know. One of the best restaurants on the island, Paul will immediately correct me and say THE best, just changed chefs, and the transition went smoothly.
LUNCH AT TIERRA DEL SOL. I recently had lunch with Cisco Quant and Vaneska Henriquez, talking about Tierra del Sol, now fully recovered from whatever bump in the road it encountered a few years back.
The restaurant enjoyed a nice lunch crowd, tourists and locals including the Minister of Justice. Food was delicious: I had to have the Curry Waldorf Salad, my old favorite, still perfect.
Cisco reports that the golf course is in top shape, and indeed, the Wente Winery / Papiamento Restaurant/ Arion Wine Company golf tournament made 128 golfers happy last weekend.
Vaneska says the spa is as busy as ever, supporting a large local clientele. In fact through thick and thin the spa never lost its following, especially among locals who love the dollar to florin conversions, and spa manager Orly Valor makes sure we all get treated right.
While the restaurant – now called the Restaurant at Tierra Del Sol, no more Ventanas, suffered a decline in popularity for dinner over the past few years, things are now looking up and chef Jim Rooseman tweaked the dinner menu, introducing a Seasonal Special which lists among appetizers Smoked Salmon & Scallop Salad, and Duck Liver Crème Brulée. Both have my name written all over them. The Seasonal Special also features some lovely main courses such as Beef Short Rib & Veal Sweetbreads. Yummy combo.
Chef Jim also included lots of new dishes on the dinner menu, you will encounter pleasant surprises going thru cold and warm appetizers, main courses and desserts. I found Beef Tournedos Rossini and Maple Leaf Duck Breast in the chef recommendation section. As expected, brunch is super popular, and full every weekend, because Jorge Estrada really has the dining working like a well-oiled machine.
At one point of the conversation I asked Cisco about a rumored hotel coming down the road and he confirmed that Terra del Sol is again serious about new hotel construction, in the land across Arashi beach, below the lighthouse, but he did not provide any details. His lips were sealed.
But Home Rentals he said are popular, with Ingrid de Marchena at the helm, and those renting homes via Tierra Del Sol’s program also enjoy access to the club house and the pool.
Last but not least, a new website is up and social media is buzzing. So if you have been away from Tierra del Sol for a while, drop in, they are ready to receive you, with the best Aruba has to offer in one place, and Emilio Geerman, who is in charge of banquets, will help orchestrate your perfectly if you decide to host the reception in the garden!
In conversation with my magazine partner Tina Bislick when I mentioned Tierra Del Sol, she said, and I have to quote her, Kudo to Raymond Maduro, who developed the property so long ago, it still look excellent, and is as impressive now, as it was then!