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  • Enrique Balestrini

Christmas Brunching at Gianni's

Is there a better way to celebrate the holiday season than unlimitedly indulging in some classic Christmas dishes and Prosecco? I don't think there is.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

When the lovely folks from Gianni's extended me the invitation to taste this limited-time-only brunch I jumped at it and spent the week looking forward to Sunday morning. Recently I reviewed their regular Sunday Brunch and thought I knew what to expect but to my surprise, their whole menu is new. Lots of new dishes, all-time favorites, and people pleasers.


Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

I came up with a ranking, especially for this one: the Italian hand emoji 🤌🏼 ranking. 5 hands or 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼 being the highest score.


Let's do it!


Starting with breakfast items, I gotta say that I am pleased to say Gianni's pays attention to those who love breakfast and won't skip that section of the menu. I personally can't jump straight to pasta at 11 in the morning. There are two items here, one sweet and one savory. Coffee First!

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life


Uovo.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Can't go wrong with this one. Sunny side egg, creamy spinach, and baby potatoes, crushed and crispy. Two dots of truffle mayo and a touch of cracked pink peppercorns. Lots of textures and flavors that don't compete to be the star, everything goes well together.


Ranking: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Pancake di Velluto Rosso.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

When I am telling you this could be the best buttermilk pancake twist you can find right now, I am being 100% honest.


I really like when a dish is crafted to have the most flavors and textures: the buttermilk pancakes are sweet and tangy at the same time, the pistachio nuts add crunch, the fresh blueberries add acidity, the cocoa powder some bitterness, and some sour with the cream cheese, there's honey too.


Ranking: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Ponche Crema Parfait.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

First Christmas item. Right off the bat, the Ponche punches! This creamy liquor has a special place in my heart and loved that they decided to celebrate this iconic Christmas staple for so many. The parfait aspect of it is pretty straightforward: granola, nuts, and Ponche. Honestly what's not to like? Only thing is that I wish it had been placed in the dessert section.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Ayaca.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

For those unfamiliar, Ayaca, or Hallaca, is a traditional Christmas dish from Venezuela, similar to a tamal, made with corn dough, wrapped in plantain leaves, stuffed with beef and many other things, that has transcended borders and become part of the Aruban menu during the holiday season. Every culture has added ingredients of cultural significance to it. In Aruba they have their own twist to it, adding prunes and cashew to it. I am glad it is on the menu! It is an absolute must-have. Served with a little Pica di papaya (hot sauce) is the way to go.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Crema di San Marzano.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

When I was live posting about it on Instagram I said: Probably the best tomato créme I have had in Aruba, and I still stand by it. Velvety, super well-balanced (sometimes tomato soups tend to be too sour or too sweet). They should sell this by the gallon.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Risotto alla Zucca.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

If you are a pumpkin fan, you're going to like this vegetarian option. Roasted pumpkin risotto and wild mushrooms.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Orecchiette alla vodka.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Little Ears or Orecchiette, cooked al dente and tossed in creamy vodka sauce. There is no need to tell you anything more.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼 and a half (Just because It was a little on the salty side to my taste)


Rigatoni E Cozze.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

In my opinion the most elegant dish on the menu. Rigatoni and mussels tossed in a butter and mussel sauce. The way they made this one so right.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Ossobucco Ravioli.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Another delicacy well done. Ossobucco is a classic! Perfect for any Sunday lunch. Please don't skip this one.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Pan de Jamón.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Another Venezuelan traditional Christmas dish that has gone beyond borders and been embraced by other countries. Pan de Jamón is brioche-like dough rolled with smoked ham, bacon, olives, and raisins that is a must during the season in Venezuela and Aruba. Gianni's of course, having their own bakery, has made the tastiest and pillowy dough for this one.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Christmas Ham.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

A more fruity version of the traditional smoked Christmas ham. Sliced and kissed by the grill to then be served with a jus and sweet pineapple. It would not be a Christmas occasion if the ham is missing from the menu.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Turkey Breast.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Here to please all those turkey lovers. Make sure you get the perfect bite of turkey, some greens, and some sauce. The bitterness of the arugula is a great complement to it.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼 (I am not a turkey fan but I can appreciate it! for those who are, it could be a 5🤌🏼)


Desserts.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

After one too many glasses of Prosecco, I was ready to have some dessert. I should let you know that Mimosas and Bellinis are not pre-mixed here. Everything is hand poured at your table to your liking and you can switch between them as you like and even have just the Prosecco. I know this is an important point to mention because some other brunches offer premixed, watered-down, no-fizz mimosas. That's just not right!


Christmas Bonbon Ball.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Suggested by our lovely waitress Sandra as the star of the dessert menu, the Christmas Bonbon here is a beauty to look at! that shiny dome with that gold leaf on top of the cookie seems like out of the Cedric Grolet patisserie. Do you know those Christmas cookies that come in a tin? well, this reminded me of it. Inside the chocolate dome, there's a cream of red fruits and apricot. It's high level!


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


Holiday Panna Cotta.

Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

Another delicate item! If you want to know what Strawberries and cream taste like but in a Panna Cotta form, this is your chance. Thank God it is small, otherwise, it would be hard to stop.


Rating: 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼


The Verdict.


For those who are indecisive or have not made plans yet to get together with friends, family, or colleagues... this one might be your best option. You get a lot for your buck, it's an all-you-can-eat so it will satisfy big eaters, and bottomless! so big drinkers will be happy too. The food as you can see looks and tastes great, not big misses this time. The only thing I would say I missed was Panettone. For an Italian brunch, it would have been so perfect.


The service was FAN TAS TIC. Special thanks to Sandra and Michael for being so kind to us! and to Gianni's group for the invitation. I think I might repeat it next Sunday, December 18th. Make your reservation before it sells out... and oh! Meet Santa! 🎅🏼


Christmas Brunch Gianni's Restaurant Reviews aruba enrique balestrini the foode life

The whole experience is Afl. 104 per person plus tip! (around USD 58).


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