• Enrique Balestrini

Is Brutto the new IT place?

Brutto emerged with brand new shine from the vestiges of an old establishment to quickly become the place to see and be seen. Is it worth the hype and will it last?

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Brutto stylish front of house

Quite often in Aruba, we hear and see a place where everybody eats and has a cocktail during the weekend all over social media. I call it the flavor of the month: usually is the most recently inaugurated restaurant or bar... and then a couple of months later you see how the hype fades away and the crowd moves into the new place to be. My biggest question is why they couldn't keep the fame longer and stay relevant.


Brutto opened without any fanfare or highly PR'ed event, they put the honey out and let the ants come to have a taste. Bold move in a highly social media-driven society, where we are bombarded with ads to attract traffic every time a place opens its doors. They didn't do much, just put the sign up and opened their door.


The restaurant is beautiful I have to be honest. Every detail is considered, branding everywhere, from the dinner rolls, napkins, to even the chopsticks wrapper. Tableware, glassware, furniture, surfaces... top of the line, something that reveals their origins. Brutto is part of an international group of restaurants with a presence in Venezuela, El Salvador, and Panama. When you've swum in a bigger pool, you know everything counts if you want to stand out and succeed.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life

Also, you should have hard-working people steering the ship: Laura Cure Peters and Adrián Morúa on top of their game at all times. You won't catch them standing in a corner giving orders left and right, if they have to move around tables and serve mimosas to the brunch-goers, you'll see them doing it.


Now, what is the place all about? How's the food, the drinks, the service?


The Food and Drinks.


Brutto's menu is a fusion of Japanese and American cuisine, with ingredients and techniques from all over the world. Lots of things to share, sushi, risottos, big treats, sweets. It's got it all. Impossible to read and not to find something to your liking. Click here to give it a look if you're feeling curious.


Brutto offers 12 unique cocktails trust me they check all the marks with looks, quality, and value. You get the real deal made with the best spirits. We've had enough of those watery cocktails.


The first one we tried is one of their signatures: Carnaby Street. Made with Gin butterfly, cardamom, some coriander, and orange peel. It is massive! easy two regular size cocktails fit in this Gin glass. Perfect refresher to get into the night.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Carnaby Street

The first bite was the Tuna Taco. Fresh and uncomplicated. The crispy shell had a truffle hint.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Tuna Tacos

At Brutto the sushi is highly esteemed. They take pride in having the best-crafted rolls and recommend stars from the menu like The Angus with outside skirt, The Dragon Brutto with salmon, prawn and crab trifecta, or the ATP by recommendation from Adrián.


Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
ATP Roll.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
ATP Roll

You are definitely paying for fish and deliciousness. They make sushi with less than 80 grams of rice per roll. The AAA tuna and Japanese basil-flavored mayo is a clean bite. Insuperable quality. $18.


Another hit from the menu is the White Tuna Crudo. Yuzu, the most popular acidic fruit in Japan is mixed with soy, clarified butter, and truffle oil to pack the punch of flavors in this one. $14

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
White Tuna Crudo

Moving from raw items I wanted to taste couple more appetizers. Definitely one of them caught my attention: Onion soup dumplings. French onion soup is one of my favorite foods in life and I was not gonna miss these. I am familiar with soup dumplings but never had something like these.


Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Onion Soup Dumplings

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Onion Soup Dumplings

This is a fantastic interpretation of the classic dish. Melted cheese on top, juicy filling that makes a bite so complete and heartwarming. I absolutely went nuts about it. If you go to Brutto and don't know where to start, start with these.

 

The KFC stands for Korean Fried Cauliflower. Cauliflower Tempura dressed in Asian BBQ sauce with hints of star anise. Generous and sweet. Consider it a fantastic side dish.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
KFC

A cocktail break is my favorite before the main dish. Jeanpierre was fast to recommend us two: The Spritz In A Bag and the Apple Mule.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Spritz in A Bag

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Spritz in A Bag

The mega favorite Aperol Spritz with golden berry comes in a bag with a floating rubber duck. A+ for creativity.


Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Apple Mule

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Apple Mule

The Apple Mule is not your average mule. 5 Gummy Bears are there for the extra joy!

 

The main dishes section of the menu is called Big Treats. Ranges from the Whole Lobster (MP), Truffled Mushrooms Risotto ($22) to the fine-dining restaurant staple: Branzino ($60)

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Whole Branzino

Their take on the Branzino is the Robatta style for grilling, Furikake Asian spices, tamarind, and fresh herbs. Every bite is tasty yet delicate, the fresh parsley branch on top is the classic Italian touch. I know Branzino is a highly esteemed dish among the restaurant people.


From the dessert menu, I had the Sweet Corn Fondant not knowing what I was in for.

Brutto Aruba Enrique Balestrini The FoodE Life
Sweet corn fondant

Here's a video:



I have no words to describe what it feels like to have the first spoonful of this cake and its creamy interior but the closest one is Cachapas! Thank god for the Venezuelan influence on this one. Food is supposed to make you feel things, to take you places you remember with love.

 

It's cool to have more options to go out, to have a drink, to people-watch but it's better to have a place that is excelling in every aspect of the equation. Food, drinks, service, and vibes are up there, showing what 14 years of experience in managing restaurants are capable to achieve.


I can't wait to go again and have that little knob of butter covered with Shitake mushrooms, herbs, and truffle that announces the beginning of the dining experience.


Shitake, herbs and truffle butter.


Brutto's social media channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bruttoaruba

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bruttoaruba/


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