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"Anna-Maria's Autentico Ristorante Italiano".
Ranked #6 of 59 Restaurants in Noord
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I've recently gone to Anna-Maria's restaurant in Aruba with my boyfriend. It was, by far, the best place we ate while in Aruba. My boyfriend is Italian and said they had the best meat sauce EVER! I had broiled grouper with broccolli, they made a very healthy dinner taste superb. Their prices are very reasonable, the ambiance is spectacular and the owners, Anna-Maria and her husband Christian come out to personally say hello and to see how your dinner was. I highly recommend that you go there if you are in Aruba.

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Thank Roberta R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (662)
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501 - 505 of 662 reviews

Reviewed October 19, 2012

We are from the Northeast and we have experienced some of the greatest foods in the country! We were told about Anna-Maria and I said we have to try it! When you pull up to Anna-Maria's, it's in a neighborhood and there is no sign on the front. It is a two story house, with a green metal tall fence. There is a BMW in the driveway. Ring the doorbell and let the experience begin. After ringing the doorbell, an employee will guide you to the backyard, which is awesome! Very peaceful, clean and relaxing! The owner (Christian) came out and introduced himself and chatted for a few minutes! His wife was inside (as you can see thru the sliding door) cooking. After a few minutes, Christian said, I will be back I have to cook. We had appetizers which were amazing! The bread was great, and the main dish was breathe taking! We had dessert which was awesome! Christian came back out to thank us and spoke to us for a few more minutes! I HAVE TO SAY, THIS WAS THE BEST DINNING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE, and I am a very picky eater! This is a MUST if you come to Aruba! We will be coming back every time we are in Aruba!

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Thank bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012 via mobile

Went here with a big group. Heard about it from people we met in the pool at our hotel. One man said great another said no, but it was someplace that we hadn't been to so we wanted to try it. Have been to all the popular restaurants around there, have been vacationing in Aruba for a long time. The cab driver told us that the food was ok when we gave him the name- we never would have found it, it is in the back of the house of the owners. That part was very nice And I have to say that we were all excited when we were walking to the back because it looked almost like a small Madame Jeanette's or Papiamentos. Both of these restaurants , food wise, are excellent. Anyway I have read reviews about the San Gria here -And it seems that a lot of people are commenting on the price of a pitcher I think that is one thing that was worth the price. it was delicious. However we should have left after that. The meals literally came out one at a time which was not good when you have a lot of people. I was completely done by the time the 6th member of our group got their meal. We couldn't wait cause then it would have been cold food that was ok instead of hot food that was ok. My cousin asked me if the sauce was ragu. After an excruciatingly long meal that was horrible for the people that ate first, we were forced obviously to wait for everyone else to eat. Some of us asked for more bread cause we literally were sitting there doing nothing and WE WERE CHARGED $6 FOR A BASKET. I said there was no way but we asked the waiter and he said yes that was what they do. Because of that alone I would not go back. The fact that the food was nothing more then ok is the other reason. I assume that the owner will be as nasty to me as he is to everyone else who writes a bad review but that is the risk I have to take in trying to tell my fellow travellers to spend their $$ and evening elsewhere.

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5  Thank jerseygirl047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saponara, Owner at "Anna-Maria's Autentico Ristorante Italiano"., responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2012

Dear jerseygirl047,

Thank you for posting your personal opinion on your experience assuming you have truly visited us?!

All comments are welcome as long as the negative ones are 'constructive' and not 'destructive' as nothing good can be accomplished when you’re being destructive and obvious that not because you didn't like us automatically mean that everyone else is going to feel the same.

What I find very surprising is why didn't you approach me when outside doing my rounds at all tables or ask one of the waiters to call the owner/chef? This would of giving you the opportunity to express your concerns face to face in person; the way I would if I’m dinning out and found something major to be unacceptable and something would have been done to make you feel better, instead of choosing to write such a review behind our back!

Luckily the majority feels & thinks completely opposite from you and will continue visiting us every time they're on the lovely Island of Aruba.

I'll keep it nice, short & professional and will finish by thanking you again for your comments and wishing you the very best on your future visits elsewhere.

Good luck!

Chris Saponara

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Overall we were very happy with Anna Marias. We had heard about it from someone on a sunset cruise and it sounded so good we decided we would visit there on our 5th Anniversary.

When you pull up in your cab your first thought is , "This can't be the right place because it is someones house" but the cab driver told us what to do. You ring the bell and someone comes out the front door and walks you around back.

We were very surprised to find out we were the only couple that night (on a Saturday!) so we had the entire place to ourselves which was great and felt a little odd at the same time.

The backyard itself is decorated very well and you instantly feel like you're at a restaurant in Italy and not in someones back yard.

The food was good. Not great, just good. Maybe its what we ordered. Our appetizer was good, it was the crepe stuffed with ricotta and spinach.

Before our main course Anna Maria came out to say hello. She was very friendly and it was nice to meet her.

For our main course my wife had the Chicken Parm with vegetables. The chicken was ok-good but the vegetables were just plain. Its funny my wife dipped her veggies in the garlic oil they served with the bread and thought it made them amazing. Matter of fact everything we dipped in it made it taste better.

I ordered the rigatoni with meatballs. I'm not a huge fan of plain tomato sauce so I asked for the bolognese which they told me was an upcharge - no problem. Unfortunately I think they did't see it and I got the tomato sauce instead. I liked the meatballs but my wife thought they were pretty dry. The rigatoni was a little hard and could have been cooked longer. The sauce was very watery (maybe from the pasta) but I can't judge it very well since like I said I'm not a fan of tomato sauce.

Since everything is cooked to order it does take some time so I didn't want to complain about the sauce since I knew it would take too long.

I was surprised when I got the bill that I was still charged the upcharge ($8). I should have said something as I am sure they would have taken it off but I felt bad that we were the only table they had that night so I didn't say anything.

So the food certainly could have been better but it was still overall a very good experience and I highly recommend it. I've read all the reviews and it looks like most of the time the food gets raves so maybe we just picked a bad night.

Thank jkbarryatl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saponara, Owner at "Anna-Maria's Autentico Ristorante Italiano"., responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Dear jkbarryati,

Thank you very much for your honest comments in regards to your specific experience with us, we truly appreciate & have a lot of respect for people like you, unfortunately not everyone is like that!

I didn’t work the Saturday you visited and indeed, after checking, apparently your Rigatoni was not served with the Bolognese as you had requested so please accept our sincere apologies for not serving the Bolognese and secondly for charging for something you didn’t receive.

I know you’ll be coming back on your next visit to the Island and I promise to take care of you guys personally, so please remind me when here as you can understand that we see a lot of people throughout the year.

Also very simple, just let us know next time that you’d like your pasta not too much ‘al dente’, especially if it’s Rigatoni or Penne so we’ll let it cook for an additional 1.5 to 2 minutes and that will take care of it!

Again, we thank you for taking the time to write a review and for being honest and we definitely look forward in seeing you again in the very near future.

Warm regards,

Chris Saponara

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

This place is one of the new highlights of our Aruba trips! Don't let the negative reviews throw you unless you are someone who is high maintenance! If you are driving, the restaurant may be hard to find as this is where the owners live. It is 5 minutes from the Marriott Surf Club and a taxi will get you there with no issues. Chris and his wife have built this place for you to enjoy and this is the HEART of the experience. Our first visit here was with 8 Italian cousins from NJ about a year and a half ago. It was like going back into time at Granny's house. A long table in the back yard with plenty of wine, warm bread (and the house special santgria). On this visit, (October 2), we bring 8 long time-since high school friends (Class of '71). Jean-Pierre, our waiter, cheerfully answers any questions we have and the wine and santgria are ordered. The salads are perfect (crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes and just the right amount of dressing). The dinners are great (mine Lasagna just as I remembered it with a side of Meatballs) and everyone totally loved the food. As we were on vacation, we enjoyed the "at home" atmosphere, with no one rushing us out the door. Plenty of time to relax and chat. Later on, Chris was able to sit with us for a while and we exchanged stories of how Anna-Maria's came to be and how all of us had remained great friends throughout the years. We topped the dinner off with a little home made Lemonchello (oops, was I supposed to let that secret out?) which someday should definately find it's way to commercial success in NYC. We will return on our next trip and will recommend this place to all friends and family, because after all, isn't that what life is all about?

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2  Thank Bob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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