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Windows on Aruba Introduces new Mesa Latina Concept

By Rona Coster

Food is at the heart of Latin culture, sharing the space with music and love. The recently published Dictionary of Latin Gastronomy states that “within the vibrant cultural tapestry of Latin America lies a world of culinary wonders, a rich mosaic of flavors, traditions and ingredients that captivate the hearts and palates of millions of people. A world where food is more than sustenance; it is an expression of culture, history, and love.”  We couldn’t agree more, and we would add passion and creativity to the list after taking a culinary trip through Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and beyond, exploring and savoring the dishes picked by Executive Chef Darwin Torres to represent Latin gastronomy on the new Mesa Latina Menu at Windows on Aruba.

Windows on Aruba now serves the Mesa Latina menu every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and features a great number of the new specialties on the restaurant’s Late-Night Brunch, every Friday and Saturday evening. On a recent visit to Windows on Aruba we were welcomed with a Breakfast Martini, starring a very special botanical Gin, Canaima, with origins in the Amazon rainforest. The recipe calls for triple sec and freshly squeezed lemon juice with an orange marmalade rim on the glass. You will not be disappointed if you order a Pisco Sour, the signature cocktail of Peru, or the Passionate Mezcal Mule, borrowed from Moscow with a Latin twist.

Every dish we sampled was tasty and beautifully plated, finely balancing flavors, seasoning, and inviting aromas, revealing both familiar and new ingredients. The culinary tour guided by Chef Darwin Torres featured some of his favorites: Paisa Salad, as a cold starter, combining grilled baby gem lettuce heart, avocado, roasted cashews, tomato medley, paisa cheese, pineapple gooseberry chutney, and sprinkled with rose water vinaigrette.

Divi's Windows on Aruba

The baby scallops & shrimp coconut-passion fruit ceviche delivered a tropical adaptation of the Peruvian salty and sour seafood dish. Chef Torres makes his with cubes of salted coconut water gel, pickled red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, coconut passion leche de tigre, crunchy corn, and poppy seed achiote oil, allowing the scallops and shrimp to ‘cook’ in the concoction.

 

Divi's Windows on Aruba

The tuna tartar crowned with a shrimp chicharron, watermelon wasabi relish, black garlic soy mayo, edamame, cucumber, and cauliflower tempura is drizzled with black rice vinaigrette for a harmonious umami blend.

Chef Torres has lived in Aruba for many years and honed his culinary expertise in various capitals around the globe, yet he was born in Venezuela, and Latin food speaks to him in a remarkably familiar, heart-tugging language. It was his dream to offer an elevated Latin fusion menu to guests at Window on Aruba, and his wish was just fulfilled with the recent Mesa Latina menu debut.

Among hot starters we fell in love with the Ajiaco, a Colombian Chowder with Shredded Chicken, assorted Exotic Potatoes, Arracacha, an Andean root, Corn, Caper Tapenade, sour cream and Guascas wild grass Herbs.

The Beef Anticucho, accompanied by Pisco Aji Amarillo Aioli, Avocado, Cilantro Mayo, Street Corn, and Creole Baby Potatoes with Sofrito, was incredible tender and just disappeared off our plates.

Chef Torres who considers himself a fusion lover, delights in introducing guests to the unknow, his Coxinhas, Latin Potato Croquettes stuffed with shredded Chicken, escorted by Roasted Pepper Mayo, Ras el Hanout spice mix Aioli and Tobiko, fish roe, deliver a savory, deeply satisfying bite.

The halibut main course, glazed with tamarin-panela, a subtle sweet, tangy, and tart blend of sugar cane and the Tamarin fruit puree, paired with black garlic, black rice vinegar, edamame, baharat-agave baby carrots, wakame and crispy nuri created a total fusion delicacy, true to the Chef’s culinary credo.

Divi's Windows on Aruba

The menu offers both seafood and meat dishes, all combined with different sauces, and sides – we recommend the yucca fries above all others.

For dessert, we lost all inhibitions, helping ourselves to tres leche cake, rice pudding and coconut rum cheesecake.

Divi's Windows on Aruba
Divi's Windows on Aruba

While diners enjoy the spectacular views of the signature 9th hole of Divi Links during the day, in the evening hours it’s all stylish decor and dim lights for an elegant ambiance. The service is gracious and the music, live vocals by Lili Love, contribute nicely to the romantic vibe.

For reservations call +297-523-5017

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