There’s no need for an aphrodisiac here at Ana’s on the Beach where love emanates from every corner. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy an oyster or two, the quintessential cuisine d’amour! What better to kick off our first gourmet night than fresh oyster amouse-bouches, bursting with subtle flavours, heavenly juices and just general loveliness.
That was but a morsel of seven delectable courses in our September 10 gastronomic extravaganza created by legendary chef Julian Waterer. Executed to perfection from start to finish, feedback from our guests was so effusive our cheeks are almost as pink as our fabulous fuchsia front doors. “Thoroughly enjoyable,” “such a pleasure”, “excellent dinner” and “a truly wonderful event” are among the comments posted to our Facebook page. In fact, some people were so impressed they’ve already booked a table for 15 at our next gourmet night in January.
“It went extremely well and was a good team affair with great support in the kitchen and front of house too; I couldn’t have managed without them,” Julian said. “We produced a high standard of food; everyone I spoke to seemed to love it. It was an excellent night and a great success.”
With delights like smoked duck, spicy octopus stew and Greek sausage – all expertly paired with the finest champagne – it’s hard to name a favourite. “The salmon mousse – with its different textures, flavours and colours – stood out for me personally,” Julian added. “It had a nice combination of crunch, softness and richness with a well reduced saffron sauce.”
For owner Maria Britto-Bettini, the Ana’s experience is as much about the ambience as incredible cuisine and superb service. “The atmosphere was beautiful, people were quite impressed and I was very proud of our team; they excelled themselves,” she said.
One of the evening’s highlights was a surprise appearance by soprano singer Annalisa Smithers whose uplifting tones left barely a dry eye in the house. Her soulful set included a mix of opera, contemporary and golden oldies. Classics like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Think of Me’, Barbara Streisand’s ‘All I Ask of You’ and ‘Moon River’, ‘Over the Rainbow’ by Judy Garland, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and several by Eva Cassidy brought the house down. Annalisa said she was delighted by the reception to her performance, adding: “It was a fantastic evening in a wonderful, intimate setting.”
Meanwhile, we’ve added a little Latin flavour to our weekly line-up of events. The Tabaco Band all the way from Cuba have given Saturday nights some extra pizzazz with their rousing, foot-tapping tunes.
As you know, our passion for what we do means we’re always a step ahead here at Ana’s on the Beach. So here’s a small sneak preview of what else we have coming up. Our talented chefs are hard at work designing a menu for our Friday October 17 event, ‘Jazz on the Beach’, featuring a selection of toothsome tapas and ‘anapasti’ dishes, plus an appearance by an international guest musician. Tickets will be available from September 23 – and numbers are limited so don’t delay.
Christmas is now just a few weeks away and we’re planning some very special festivities. The Sunday December 7 Family Funday will include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a Moroccan-style bazaar selling some of the finest locally created arts and crafts.
And finally, for this week, that’s enough about us. What we really want to know is what you think. Tell us what you love most about the Ana’s experience. Perhaps you have a favourite dish or cocktail? Maybe you have a perfect memory of time spent with us that you’d like to share – or suggestions for something you’d like to see in the future. Post your comments below – and help us continue to spoil you rotten.
by Gemma Handy.