December 26, 2013 2 Fools and a Bull
We had heard about 2 Fools and a Bull from a friend. Make sure to make reservations as soon as you can, as they book quickly! We were lucky, we called the day of and were able to get in due to a last minute cancellation. We arrive promptly at 7pm – if your name isn’t on the board, you don’t have a seat. (Names have been removed for privacy)
The restaurant is located in a small house that they converted about a year ago. When you arrive, they usher you out to the back porch where you mingle with other guests and have a complimentary glass (or three) or moscato.
The menu changes daily, depending on chef Fred’s mood and what is fresh. Tell them well in advance if you have food allergies or have special dietary needs (if you show up at 7 and tell them you are a vegetarian, you may be out of luck). Each dish comes with a wine pairing which costs extra. Feel free to have any of the wines with any of the courses, the pairings are just suggestions.
So we start the night off with a cornish hen salad with apple, fig and grapefruit. The skin is crisped and added to the salad giving it a nice texture (along with the walnuts) and is finished with a port red wine reduction. I loved this dish, it was just a perfect pairing of flavors and textures. The salad was really light, fresh and bright – a nice way to start off the meal.
Next we move on to the “foolish mushrooms” that are prepared with ham, melted brie cheese comes garnished with a piece of garlic toast. With the melted cheese you would think that this dish would be heavy and not appropriate for the warm weather, but it was delicious.
Paul and Fred came to the island over a decade ago and never left. They were the “go to” guys when new restaurants were opening on the island – Fred would set up the kitchen and Paul set up the bar.
After the mushroom course, we got up and sat on the porch again while Paul cleaned the plates and prepared the space for the next course. It’s kind of funny the personal things that people tell you even though they’ve just met you. It certainly made you feel like you were at an intimate dinner party with people you’ve known for years.
Next course is the halibut over risotto with lobster, shrimp and bok choy, finished with lobster infused oil. This was a really nice dish, all the seafood was cooked perfectly, and they cooked the skin on the fish so you could eat it. This dish was definitely decadent.
The star of the restaurant is this 45 year old French firewall oven. We didn’t use it for tonight’s meal but that’s ok, our food was amazing without it! Fred encourages you to get up and see what he’s doing, you can go with him into the kitchen and watch him prepare the meal, and they encourage you to ask questions!
Next course is the classic beef wellington with truffle jous of osso bucco and mushrooms served with green beans. It comes pink out of the oven, but some choose to have it cooked a bit more after it’s sliced. I enjoyed the light pastry crust and the truffle jous.
A trio of desserts, on the left a creme brulee, in the middle is tiramisu and on the right is a meringue with vanilla ice cream and home made chocolate sauce. Making a meringue and having it hold it’s shape in this hot weather is amazing in and of itself!
The meal costs $87.50 per person for a 5 course meal and wine pairings are an additional charge. We arrived at 7pm and left at about 10:30pm. We left full, but not in pain, this was probably one of our top 5 meals we have ever had. Paul has a great personality, a great ‘front of the house’ which must come from his years of experience as a bartender. You immediately feel welcome and feel as if he is an old friend. Fred is a little more reserved and immersed in his craft, but at the end of the night we got to chat with him a bit – he’s got a lot of great stories! It is about a 15-20 minute walk from most of the high rise hotels, but they will call you a cab at the end of the night if you don’t want to walk.
2 Fools and a Bull
Palm Beach #17, Aruba
+297 586 7177