16 May La Negra Tomasa
More than a restaurant, La Negra Tomasa is a family that comes to offer an authentic Italian dining experience with the warmth of an Italian home and the traditional cuisine of the “Nonna”. An authentic Trattoria under the tutelage of the owner and Chef Gisella Contini, who brought a suitcase full of flavors, culinary influences and many years of experience in the art of cooking when leaving her beloved Turin. Gisella is here to enchant the palate of the most demanding costumers that every day knocks at her door in this small but cozy restaurant located in the heart of El Cangrejo.
The name of the restaurant, “La Negra Tomasa”, evokes deep memories of Gisella’s childhood and her nanny Tommasina, who shared her love for cooking. Gisella seeks to reflect this love in each dish through the use of fresh, authentic and artisanal products that enhance the flavors of traditional Mediterranean cuisine, which is present in each of her recipes. This is how she puts her heart and soul into each dish, although, thank goodness her kitchen is small since she always says: “I cannot put my heart in more than 30 dishes a day”.
From the first moment you will feel that you are arriving at the right place, with a simple and welcoming atmosphere where the aromas and flavors invite you to spend and enjoy a select menu that goes from starters, salads, pastas and main dishes such as fish or meat; as a representation of Gisella’s beloved “Torinese” cuisine. As a highlight, the Antipasto Misto, a table of sausages and mixed cheeses with pickled vegetables and olives; as well as the authentic Angus beef carpaccio flavored with truffle oil and slices of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, are a must. Do not miss the exquisite Italian DOP Burratina, handmade by Ernesto, a young Neapolitan who is part of La Negra Tomasa’s family.
All types of pastas are homemade following traditional techniques and prepared al dente, like the Tagliatelle. The typical potato Gnocchi are also handmade by Gisella (just as her nanny taught her) and are just amazing; when tasting them you can feel the pieces of potatoes that enhance the authenticity of the culinary craftsmanship. The famous Ravioli or Agnolotti with meat, as Gisella likes to call them, are stuffed with a meat prepared in the oven for 8 to 12 hours.
Among the select recipes on the menu are the delicious risottos in different presentations: Terra e Mare, Alla Pescatora, Ai Gamberi e Tartufo, each with amazing flavors that evoke the classic Mediterranean cuisine. Among the main dishes stands out the unique Brasato al Barolo, a juicy beef cooked in Barolo red wine, a pride of the Piemonte region. Soon, new dishes will be also added, among them the grilled octopus, cod, ossobuco, and much more.
To end such a pleasant culinary journey through the most deeply rooted traditions of Italian gastronomy, every diner expects the “Dolce” or sweet treat, and what better way to do it than having a creamy Tiramisu made by the magical hands of Gisella, or a subtle Panna Cotta paired with a good Italian coffee or a homemade digestive like a Limoncello. Just let yourself be spoiled by Gisella’s excellent cuisine that will take you to a little piece of Italy in Panama.