This post is also available in: Spanish
Casa de Campo is boasting of restaurants and great food, but I must confess that while fresh and new options seem to be popping up all over the place, vegetarians like me still have a hard time finding a good variety of options. There is only so much salad and pasta a girl can eat! So when an establishment comes up with option for me to try, I usually jump at the opportunity to do so. I recently noticed Onno’s Bar and Restaurant had a few new options on the menu including a veggie burger!!! I asked it’s owner, Nate Bailey what that was all about and found out that not only does Onno’s now have a ton of fresh and new options and brick oven pizzas, it also has a NEW CHEF!
I met up with Jorien Van der Meij who I can always count on for joining me on “healthy eating adventures” and we stopped by to meet Carlos Luis Chapellin and to try the veggie burger ourselves. We spoke about his background, approach to cooking and plans for the Onno’s kitchen. For the meat eaters out there, don’t worry, I’ll also tell you about a new meaty and juicy Wellington Burger that he showed us. Mushrooms, Bacon, Cheddar Cheese wrapped in a crispy pizza dough… I bet your jaw dropped and you started drooling.
Meet Carlos Chapellin
Carlos is a passionate chef if you ever met one. He is a Venezuelan who moved from Punta Cana to La Romana recently. While at Punta Cana, Carlos was one of the most sought after chefs for private villa events. He loves the innovation that comes from being able to play around with new dishes and menus every week. Carlos has over 25 years in the restaurant business, has owned 3 restaurants himself and does asian, italian, french and peruvian cooking. His dishes are known to boast an explosion of flavors where each ingredient comes through in their own way. Simple dishes, with great quality ingredients that shine for themselves. That is what Carlos is all about.
In coming to La Romana, he was looking to partner with an establishment that would allow him to innovate and present diners with an ongoing diversity of menu options. He met Nate who is not scared of coming up with ideas to please the Onno’s clientele. The previous menu (which we loved), Sunday brunches which were available in the winter months, Taco Tuesdays and the new Brick Oven Pizzas are just some of the things he has done recently to make sure that the crowds keep flocking to Onno’s for great food and company. Carlos is feeling right at home and pushing the envelope with tons of ideas and concepts for keeping up with Nate’s desire to keep things fresh.
Onto the Veggie Burger
Veggie burgers are a great option for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. A well prepared burger will have a good dose of vegetables and bean proteins for it to be a hearty and tasty meal without putting a strain on your arteries! It’s a healthy alternative to your traditional red meat burger.
Pardon my boasting, but I make really good veggie burgers which meat eaters love. I have about 5 recipes of my own that are Pinterest worthy. Therefore, I’m really picky about veggie burgers. It needs to be a great veggie burger for me to eat it twice. Let’s just say I’ve eaten the Onno’s veggie burger 3 times over the past 2 weeks. It’s great. Not only did I (the vegetarian) think so, but Jorien (the meat eater) did too!
Let’s start with the patty: it’s made with chickpeas, rice, carrots, onions, garlic, and a whole lot of other fresh ingredients that are good for you. You shouldn’t expect it to have the texture of meat since that defeats the point of it all! It’s a little softer but keeps its shape in the bun. The kick is the spicy factor, which is just spicy enough for a spicy lover as well as for people who are not fans to be comfortable with the heat. You can also choose how it’s cooked! Pan-fried, in the oven or battered and fried. This is one versatile veggie burger which I prefer pan-fried.
The toppings: a fresh arugula and tomato salad with light vinaigrette crowns this patty perfectly. I like cheese, so a bit of mozzarella was the perfect addition for me. It doesn’t come with cheese, so make sure to ask for it if you want it.
The bun: up until this point, the veggie burger is as healthy as you can get, but add the white, fresh, buttery and toasted bun and you have yourself comfort food at its finest. My kind of comfort food at least.
The sides: have your pick from the menu! I like the herb, shoestring fries.
The price: At RD$349 this is the cheapest burger on the menu!
Meat-Lovers here’s your Wellington Burger
This burger is Inspired by the traditional Beef Wellington, which is a fillet steak coated with pâté and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. The Wellington Burger at Onno’s is a combination between this famous dish and a sloppy joe, since when you bite into it all of the gooey fillings try to ooze out. I didn’t try it myself (evidently!) but I did see it and can tell you all about it!
The patty: the patty is made with skirt steak! In fact all of the Onno’s burgers are now. It makes for a leaner, healthier burger without so much fat. The difference with the Wellington Burger’s patty is that it is cooked in pizza dough which makes for a tiny little oven that preserves the meat’s juiciness more than any other burger on the menu.
The toppings (or should we say “internal buddies”): Now remember this is a wellington burger so everything happens within the dough! Mushrooms, Bacon and Cheddar Cheese make for a tasty and juicy mixture of ingredients on top of the burger but within the dough.
The dough: While the traditional Wellington Beef recipe calls for a puff pastry why wouldn’t the Onno’s Wellington Burger be wrapped in pizza dough?! The crispy yet soft dough is fried and then served on your plate piping hot. Everything keeps cooking in the dough so, careful- it’s hot!
The sides: again, have your pick from the menu!
The price: RD$499
There we have it folks, Onno’s is once again surprising us with innovative menu options and now a new chef. Go over there and try one of the new menu items yourself and let us know about it!
ONNO’S BAR & RESTAURANT
Where: Altos de Chavón (In front of the Amphitheater)
Opening Hours: 9am – late everyday
Tel: (809) 523-2868