When owner Nino Aidi told his friends and business associates that he was going to extend his Five Palm Restaurant chain to San Carlos they told him he was crazy. They told him that this was too risky and the timing for opening a new restaurant wasn’t good however, they forgot that Nino loves the impossible and thrives on risk. Not only has the latest location thrived, in the two short weeks since opening day the restaurant broke all records among all of his other locations!
In San Carlos the clientele is a bit different from his restaurants in Obregon and Hermosillo due to a large expat population. What he has found is that instead of his usual lunch and dinner hours of 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. respectively, he now has lunch customers at noon and diners at 5:00 p.m. which are dining hours more familiar to Canadians and Americans. In other words, he doubled his business with the new location and if that is not enough proof that his new restaurant in San Carlos is a success; he already has repeat customers, and that includes me!
Born and raised in Paris, France Nino learned the art of hospitality through his family’s hotels; Royal Monceau in France and Cham Palace in the Middle East. His Syrian and French culinary background are expressed in the interesting, extensive, and savory menu. While living in the United States to expand his English language skills Nino met his lady love and followed her to Obregon, Sonora. He said he fell in love with the Mexican people and the food, especially the tacos! His exposure to American dishes and Mexican fare add another layer of interest to the menu.
In 2000, Five Palms debuted in Obregon, the first gourmet restaurant in the area. Not long afterwards, he opened el Horno de Castilla which specializes in Spanish cuisine. What started as a hobby for him has turned into a chain of 8 restaurants and 4 stores.
Nino demonstrates his belief that only the creative risk takers will thrive in today’s market place from the French bistro atmosphere of Five Palms to the extensive and exquisite delicatessen that is part of the restaurant. The vast menu selection pleases everyone in taste and in price. Diners are offered a Sonoran Tenderloin priced at $12.00 to a Kobe beef steak priced at $80.00, with many other choices and price ranges in between. Aside from Sonoran and Kobe beef, Nino’s preference is for Silver Sterling beef from the United States because of the high quality and the consistency. He believes that the quality of the beef he serves on Monday night must be the same high quality served on Friday night. He also insists that the meat selection be cut table side so that a diner can inspect the cut of meat and determine the thickness of the steak.
Wine connoisseurs will be delighted with selections that run from a bottle of Vega Pasion Spanish wine priced at $6.00 per bottle to Chateau Latour priced at $1,000 most likely, to be reserved for the most special of occasions. Patrons are encouraged to select wine from the deli which will be served at your table and without a corkage fee. Nino is pleased that this provides very reasonable wine prices for his clients.
For those shopping for special items to stock their pantries or to prepare an ocean side lunch the delicatessen includes a wide variety of cheeses, meats, oils, crackers, chocolates, pastas, special cooking ware, and even Cuban cigars!
The Five Palms Restaurant and Nino Aidi are a delightful addition to our culinary rich small Mexican town. Nino and his passionate determination brought to mind a favorite quote from a Norwegian explorer; “The difficult is what takes a little time. The impossible is what takes a little longer.” Bon Appetit!