We just returned from our 27th trip to aruba. We did little besides go to casinos and beaches and stuff our faces either in our room or restaurants (oh yes, 3 lbs need to be removed immediately from my body, LOL). Of the places we ate, there were only five that we felt were important to comment on.
the first of them is Ricardo’s at aruba beach club. What can I say about this restaurant? It is fabulous, delicious, with fantastic service and prices in line with most of the other upscale restaurants. Three of us had some version on another of tenderloin and were thrilled to find that it was true argentine beef. Too many Aruban restaurants have fallen back on USDA beef. I can buy that at home. I want argentine beef when in aruba. The fourth person had the lamb and said it was as good as the beef which he got to sample. The salads and other appetizers were great and the desserts were awesome but the highlight was that argentine beef. I would rate this restaurant a true 5* place and can’t wait to go back.
The second place was Old Cunucu House. We have eaten there many times with different owners and must say that this was their best showing of all. Our waitress, jasmin, was friendly, helpful and funny. Main courses included coconut shrimp, fresh catch of the day which was grouper, veal escalope, and a chicken and tenderloin skewer. All were wonderful. Desserts included flan and tres leches and again they were wonderful. Another 5* meal for all of us.
The third was Chef’s Table. The hot ‘goats’ cheese salad was unreal. I could easily have skipped the main course and had a double serving of that. Others said the apple and blue cheese salad was also excellent. Main courses included grouper ‘too nuts’ crust, grouper cheese, and tenderloin. Of course the dessert tapas were as good as ever. The service was excellent although just a bit slower but the restaurant just lent itself to that service by giving time to savor. And another 5* rating from all.
The fourth was West Deck. What a relaxed place with a great view and friendly warm staff. We were introduced to everyone who worked there. It’s sort of an oversized tapas kind of place. We all had appetizers including jumbo shrimp & dipping pot and balashi grouper fingers, and both couples decided to share the tenderloin steak wrap and the lobster and stone crab roll. Good portions on really good breads. Sides of fries and sweet potato fries and key lime pie, tres leches, dark & white chocolate mousse cake topped off the meal. It was at least a 4.5* place and maybe a 5*. Best casual eating we have seen on the island in a long time.
Now I come to the fifth place. We have eaten here since they opened. We even had a surprise birthday party for my husband at this place. We have loved the food since they opened at least 14 or 15 years ago. I never thought I would ever say this but I, along with the 7 others that dined with us, will never go to madame janette again. From start to finish the meal was a disaster. They were obviously short staffed as we saw very few wait staff on the floor. One of our group never had a fork to call her own. It was the joke of the table. Her food was edible so she borrowed one from one of the people who returned their meal after requesting one several times. The soups and salads started arriving at the table 1 hr 20 minutes after we arrived. They couldn’t even get the three ice teas correct. Suffice it to say that one person returned their soup, two people returned their main courses, no one could eat the potatoes au gratin, and the rest ate ok meals while the others looked on since they had returned their meals and it was the consensus of opinion that the chef might make them very unhappy as many chefs do if you want your meal replaced. The reason for every return and the problem with the potatoes was salt. Never have I tasted any restaurant food so salty. One of our party was a graduate of culinary school and he was completely shocked. Ironically my meal was great but they gave me the wrong meal, lol. I decided to keep it because it was the same price as what I ordered and what the heck, it was one that I had eyed as a choice. The two who returned their meal split a dessert so they didn’t have to hunt down food so late in the evening. No one even came over from the kitchen or management to ask what our problem was. It really was upsetting. it actually hurts to say something so negative about a place we have loved for so many years.