Okay, we went to Barefoot last year the day after Carnival ended (I think we'd actually arrived that day) and I wrote in the review that everything seemed a little off but I chalked it up to "Carnival Fatigue".
We've been treating "Barefoot" as a staple since we started coming to Aruba but we're a little experienced (jaded?) now and both us and them are getting a little tired.
Don't get me wrong: the service was definitely back on par with our expectations... our waitress was wonderful. I've always believed great service can save a mediocre meal (and the inverse is definitely true, as well).
But the menu needs to be re-thought - it's time for an overhaul.
I'm weighing the above comment against the backdrop of having been there many times now... a lot of people would still love it if this was their one and only time going there.
Our friends said they enjoyed it but were disappointed by the wine selection and that they enjoyed "Tierra Del Sol" and "Wilhelmina's" a lot more for different reasons: "Tierra Del Sol is relaxing, great wines and food"... "Wilhelmina's felt hip, fun and new and they were doing interesting things with the food". I think they're dead on in the comparison.
It's not that anything was "wrong" with the meal per se, it just doesn't grab us anymore. Examples:
- the mushroom/escargot app that I ordered was drowning in parmesan and olive oil... like somebody just threw it together to get it out of the kitchen... no attention to detail and it just looked sad.
- I had grouper romana for dinner (which I used to love) and, again, it just wasn't firing anymore: everything was a little overdone and, I don't know, it was just tired.
Barefoot has a beautiful location with lively ambiance (the landing jets aside)... I'd really like to see it survive but it's going to take some food innovation and a complete re-think of the menu. I hope they don't rest on their laurels and beach location.