My wife is a chef and so when we travel, we dont skimp on our dining choices. We wanted the best aruba had to offer for each meal. We found that the service kinda stinks everywhere there. The people are nice, but it's not what you'd expect with the pricetag. I think it stems more from the employees never having the opportunity to experience good service like what you get in the states with fine dining. Here's where we ate....
Aqua Blue- decent sea food. I didn't like mine, but it was more my choosing a food i was unfamiliar with than the preparation. My wife loved hers and other people's plates looked yummy. Poor service. Overpriced.
Amici- Great lunch spot! Way better than I thought it would be.
Hyatt- Their breakfast restaurant with the rock walls and the balcony overlooking the coy pond is outstanding but pricey. I heard this same spot has a nice dinner as well. The lunch spot up on the beach level had great service and was a good find for lunch.
Flying Fishbone- Call early and book one of the tables closest to the water. This ambiance at sunset is a must do in aruba. The food was acceptional, but not outstanding. The service was on par with the other restaurants, which isn't saying much, but was adequate. It is pricey, but well worth it if you are there at a waterfront table at sunset!
Driftwood- Not impressed. Nice ambiance, but getting there is a headache. It's the kind of place that makes you wonder about how nasty the kitchen must be. The service was actually not bad, but the food was decent at best. Way overpriced. We left
Passions beach dinner at Manchebo- The ambiance was nice, but almost cheesy. The wine was served in plastic wine glasses. My order came out wrong and my wife and I finished her plate by the time mine came out. The service wasnt good at all, and the pricetag was lofty.
El gaucho-Of all the places we ate, El Gaucho gets my vote as the best overall value, ambiance, service, and food. What you get for the price there blows every other place out of the water. The service was top notch, and the food was what I was hoping to find out of the other restaurants. We had this feast for two that you'd expect to be sloppily prepared with not alot of attention to taste, but it was outstanding! Not to mention there is no way two humans could eat that much food.
Pappiamento- We wanted to eat here more than anywhere else, but it was booked solid until after we were leaving. Everytime we asked a local or the concierge where the best spots to eat were, this place came up in the conversation. It must be a good place because every other restaurant we ate or checked, had open tables when we were there eating every night.