For our week in Aruba (May 28th through June 3rd), we ate at:
Bucuti, Private dinner on the beach: Something like 5 or 6 courses. My girlfriend didn't get the concept that more food was coming after each plate. Very good. Somewhat private, romantic dining. About $125 for two.
Mango's Buffet and Show: Not hugely expensive. We had front seats to the show. Three different types of meat. I would go again, but it isn't your fancy dining. The show itself was good.
2 Fools and a Bull: Best dining experience, mainly because of the ambience. Just a fun place to eat. And the 5 courses were excellent. Even I could recognize that. I would go here every night, if possible. Of course, Paul and Fred would probably object to that.
Red Sail Dinner Cruise: The catamaran went North, not quite all the way to the Lighthouse. We anchored there and waited while the sun set. Then we had a buffet. Lots of good food, although there were some limitations due to space. It was an open bar, for those who imbibe. While a bit crowded during the meal with that number of people, it was still possible to get away from the crowd on the front deck. I think it would be worth doing on a trip, just to get out on the ocean.
Passions on the Beach: We were seated in time for the sunset. The wind was fairly high, so it kept the employees busy, keeping the torches lit. I think it was good food as well. We did an appetizer and a main dish. They were supposed to bring a birthday cake with a sparkler on it for my girlfriend, but that never happened. They did wish her a Happy Birthday, though, so I don't know where the ball got dropped. Anyway, a very pleasant dinner.
Flying Fishbone: We had a jeep for Saturday, so I figured ending up at the Flying Fishbone would be good. It is in a residential neighborhood, on the seafront. I actually walked into the neighboring house and was greeted by someone who possibly mistook me for the homeowner. Anyway, we did get a table on the edge of the water, although we were on the rocks, so we couldn't actually dip our feet in the water. We both had the duck. I think it was quite a good dinner as well. The calimari appetizer was actually edible, without too much chewing.
Windows on Aruba: We had lunch here. The steak and fish dishes both seemed to be well done. I would have liked to go watch the chefs prepare it in their glassed-in kitchen, but that isn't a good thing to do on a romantic dinner. The service might have been a little slow, but I wouldn't have any problem going back.
We also ate at the Bucutti restaurant for several lunches. I can't complain. The quesadilla was actually quite good (although a little heavy on the pepper for me). The grilled cheese worked as well, since I wanted something light.
The restaurant at Boca Prins: This is a place I would return to in a heartbeat. I am a sucker for greasy homemade french fries. They did them the way I like it. The cheeseburger was also quite good. So, while it was basic food that we ordered, I was quite happy.
One last place we ate at was the Aquarius in the Renaissance Mall. We both had the buffet, which was mainly the pasta bar. It was quite good, which it usually is when you get food made to order. Perhaps a little pricy for a buffet, especially when you are not very hungry, but it worked.
I really don't think I have a single complaint about the restaurants I visited in Aruba. On another visit, I would probably select new places, so as to contrast them. Of course, I would still try to do 2 Fools and a Bull. I would love to contrast Carte Blanche with them.