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  1. #1
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Old Man & the Sea Review

    Let me start by saying that we had high expectations for Old Man and the Sea. My husband and I have read many a rave review and were willing to spend the money for an expensive dinner on the beach. I am very pleased that many others have had wonderful experiences at this restaurant. We do understand that many folks have had very enjoyable experiences at this restaurant, however for us the experience was not the same and our expectations, for the price we paid, were not met on more than one count.

    We arrived on time for our 8:30 p.m. reservation and despite an email request for a table on the water, were seated away from the water. There were at least 5 tables on the water which had no one sitting at them. I have since been told by a friend that they too were a party of more than two and were also not seated next to the water.

    Once our waiter arrived with the menus we were asked for our drink requests. Glasses of red and white wine were ordered, and the red glass came back with greasy finger prints on it. A clean glass was asked for, and the waiter said, it was dirty "only" on the outside. He relented and did bring another glass, but this glass again had the same greasy fingerprints. It seemed the waiter, from my observations of service to other tables, was serving with his hand on the goblet and not the stem. My husband gave up and settled for a greasy glass.

    Next came our dinner order, we ordered:

    Two hot appetizers
    Scallops Seaside Duet
    Stuffed Oysters

    Three salads
    Spicy Caesar Salad, Crab
    Avocado Salad & Pear
    Walnut Salad

    Two entrees
    Sober Capt. Joby’s Seafood Exploration
    "Concert for two"- shrimp, chicken, fish, lamb chops, tenderloin, scallops

    Two desserts
    Quesillo
    Mint Chocolate Mousse

    The waiter wanted to bring all our appetizers and salads together. If we wanted this type of dining we could have eaten much cheaper in the states at any number of truck stops. Once we explained the order of service, which was assumed in a restaurant like this, the waiter complied with our request.

    Shortly afterward the manager came and introduced himself. We explained the problem with the second greasy glass and he did not offer to replace it. In addition we told him about the question regarding the order of service. He stated he would speak to the waiter about it. The manager did and then the waiter came back to the table with an attitude stating, "Every customer has a different preference". Funny, first time we have been asked this question in any "fine dining" establishment.

    The stuffed oyster appetizer was served cold, not even lukewarm and had to be sent back. The waiter offered to serve my salad while a new order of oysters was prepared. That was fine. When the order of oysters came, and from then on through the meal, we were served off of plates which were so hot that the heat literally radiated off them. I took this as a definite sign the kitchen was trying to tell us that they got the message. In my mind they took it too far and were now mocking us. Sarcasm at its worst is pretty darn ugly.

    The food for the most part was good, not great and inconsistent. The pasta was over cooked, and one salad had the tails off the shrimp and one entree had the tails on the shrimp.

    Coffee and dessert was ordered. I asked for a decaf cappuccino, and was served a decaf coffee. The check arrived and we were billed for three desserts and not two. Again, this was inattention on the part of the waiter. The error was fixed after pointing it out to the waiter. After spending as much as we did for this meal, we should not have had to "monitor" the waiter's every move.

    The wait staff was very young, but we are not ancient and very grudgingly if ever complain about food or service in any restaurant, whether in Aruba or at home. Instead of a "confrontation", which my husband and I sincerely dislike, we simply do not return after a bad meal. This instance however was different to us in that after having spent $300, including the service charge, for a dinner for three people, we definitely felt cheated of not only our money, but a romantic beach dining experience.

    Having been a customer service manager as well as a third generation member of a restaurant family, I fully realize that in there are "off" nights, but again, for the money, there is little room for error.

    An email to the owner detailing the above, did not receive a response.

    I also look forward to posting our extremely positive reviews of the Sreaming Eagle, one of our new favorites, Windows on Aruba, Marina Pirata, Passions and the Chefs Table.
    Last edited by Arubalisa; 07-06-2009 at 01:58 PM. Reason: forgot Marina Pirata

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Don't feel bad if people chime in and tell you their "wonderful" experience. We have heard negatives reviews (quite a few) at the casino and no positives lately so we're not going. Too bad!

  3. #3
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    Old Man and The Sea

    If someone does NOT tell it like it is, all there will be people wasting their hard earned money and maybe even cab fare for a dinner that is lacking in more ways then one!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda VH View Post
    Don't feel bad if people chime in and tell you their "wonderful" experience. We have heard negatives reviews (quite a few) at the casino and no positives lately so we're not going. Too bad!
    Thank you for understanding.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckiesDad View Post
    If someone does NOT tell it like it is, all there will be people wasting their hard earned money and maybe even cab fare for a dinner that is lacking in more ways then one!
    People just need to be aware and keep an open mind. There are others who have had wonderful experiences. This was ours.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    People just need to be aware and keep an open mind. There are others who have had wonderful experiences. This was ours.
    That's what reviews are for: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's always unfortunate when it has to be "ugly" but when you're paying really good money for a "dining experience" and it's not even close......

    Their reviews started out great (when we were there last Sept.) but have been very inconsistent lately. I can see having a bad night every now and then but when you're charging that much for a dinner, you really need to be on top of things to set yourself apart and justify your prices. Also, a fine dining restaurant will recognize "bad nights" as they are happening - they are then apologized for and amended "on the spot" by the restaurant when things are not going well. They definitely dropped the ball.
    Last edited by ~Amy~; 07-06-2009 at 04:13 PM.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  6. #6
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    I am sorry you had such a bad nite. I feel the manager/owner/server all owe you an apology. For that kind of $$$$ your evening was a waste.
    I also have heard inconsistant reviews....
    TO STAFF AT OMATS...MAKE THIS RIGHT !

  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    I wonder why the owner never replied/responded?
    Could he/she be speechless?

    When the dishes came back radiating heat..............i am sure that you were correct in feeling that they were mocking you.

    I think what started out as not honoring the seating request was the first clue.
    Then the greasy fingerprints on the glasses.................now i am convinced you and the family were torpeoded.

    This has happened to me and a dear friend at a restaurant a few yrs ago.
    It started out as a simple request by us and then the whole thing turned into sabotage.
    Deliberate and horrible.

    OMATS certainly does not want to be known as deliberately torpedoing someone's dinner.

    andrea

  8. #8
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    I'm sad to hear this. I had some great meals and service there and one that was a little off. But, if it's fallen apart, it's fallen apart. A shame but that's the way it is. (Sadly, ArubaLisa and family had to take the hit to the wallet to find out.)

    44
    Aruba's Novelist in Residence (sometimes)
    http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com/

  9. #9
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    I was looking forward to another anniversary dinner this Sept like we did last year. We had a "wonderful" time, but Perhaps a second thought is in order...

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i think it would be a great thing if the OMATS owner contacted lisa and hubby and address all of the concerns/complaints.

    this is not mcdonalds/wendy/hard rock/applebbee

    this meal was in the $300 range

    and then r/t taxi was in the $80+ range

    this was supposed to be a FINE dining experience
    5 Star

    If the owner is an honorable man, and i am sure he is, he will step up, accept responsibility for the screw up and make ammends.

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