As always..... too many restaurant choices and too few nights..... always wish we had more time to try more new ones each year..... but our favorites never disappoint! I'm somewhat of a foodie and DW could live on Caesar Salads!
Tuesday was Casa Tua for pizza and salads. An Amstel Bright for me and wine for my girl. Great pizza, crisp salads and cold drinks. Service was good and not too much noise. Spent 60 with tip and overall rate Casa Tua a solid B+
Wednesday was Mme J's.... We always dine here on our first full day on the island. We were on time for our reservations and promptly seated in the garden. I didn't care for the table the hostess first took us to, but she redirected and sat us near the singer where DW likes to dine. Service was quick, attentive and flawless! No long waits for anything. We shared Bang Bang Shrimp and then Burgerloin for me and Almond Grouper for DW. The Burgerloin was a bit rich for me with all the cheese and probably won't do it again but I did finish it and did enjoy it a lot! Couple of glasses of wine for her and a cocktail for me. Finished with Coconut Cake for me and coffee for DW. Perfect meal.... Mme J's has never disappointed us at all. This year the service was exceptionally good. Spent 145 including a fat tip and rate Mme J's an A+!
Thursday was The French Steakhouse. This was a first time for us and we enjoyed FSH! Promptly seated under a bank of 8 pulsing lights that continued to be a distraction until finally they were simply shut off! The decor is quite nice in a 90's sort of way..... clean functional, not too modern and just a touch dated. We each had the Ambassador special which is a nice traditional 5 course meal with each of us selecting a Filet. The melon was a quite under ripe for our first course. When the salad arrived..... we got to the point of 'would you like some fresh cracked pepper?' Of course we did... the waiter reached into his pocket and brought out a teeny tiny McCormick pepper grinder....!!!! I cracked up and will always think of that whenever I'm offered pepper on a salad. The silverware is set for a 3 course meal..... so when the waiter picked up the salad dishes he simply set the used knife and forks on the table for reuse, rather than replacing them. This is one of my hot buttons with service in a restaurant. It's such a simple thing to train the servers to replace the silverware.... I didn't complain... just went with the flow. The steaks were excellent and the decafe coffee was old! Was a nice meal and an excellent value. Spent 95 with a wine for DW and a good tip. I rate FSH a solid B and recommended for the value!
Friday was Taste of Belgium. This was another first time for us. The service was supurb! The food was OK and the Belgiun Frites nothing but a plain old french fry..... somehow I expected more. Do be careful about the Martini of the Day..... and the beer of the day..... they are 'check builders'.... but quite good! We sat outside.... but that was overlooking the mall...dunno if I want to do that again. The inside dining room was quite nice! DW had the salmon special and I had ????? Her meal was exceptional... mine was just OK.... Spent 95 including the tip, 2 martini specials and a beer specital. I rate Taste of Belgium a B.
Saturday was a return trip to Pago Pago at the Westin. This continues to be one of our favorite places to dine in Aruba. Always perfect service and a great atmosphere....kinda island club. We started with the Caesar Salad prepared table side followed by Macadamia Grouper and a 16 oz Prime NY Strip for me. We had coffee and I had a really good sweet thing. A couple of glasses of wine for my girl and a cocktail for me brought the bill to 160 with an additional tip. Two things I did not like about Pago Pago: First, when I called for reservations I was told only 7 or 8:30 and that put me off. I like 7:30! Specific seating times may be OK during high season.... but the end of June is not that busy. Second..... I think the 17% service charge is excessive! I rate Pago Pago a solid A and recommend if you want a flawless dinner!
Sunday we decided that Texas de Brazil was a good choice as we always enjoyed this restaurant. Wonderful salad bar, fantastic top notch service and pretty good plentiful meats. With a drink for each of us and coffee for she and dessert for me the bill came to 135 including tip. Fortunately Kay's downstairs still had a 15% coupon on the counter for the meal portion when we stopped in on the way. That saved us 13 on the bill. I rate T de B a good solid A- and recommend it if you want a lot of good food in a great atmosphere!
Our last night tradition has always been the Sunset Grill for as long as we've been staying at the Radisson. I wasn't going to dine there this year until I saw my favorite steak back on the menu.... the 22oz bone in ribeye! We sat outside as we always do and had a coupon for a glass of wine that was given us on the beach. That covered my wifes wine and my Absolute Sour! We shared a crab cake appitizer, DW had Salmon and I decided to have rack of lamb which was on as a special! Glad I did....it was supurb! I'll have to wait until next year for the ribeye! This is truly a great restaurant! I had a chocolate thingy for dessert and DW had her coffee. The service, attention to detail, decor and food all contribute to making this one of our top 2 choices each year. The bill came to 135 with a big additional tip. I rate the Sunset Grille a big fat A++!.... and highly recommend it!
There are still others I want to try in the future and I think we did OK actually trying 3 new to us restaurants this year. Already planning for next years dinners!