Just got back last night from two weeks in Aruba. I had hoped to visit more new places to expand the dining experience but I was outvoted most of the time.
Regardless, here are my thoughts on the places we visited. As with any review, these are my opinions and your opinions may vary.
Casa Tua – Seaport:
After a mid-day shopping excursion we stopped at Casa Tua at the Seaport Mall for lunch. This came as a direct result of all the recommendations for members of this forum that this is a great place for pizza. It certainly was. There were four of us and we ordered two meat lovers pizza and two Margarita pizzas. They were delicious. Thanks to all who recommended this restaurant.
We ate at The Kitchen once last year. I reported that visit was a good one.
This year's visit was worse. First disappointment - the bar had run out of Tanqueray Gin! They didn't have a beer I wanted so I passed and drank water.
The others in our party ordered Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Shrimp Stir-fry and Grilled Mahi Mahi. They were satisfied with their meals.
I ordered the Brazillian Churasco entrée. It was listed on the menu as skirt steak, chorizo sausage and short ribs with chimichurri sauce. Sides were served family style for the table – fries, rice and black beans.
The chorizo was not cooked through. I sent it back and it was returned cut in half length-wise and still not cooked through. I chose not to eat it.
I don't know about you, but when I see "short ribs" on a menu, the word "BEEF" comes to mind. I was served pork ribs. Not a bad thing, I like pork ribs. It's just that I was mislead by the representation on the menu. Not the first time.
I will probably choose not to return to The Kitchen.
Friday night's dinner was at the Chalet Suisse. As we're right next door at Paradise Beach Villas, we walked over for a 7:30 reservation. CS is a lovely place to enjoy a dining experience. It's elegantly appointed and the service is impeccable. We dined with our friends from Chicago, planning our visit for a night CS was serving their lobster bisque.
Cocktails ( I was able to get my Tanq and tonic) preceded the food order and glasses of wine were selected from the substantial wine list. All were quite good.
Appetizers were lobster bisque, escargot and a crab cake. The lobster bisque was as good as ever, as was the escargot. The crab cake was not up to the standard set by the other appetizers.
Entrées were a charbroiled filet mignon, a seafood medley and two mixed grill plates. The filet was perfectly cooked as requested and had a great charbroiled flavor. The seafood medley consisted of lobster, grouper and shrimp – all delicious. The mixed grill was filet mignon, veal, chicken and garlic shrimp. Everyone was very pleased with their choices. The mixed grill was substantial and resulted in leftovers for one diner. The ever present Dutch potatoes and a sautéed vegetable medley accompanied the meats and seafood.
The dessert course brought a couple of cappuccinos and a couple of apple strudels. An excellent way to end the meal.
This is an outstanding restaurant with a very well trained and attentive staff. You can't do better.
Located behind the Renaissance Hotel in Orangestad, Yemanja offers a variety of wood grilled foods and more. There is indoor and al fresco dining available. Our party of five (including a nine year-old) was seated indoors at a table in a side room. There is a good selection of appetizers. We ordered, tomato soup with basil creme, escargot with mushrooms in puff pastry and a beef carpaccio bombe (beef tenderloin carpaccio wrapped around a green chopped salad with cheese. The soup and the escargot were well received the carpaccio was a different presentation. The flavor of the beef was overpowered by the other ingredients.
Entrées were, grilled scallops, smoked duck breast, grouper Italiano and surf and turf (beef and shrimp). The duck breast was salty and generally lacking in the rich duck flavor you expect. The grouper and the surf and turf were reported to be good. The scallops were less browned on the grill than expected but otherwise good.
Sides of black beans, Basmati rice and mixed veggies were served family style.
The house wines were very good.
The child's grouper and fries were a hit.
Desserts were a sampler plate of most of the dessert menu and a chocolate mousse with a couple of coffees. Both were very good.
I consider this an expensive place to eat that doesn't provide the value for the money you get from Chalet Suisse. (Our dinner checks from these two restaurants were the same.)
I think everybody knows how this place works. We went there for dinner and we all were disappointed. The salad bar portion of the meal was less than advertised with some pretty tired items. The quality of the meats was less than before as well. The sides the brought for four adults were laughable. Garlic mashed potatoes – less that a cupful for four adults.
We won't be going back. I guess we'll have to satisfy our carnivore instincts elsewhere.
As always the setting is picturesque and the service excellent. We enjoyed a good meal at Pinchos. Appetizers of coconut shrimp, chicken satay, chicken and apple chorizo and Pinchos salad were shared. All were tasty and enjoyable.
Entrées were, red snapper, mahi mahi, lobster tails. My wife had a couple of appetizers for dinner – the coconut shrimp and another. Aside from the lobster tails being dried out on the grill, everyone enjoyed their meals.
Desserts were key lime pie, a chocolate chip and peanut butter cake and coffees. All delicious.
Service was great and the chocolate chip dessert was delivered with a sparkler to celebrate our daughter's birthday.
Casa Tua and Yemanja were the two places we hadn't visited before.