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Thread: Sunday brunch

  1. #1
    Senior Member NealNearNorth's Avatar
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    Sunday brunch

    One of my best friends on the island always joins me for Sunday brunch. We've tried several. My reactions are below. Does anyone have a favorite Sunday brunch spot?

    HYATT -
    On first glance, we thought this was the mother of all brunches. But, it turned out to be like a huge cruise ship buffet. Nothing had "that little something extra". Much of it was extremely bland. Main dishes were served in large hotel pans. People picked through the pans, until what you got on your plate was often not what was intended by the chef, but what remained after scavenging. Some items were replaced quickly, but other pans sat empty throughout the duration of our visit. Others had sat too long and burned to the bottom. The only "wow factor" was visual.

    LE DOME -
    Ah, twas a lovely brunch, but 'i fath, Le Dome is temporarily homeless, so they simply aren't an option. More expensive than most, but worth it.

    PROMENADE -
    This was actually the tastiest of the brunches we tried. A local crooner sang with a guitar at just the right volume. Items were brought from their menu two at a time, until you could eat no more. They bettered Le Dome on taste, creativity, and overall dining experience. I believe they were $29.95 including champagne or mimosa.

    HADICURARI-
    Slow service, a bar that had no tomato juice for bloody's, beverages that took over 30 minutes to arrive, undercooked and overcooked food, food arriving at different times, ingredients varying wildly from the menu description, and screaming children are my memories of their a la carte brunch. I hear that they have since stepped up their brunch (since last year). Any news?

    WINDOWS (Divi Links) -
    Brunch started well. The general gist is this: They have an open kitchen (which is why it was surprising that absolutely nobody in the kitchen was wearing gloves for food prep). The huge stacks of pancakes and crepes were pre-made. As the brunch went on, it became clear that all the food was pre-cooked, and plated to order, not cooked to order. Cold dishes obviously fared much better. Many items came out differently than described. One dish came with a small lettuce garnish, topped with a crushed potato chip (really? yes, really) instead of croutons. The snapper was not covered in pesto as described, but was instead sauced with a typical beef/red wine reduction. (Beef gravy on fish?) We watched the same dish arrive with beef gravy at the next table to confirm it was not a one-time error. Eggs Benedict were nicely cooked, but underseasoned, cold except for the Hollandaise. Most hot items were room temperature or colder, warmed only by whatever sauce was ladled on during plating.

    The waiter asked if my companion wanted her tenderloin medium (which she did), but it came out cold and well done.
    Fish was rubbery in one case, cold and fishy (not fresh) in the other.

    While most dishes were tapas sized, the mushroom soup (plenty of mushroom flavor, to its credit) was a large bowl of cream soup, and would have made a better demitasse. Curry sauce (on the grouper and other items) was underseasoned and very lightly flavored. Tuna tataki, while being tasty tuna sushi, was not a tataki. The quiche with mushrooms and leeks was a solid brick of egg, more like tamagoyaki (sweet omelette sushi), light on leeks and mushroom.

    Music by the Eddie Samson trio varied from tasty cocktail jazz to lite Cuban funk that was louder than they probably realized, in a circular room with sound going everywhere. They are excellent players, but much of what they were playing was concert jazz, not background music for brunch.

    Our favorite part of the meal was when I ordered Eggs with salmon, and the waiter said enthusiastically, "suhcromblay!" (What?). Finally, we realized he was trying to say "Scrambled".

    Desserts, once again with different components than described on the menu, included Crepe with Cointreau Sauce (a cold, limp crepe that had obviously been sitting for hours, in a sickly sweet orange sauce that tasted more like marmalade than the Cointreau), a lime cheesecake (that was very heavy plain cheesecake, with a hard lime glaze on top of the cheesecake), a three-layered chocolate dessert (that turned out to be a pyramid of mousse, but only tasted of chocolate in the darkest layer) which had some processed coconut on the bottom that was not mentioned on the menu.

    Service was attentive and professional. If you go, go early (brunch runs 11:30 - 2:30), and order your hot items FIRST, when they are still relatively freshly-cooked.
    Last edited by NealNearNorth; 12-06-2009 at 05:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    We did the Hyatt brunch quite a few years ago, but will be waiting anxiously to hear all of the details of the Sunday brunch at Windows. Though their dinner menu does not appeal to everyone, we have had dinner there and it was excellent.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Neal, we enjoy the breakfast buffert and dinner buffer alot at Aquarius( Renn marina tower). We go at least once a visit, and the breakfast meal carries us thru the entire day. We often see a mixed crowd there, business men in suits, couples coming in from shopping, an occasional person in a swimsuit/coverup...few kids, if any ( except ours). The breakfasts have lots of fresh fruit, the egg routine, meats, omlet to order, salmon, etc...we really like it. Dinner is more elegant, different menu. Try it, you might like it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NealNearNorth's Avatar
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    I'm going to add a review to my Sunday Brunch reviews, above. This time, we went to brunch at the Radisson's Sunset Grille. The cost is $35, ($40 including 15% service charge), including bottomless mimosas/champagne.

    To begin, they better the Hyatt's brunch, hands down. Fresh fruit was plentiful, freshly and artfully cut, and of the best quality. No canned fruit here, or limp fruits from the restaurant supply truck.

    The smoked salmon, often very low grade at hotel brunches, was top quality, served with egg whites, chopped yolks, capers, Roma tomatoes, red onions and bagels.

    The main courses were made to order in their open kitchen. I had the Macadamia crusted grouper. The seafood sauce was excellent, and well complimented by the fruit salsa, with plenty of fresh cilantro, atop a paprika polenta cake.

    Service was on point, with someone always nearby to clear plates, change cutlery, refill water and champagne glasses, etc. Olive bread came to the table with butter and hummus.

    The music of guitarist Ernesto was just right, never over-intrusive, played expertly, and at exactly the right volume.

    Also on offer were an omelete station, eggs Benedict, raisin bread french toast, bacon and sausage, fritters, various salads including a tomato salad in balsamic, cucumber salad with fresh dill, couscous salad with sun-dried tomatoes, tasty seafood soup (filled with shrimp, white fish, scallops and crab), pasta, pizza, surf and turf, and pork wellington. My companion commented favorably on the nice char taste on the meat, from their open grill. Their surf and turf also included a bacon-wrapped sweet potato, plump shrimps, and onion shoestrings, plated over a fresh asparagus spear.

    Having the chefs cook to order prevented their nice food from being the picked over, burned-on-the-bottom hotel pans I experienced with the hot dishes at the Hyatt (most especially a pan of burned curried chicken that remained there throughout my visit).

    Desserts were a-plenty. I sampled the key lime pie (just the right level of tartness) and a little square of cheesecake atop a chocolate coconut cake. My friend enjoyed the chocolate-covered strawberries, among others. Also on display were tiramisu, a hazelnut cake, and a variety of little tarts and pastries.

    I'm going to call this one a score.
    Last edited by NealNearNorth; 09-19-2010 at 05:09 PM. Reason: pasted the same paragraph twice

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Sounds delightful and at a right price!

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    Hello, I'm a newbie to the forum. Great info on Sunday Brunch. We are planning our first trip in March or April, and we are definite foodies! I am open to any and all suggestions please. TIA!

  7. #7
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    Champagne Brunch and Seafood Buffets

    I'm presently compiling restaurants for the upcoming trip. Can anyone tell me from recent experience or news, if Marriott Renaissance still has a Seafood Buffet(and how yummy is it?), and if Radisson Sunset Grille still has a champagne brunch?

    We definitely would like a seafood buffet and a champagne brunch before we leave.

    Also, if there are other(or better) options, suggestions welcomed.

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    marriott hotel still has the seafood buffet at the la vista restaurant.
    i do not know which night it is held, maybe wednesday ?
    we went in december and it was good.
    you'll have to call or email for the night and price.
    the caribbean lobster tails were delicious (served grilled with drawn butter) and not at all tough/chewy.
    i have not been to radisson's brunch in 6 or 7 years, so i cannot comment.

  9. #9
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    Thanks a bunch!

  10. #10
    Senior Member arubacandy's Avatar
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    Hyatt sunday brunch is fabulous ! All the champagne you can drink, and the food, oh so much food on the buffet, we go every year...delicious!!

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