Aruba - Restaurants for Foodies?

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Mar 6th, 2008, 03:22 PM
  #1
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Aruba - Restaurants for Foodies?

My girlfriend and I are planning a sadly too-short trip to Aruba at the end of March (a long weekend was all we could get off work). We are both "foodies" from New York and would love to make the most of the two dinners that we will have.

I've been reading wildly mixed reviews of restaurants like Mme Jeanette and Flying Fishbone, etc. They seem to garner either breathless praise or bitter condemnations.

So, any thoughts on which two restaurants you would choose for people who love food? This is our first time to Aruba.

Thanks!
mattydale is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2008, 05:54 PM
  #2
 
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Aruba has a ton of very good restaurants.
I will give you a good list and will break it down for you by cuisine type.

steakhouses:
1.El Gaucho
2.Sunset Grille
3.LG Smith

upscale:
1.Pago Pago
2.Ventanas Del Mar
3.Le Dome


Romantic:
1.Flying Fishbone
2.Madam Janette
3.Marandi

Italian:
1.Hostaria Da Vittorio
2.Tuscany


I am very picky so if I had to choose would go with El Gaucho or Sunset Grille for steaks and Ventanas del mar or Pago Pago for the service, atmosphere and food quality.
Madam Janette has better food than Flying Fishbone but FF is much more romantic, with tables on the sand by the water.



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Mar 6th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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KVR
 
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FYI, the Flying Fishbone restaurant is outside of the main area of Aruba and you'll need a car and good directions to get there. A cab will cost approx. $35 each way. There are several other closer restaurants that offer beach
dining.

Try this site: http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/

It lists several restaurants with customer reviews.
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Mar 7th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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We went to Flying Fishbone while in Aruba for our honeymoon and loved it. Our food was amazing, and we spent 2 1/2 hours at our table watching the sunset and drinking wine. It was really a great evening. We enjoyed Madame Janettes as well (sat on the patio and enjoyed the live music and delicious mojitos), and also thought Gasparito was a good restaurant (the owner was the hostess and very friendly).
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Mar 7th, 2008, 12:36 PM
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my fave meal there was a ruinas del mar (sp?) it is in the hyatt or hilton there, and it was wonderful. great all around, and they have the black swans around the river of the resterant!!
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Mar 7th, 2008, 03:22 PM
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Great, thanks for these tips!
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Mar 8th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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Ventanas Del Mar. Very pretty, good food, nice setting, nice music.
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Mar 14th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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If you want food you'll not get at home go to Gasparito where you'll find Dutch and Aruban food.
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Mar 14th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Meant to give the URL:

http://www.gasparito.com/
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Mar 14th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Gasparito remains one of my favorite dining memories. The food there was delicious and the atmosphere was great.
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Mar 22nd, 2008, 05:51 AM
  #11
 
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We visited Aruba at the end of February. Our favorite restaurant was Matilde, located downtown. It had great atmosphere (sit in the huge atrium), impeccable service, and wonderful food with beautiful presentation. Second best was Madame Janette's (sit on the patio) but Gasparito's was close. Lovely people, atmosphere (sit inside), and good food. We also enjoyed Aqua Grille very much. Brunch at Le Dome was a disappointment because they substituted items on the menu without telling us (the sushi tuna came out as tuna salad...yuck). However, much of the food was good and it may warrant a return trip for dinner. We did not like Driftwood because it is so crowded and the food was just mediocre.
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Mar 22nd, 2008, 09:13 AM
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Before we went to Aruba, we were told it was typically known as one of the better places for food in the Caribbean. After being there, I am convinced that people that believe this probably don't eat out very often. In all honesty, I would not say that Aruba has the worst food out there, but it is average at best.
Our best? Texas De Brazil was a pleasure to eat at.
Our worst? We went to Madame Janette's as it came with high recommendations from this board. I can say, without a doubt, that this was the worst meal we had on the island - at least it was for us.
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Mar 22nd, 2008, 02:09 PM
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I can only speak for ourselves, but we are definitely accustomed to fine dining. One of our main pleasures in traveling is eating well. Nothing beats Europe, but there ARE good restaurants in Aruba.

It is hard to discern the types of people who write recommendations...so Knowing has a point. We were stunned to meet MANY American tourists in Aruba who had visited the island numerous times (5-15 times!) and had never been anywhere else. Their opinions are certainly valid but would not have the benefit of comparison. However, we met others who had traveled extensively throughout the world. I guess you have to try to "read between the lines" the best you can.

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Mar 25th, 2008, 11:39 AM
  #14
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Thanks for all the advice. Lina, point taken!
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Mar 27th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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Our best meal(s) on the island were at Le Dome; worst was Madame Janette's. I've been thinking that we must have hit it on an off night, as so many recommended it, but Knowing had the same experience. There is indeed good food on Aruba; I'm not sure there is great food.
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Mar 28th, 2008, 05:13 AM
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You should consider Anguilla for a future trip. Hands down, it has the best restaurants of any island I have been to. And there are many to choose form for such a small island. And the beaches are to die for as well.
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