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Dining in FlipFlops: Barefoot Restaurant, Aruba

7 Dec

A trip to Aruba isn’t complete without dinner on the beach at Barefoot Restaurant. It’s an easy walk from downtown Oranjestad, though it’s tucked at the back of a large parking lot so it’s not necessarily easy to spot.

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My husband and I sat at a table on the beach, right by the ocean – be sure to make a reservation to secure a prime spot! You can also sit under the large palapa, where there is sand on the ground to sink your feet and flipflops into.

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We started our dinner with an appetizer of gratinated mushrooms and escargots.DSC00627.

We also shared a smooth and creamy lobster cappuccino (bisque) topped with vanilla froth.

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Yes, we love our appetizers, and I couldn’t resist ordering the Dutch crab cakes, with hints of curry.crab cakes

Not only is the food at Barefoot amazing, but so is the view. We had front row seats for a gorgeous sunset.

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Seared tuna steak – a generous portion of tuna over julienned vegetables.Seared tuna

Romance of the Sea: a trio of grouper, snapper, and mahi with a lemon and garlic sauce. (Perfect for indecisive diners)DSC00646

We didn’t feel like ordering dessert, yet we wanted to continue savoring the view. So my husband capped off his meal with an Irish coffee and I had the Nutty Irishman (coffee with Frangelico and Bailey’s). 

coffeesDinner at Barefoot Restaurant was one perfect meal!

Info: Barefoot Restaurant, L.G. Smith Boulevard 1, Oranjestad, Aruba

Dining in the Water: Flying Fishbone, Aruba

24 Aug

Flying Fishbone appears on several top ten lists for restaurants in Aruba. It’s the only one I’ve found that lets you dine not only on the beach, but with your feet in the water!

Flying Fishbone view

Flying Fishbone - white sangria

 

We arrived right at opening time, 5 pm, to guarantee an in-the-water table. We probably could have arrived an hour later, but would likely have ended up a little further in than desired. (There’s some sort of military base nearby, and on this day, a boat zipped back and forth dropping off soldiers. Each time, he cut closer and closer to shore, without reducing his speed very much. We would stand up to avoid getting splashed.)

The cocktails were fantastic – Hubby ordered a mango margarita, and I ordered the white sangria. It was so good that my beer-loving husband ordered one for himself later that evening. Diners nearby followed our lead.

The Fisherman’s Platter appetizer for two was a terrific deal. At $58 under the appetizer menu, it stands out as a splurge, but it comes with so much food, you might not need to order an entree. There are generous amounts of fish ceviche, pepper-crusted tuna tataki with thinly-sliced cucumber and seaweed salad, chilled poached lobster, tiger shrimp with American and Dutch cocktail sauces, smoked salmon, two large fish cakes and a fresh crab tartare that goes really well slathered onto the little round warm buns in the bread basket

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I was glad that we ordered just the appetizer first before ordering entrees, because I was pretty full after this. I ordered just the House Salad afterwards. It was a delicious chopped salad of romaine lettuce, arugula, beets, corn, cucumber, capers, in a mild curry dressing.

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Hubby had a catch of the day (grouper) with 3 tiger shrimp and red pepper strips over risotto.

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It was feeding time not only for us, but also in the sea – we gazed out into the ocean to see little fish jumping. We watched crabs scamper over nearby rocks.

As the sky darkened, our apple pie dessert arrived with a second plate engraved with the words, “Happy Honeymoon”, and half a lemon propping up a sparkler. Tables all around us lighted up with sparklers too, along with camera flashes as servers photographed happy couples celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and other special events. Flying Fishbone is the perfect spot for a relaxing, romantic dinner. It’s a must-do for foodies visiting Aruba!

Info: Flying Fishbone, Saveneta 344, Saveneta, Aruba

Amazing food abroad: Madame Janette’s, Aruba

27 Jul

Ask anyone where to eat in Aruba, and Madame Janette’s will likely be on the list. It’s not a place you need to try once if you take a trip to Aruba…. You’ll want to go back a second time. (Yes, we did go twice, during our 8-day trip to Aruba. They were perfect as our first and last dinners on the island).

Madame Janette's - bread and pickled onionsFrom the high-rise hotels in Palm Beach, Madame Janette’s is only a 10-minute taxi ride away. The restaurant’s large patio, lit up with strings of coloured lights, glows in the middle of a quiet residential area. The atmosphere is amazing whether you’re sitting out on the terrace under the lights around the little gazebo where a guitarist plays all evening, or on the covered deck area around the terrace.

Each meal kicks off with a basket of soft garlicky bread, served with garlic butter and pickled onions. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the bread basket – this is really yummy bread!

Madame Janette's - Hungarian Goulash SoupHungarian Goulash Soup

Madame Janette's - Kasi’s ChorizosKasi’s Chorizos 

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Above: Madame’s Termidor Gratin – chunks of lobster and shrimp gratinated with spinach and Gouda cheese. It’s definitely one of the heavier appetizers, but great for sharing.

Another big draw at Madame Janette’s is the extensive beer list – at least sixty bottles, about half of which are Belgian beers. Whether you want a Belgian Trappist beer, a German wiessbier, the original Czech Budvar, or something from San Francisco, Madame Janette’s has it, and serves it with the proper glass.

Below: The Old Butcher Steak – cooked to a perfect medium-rare as my husband requested. The almond mashed potatoes on top were a terrific twist.

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