When you read a website about Aruba, you'll definitely come across Papiamento. After all it is one of the biggest languages in Aruba. However, today, I'm not going to write about the language. Instead I'm going to write about Papiamento the restaurant.
I was hesitant to go to Papiamento. When I looked at the menu, not a lot jumped off the page. I like a good steak, but the menu only showed tenderloin... not the well-marbled steaks that I like. However, my wife thought it had a very diverse set of options. I didn't have a better suggestion so I lost and gave it a shot.
As usual, my wife was right and I was wrong.
You can't review Papiamento without mentioning the romantic atmosphere. Like a few restaurants in Aruba, it is accurately described as someone's home. The home in this case is a 125 years old mansion. The tables are set up around a well lit swimming pool. Many romantic restaurants will dim the lighting so low that you can't see your date or your food. Papiamento scores major points for not doing that.
As great as the atmosphere is, it doesn't mean much without good food. Papiamento's food isn't good, it turns out that it is great. When I got the menu, I was very happy to find that there was rib eye on it... a pleasant surprise because it wasn't on the online menu. That was just the well-marbled steak that I was looking for. My wife opted for the Champagne Casserole (filets of fish, scallops, and crab poached in a creamy ‘brut’sauce with Dutch cheese au gratin).
Before we got to our main course, they brought out the bread and the salad. The bread was piping hot... some of the best bread I've had. The Caesar salad was just average. As an appetizer, my wife chose the Fisherman’s Bisque (seafood cream soup). It is so good that I broke my anti-seafood stance and ended up eating half of it (they give a pretty big bowl). It goes great with the bread. I can guarantee that we'll be getting it again.
When our meals came we both agreed that they were some of the best meals we've had in Aruba. If we had one week to spend in Aruba, Papiamento will surely be on the list with El Gaucho and Texas de Brazil.
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