As promised, I wanted to end my Aruba posts talking about some of the amazing food that we had for dinner while on the island. Since we had been to Aruba before, we already had an idea of where we wanted to eat each night. Key is to make reservations early, so you can get a prime table for watching the sun set. During May, the sun goes down right around 6:45, so getting seated by 6:15 gives you plenty of time to get settled. All of the restaurants on the coast where the hotels are located give you a perfect view.
Our favorite casual dining/happy hour on the island is at the Pelican Pier. Flip flops and bathing suits are appropriate for drinks and/or dinner here. The restaurant and bar literally sit on the end of a pier situated in the middle of all of the hotels. After a short walk down the beach, we are able to get a great meal. Fish in Aruba is so fresh. As such, almost every restaurant has an assortment of ceviche. See the special at the Pelican Pier above. Super healthy and it tastes better than it looks! I mentioned that we also love the happy hour here. They have about every tropical drink that you can imagine (some include a scoop of ice cream). The view down the pier is incredible. Check out the picture below. After drinks, we decided we would just go ahead and eat dinner here. The bar sits in the middle of the pier, where catamarans and dinner cruises come and go. The restaurant sits at the end of the pier. Perfect view to watch the sunset. In fact, it was almost impossible for us to get a good picture prior to the sun setting because of the overwhelming amount of natural light.Most of the fresh fish offered at the seafood restaurants on the island is cooked healthy. I’m talking char grilled, organic (fresh out of the ocean). I opted for the house special – Mahi Mahi. Fresh vegetables and rice on the side. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Although this meal was rather impromptu, we had reservations the rest of our time on the island. As part of the reservation process, we were asked if we were celebrating a special occasion. I had mentioned to several of the restaurants that we were celebrating our second wedding anniversary. If you tell them, they will listen. We were surprised to find that all of the restaurants took this into consideration in choosing our seating and giving us a celebratory dessert.
Our second night on the island, we headed to Flying Fishbone. This restaurant is car/cab drive away. What makes it worth it? The tables are not just situated on the beach, but the several of the tables are placed such that the water rushes under your feet while you dine. We were lucky enough to have one of these tables. Check out the little stand beside the table to hang your shoes.
After a great meal, the server gave us an option for dessert, which we had planned on getting either way. We were blown away, when the server came back with a celebratory anniversary plate. The quality of the picture is bad, because it was dark, but this was such a sweet gesture. With all of the people coming in and out of that restaurant from all over the world, they still made us feel like we were “regulars”.After two nights of fish, our third night we had made reservations at an Argentinian steak house – El Gaucho. This was not on the water, but indoors. Lighting was very dim, which made it hard to get any good pictures. Nevertheless, the beef was a good break from all of the fish.
With only one full day left on the beach, we trekked back down to Pelican Pier in the afternoon to enjoy one last cocktail. This time with a scoop of ice cream. Go big, or go home. Mango Dream was to die for. The picture above gives you a better idea of how the pier is situated. We clearly don’t need a super, fancy, expensive place to have a good time!Our last night on the island, we had dinner at one of my favorites – Pinchos. This restaurant is also a cab drive away from where we were staying. It is situated on the end of a pier, however, the attire here is a little more dressy and the atmosphere is incredibly romantic. If you are thinking that you want a destination wedding, consider this place for a rehearsal dinner or reception.Yet again, we watched an incredible sunset. The weather just can’t be beat here. Photos don’t even do this justice. Since it was our last night, we enjoyed several appetizers and a drink before dinner (why not prolong our time?).
I mentioned the ceviche on the island before, but check out the ceviche that we got at Pinchos. Incredible mango salsa topping the shrimp. In fact, the salsa was so good, that we ended up also topping it on the coconut shrimp below. Almost everything at this restaurant is flame grilled. It’s funny because we had been here before, and I ended up getting the exact thing. The restaurant will take a sample of the fresh fish of the day and skewer the fish with several fresh vegetables. Incredible way to end a great week of eating.We ended dinner with a quick picture on a swing that hangs right off the pier. Clearly, my happiness radiates. This time together was truly special for my husband and I. This isn’t the last time that we will visit the island. There is a reason why almost everyone that you meet there asks, “How many times have you visited the island?” instead of “Is this your first time here?”