Saturday, March 2, 2013

Curacao: Where We Ate

The view from the Gouverneur
I'm told that Willemstad, Curacao’s capital, is filled with excellent restaurants. However, because of the out-of-town location of our resort, we didn't get to take advantage of this. In fact, we only ate one meal in Willemstad but thankfully it was a great one.

We ended up eating at the Gouverneur De Rouville, a popular restaurant located in the old governor’s mansion right. It’s right on the water and the terrace has a fantastic view of Punda’s colourful buildings as well the Queen Emma bridge. Usually you need a reservation if you want a table on the table but we went early (6 pm) and were able to snag one.

Besides being treated to a great view, we also received excellent food (we both had tuna) and service that was somewhat attentive. We also got to watch a cruise ship pull out to sea, which was an interesting sight and one made a bit more fun by the restaurant’s playing of the theme song to The Love Boat as the big ship pulled out of port.

While the Gouverneur was definitely the best place we ate at while on Curacao, we also had a couple of great meal at and near our hotel.  One of those meals was at the nearby Mambo Beach beach club and restaurant. With its white, Miami Beach-inspired look, this was definitely the trendiest place we ate at.

We happened to go there on fish market night, which meant we got to physically select the fish that the chief then grilled up for us. Husband and I decided to do a three-fish sampler and went with a chunk of red snapper, a chunk of tuna and a whole lion fish (they only cook those whole). Everything was very tasty and fresh and I highly recommend that if you’re going to check out Mambo Beach, you do it on one of its fish market nights.

Before & after shots of our Mambo
 Beach fish grill
I also had a great fish dinner at Nemo’s, the “fancy” restaurant at our resort. It actually wasn't that fancy but it was definitely a step up from Hemingway’s, the resort’s casual restaurant. While service wasn't exactly speedy, it was attentive and both the food and overall atmosphere were above average.

Hemingway’s, on the other hand, is firmly an average restaurant. Its ocean-side location is quite pretty and relaxing, but the service was horrible. There were multiple times were I'm sure we were being out-and-out ignored. Food-wise, things were so-so.  The buffet breakfast was nothing special but the chicken in the chicken Caesar salad I had for dinner one night was surprisingly well-seasoned.

The food was better over at the Pizzeria, which sadly was opened only for lunch. We ate lunch there multiple times, always splitting a pizza and always leaving satisfied. However, like Hemingway’s the service here sucked.

Finally, we also ate a meal at Augosto’s, the Italian restaurant located over at the Sea Aquarium Resort. I had some kind of pasta dish and while I don’t remember exactly what it was, I do remember that it was quite filling and left me with no room for dessert.

Again, like in Bonaire, all prices were completely reasonable and for around $60, we could get a great meal, with alcohol.

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