Curacao good restuarants?
We are traveling to Curacao Feb 14 and hope to find good restuarants (not Indian or Thai). Suggestions appreciated. Our favorite eating is Selva's in Sarasota, Fl if you have been then you know our tastes. But anything with above average food would be helpful. Also good local carribean color if that is possisble in a Dutch island. Thanks Susan
Review of Gouverneur de Rouville, which is said to be the top restaurant in Curacao:
Seeking a special dinner for the last night of our honeymoon, we booked a table at the Gouverneur de Rouville, which we had been told was very good but expensive. First, the prices were little higher than any of the other nice restaurants we had visited. Second, it was not very good at all.
The location is prime, but that's where it ends. For an island with 9% unemployment, they are woefully understaffed. The bartender worked behind the bar as well as serving the people seated on the small cocktail patio outside. Once seated for dinner at one of the tables overlooking the harbor channel--one of the best restaurant views ever--we could tell that this restaurant was going to disappoint. We tried to order a glass of cava, which the menu said could be purchased by the glass, but we were told that it was an "old menu" and that they no longer served it by the glass. Oh well. Hey, why not draw a black line through that item until you can print new menus? From our coupld of weeks there, we definitely got the impression that Antilleans are not known for taking any initiative.
If you're a foodie, you will find the menu boring, as it doesn't deviate from the standards found at other restaurants. In fact, some of the items are things you can find for a lot less money at the roadside "snack" shacks for lunch, like the beef stew (karni stoba). Amazingly, unlike every other reasonably upscale restaurant in town, Gouverneur de Rouville did NOT have a Catch of the Day. When we asked about specials for the evening (the menu invites you to ask), our waiter said there were none. The menu incredibly did not list a solid fish dish, only fishy-Y dishes like fish stew, a "fried" assortment of three fishes, etc. In every other restaurant, we were able to order a delightfully understated steak or fillet of fish. We asked about this, and specifically asked if they could simply grill us a piece of fish. Our waiter had little understanding of the menu items and didn't know the answer. Fortunately, a Dutch woman who brought us our wine (the sommelier, sort of?) was able to intervene and explained that the "fried" fish assortment was actually pre-grilled first, and then left ("mise en place" as she explained it) to be finished later in a pan-fried sort of way. This sounded fairly disgusting, but at least she was able to explain it. I ordered it, and it was as she described, with visible grill marks but apparently finished in a pan with a sauce. It was edible--in fact not bad. But why can they not simply have a freshly grilled fish item? Oh, I almost forgot: They DO in fact list a fish. It is salmon! A fish flown in from thousands of miles away! I would not order salmon in the Caribbean any more than I would order grouper in Alaska.
All in all, this was one disappointing restaurant ... will a great view of the harbor.
You have to experience Landhuis Daniel - www.landhuisdaniel.com It's on the main road from Westpunt to Otrabanda. Very romantic, intimate & the food was great! I'd skip Jaachies. Had lunch there & the fish was very dry - kinda like eating left overs from the night before. It would be great for a beer b/c the owner is charming & has alot of local flavor. Gouverneur 'De Rouville overlooking Anna Bay is a great place for dinner - reasonably priced & you can get a romantic table overlooking the bay - beautiful at night. Be sure & ask for Nasira - very sweet server. You'll love the island!
In Otrabanda I'd try
Tried Gouverneur de Rouville - wouldn't go back for a meal, though it's a lovely spot.
Before dinner had drinks w a friend - great mojito and fab view! Recommend for this.
Dinner - large portions lacking flavor and elegance. Had a "tapas plate" combo appetizer, would have been sufficient for meal, the mushrooms w goat cheese were good, rest kinda blah. Special tuna w "creole sauce" (seemed like katsup?) was edible but not memorable. Best of the meal was blended icy lemonade - yum. US$50
Sigh, wish I'd taken all the Chowhounders' advice and gone to Le Clochard, didn't because it seemed too "romantic" for just 1 person. :(
I recommend Bistro Le Clochard in Otrabanda in the fort. I also recommend Astrolab at the fabulous Kura Hulanda Hotel in Otrabanda. I love Jaachies in Westpunt for local food in a charming setting. it is nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of town and head out to Westpunt.