Food of Aruba
I love food adventures, but the 30 minute walk in the dark to find this little hidden treasure turned out to be a little more adventurous than expected. The area surrounding the restaurant (once a ranch) is a little questionable. Don and I made a couple quick moves to avoid shady characters and at one point it was so dark we could hardly see where we were going.
Home Sweet Home
Then we spotted an oasis of lights in a jungle of trees. Here we found this beautiful 127 year old house, all lit and welcoming. Numerous taxis were dropping and picking up, making us realize, arriving on foot is uncommon.
This is what the "cunucu" house looked like years ago when it was a riding school. Eduardo and Lenie Ellis raised their 4 children here, before they turned the home into Papiamento, a restaurant serving authentic Caribbean food. Papiamento is the native language, still spoken by locals in Aruba.
Inside the charming home, there were a number of dining rooms. The tables were inviting and comfy, surrounded by European antiques and framed art. The Ellis family must be big collectors. There were collections of copper pans and green metal dishes...
Where is Everyone?
There was only one small party dining inside, which made the place look sort of unpopular.
But we couldn't even get a reservation till 9 pm. That's because everyone wants an outside table!
We were escorted to ours, outside beside the pool.
Aruba was unseasonably hot when we visited in August. So we were lucky that on this evening, there was a nice breeze blowing over the pool. It felt a little like we were at a wedding with all the white seat covers and shimmering table cloths and flickering candles. Even the flower petals floating in the pool made it seem like a bride and groom had just paraded by... But really the petals had fallen naturally from the trees.
The tables around the pool were all set up for couples. Lucky us, being 2! The tables began to clear shortly after we were seated, which meant we got lots of good service. In fact, I'm not really sure who our main server was. There were so many attending to us.
We made sure to order some true Aruban dishes. We started with Soppi Oester, and Aruban oyster soup. The Caesar salad wasn't exactly with the Carribean theme, but it came with the meal and was delicious.
Chef Edward's Dishes
The eldest Ellis son is now the head chef and I'd say he does a pretty amazing job! Don ordered grouper, since it's always wise to order the catch of the day. It came with a pumpkin mash that was like dessert to me! I had Cazuela, which is Caribbean shrimp and rock lobster, stewed in Aruba style chowder and coconut milk. Both were excellent and there was no room for dessert.
A Curious Building
We Found Out
We asked and ended up with a tour of the "wine cellar" which holed 150 different wines.
Wonderful Little Place
What a great place for food and atmosphere. We did something special after eating, to make sure we only had good memories of the place. We took a taxi back to the hotel!here to edit.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.