Aqua Grill, Aruba

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The Aqua Grill in Aruba is one of the best seafood places I have been to. The decor is sleek and sexy, the wine list inviting, and the waitstaff is friendly and attentive. While in Aruba at the Banfi Tasting, I was fortunate enough to meet a very special and inspiring woman named Shirley Barrow. Shirley is the General Manager at the Aqua Grill and I had the pleasure to speak with her at the tasting where she then invited us to her restaurant.

We had arrived for a late dinner around ten o’clock at night. I always feel terrible when I do this to restaurants as I have been on the service staff end as a Sommelier, so I know how the staff feels; but we were starving and I wanted to try this restaurant. As we walked in the front door, we were instantly greeted by the hostess who was very cheerful and said she would be happy to seat us. It is a pleasant surprise when you arrive late to a restaurant and the staff is so accommodating and friendly. They made us feel very comfortable even though we were the last table to be sat in the restaurant; and yet, no one rushed us through the meal.

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Now let’s talk food and wine. The menu has a wide variety of seafood which is either fresh caught or flown in daily. The wine I chose was a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This wine was crisp, refreshing, and playfully fruit forward. It paired perfectly with my Salmon Fillet and Garlic Butter Asparagus. First and foremost, the salmon was out of this world (my sister who dislikes most seafood, devoured the salmon faster then I did). The asparagus was done perfectly, and the crab cakes were outstanding. I have to admit, even the bread was fresh out of the oven, which is something I usually do not expect at a 10PM dinner.

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During dinner, Shirley stopped by the table and greeted us with a friendly smile. Since I had met her the night before, it was nice to see her again at her restaurant. She is an excellent General Manager and has a wonderful staff. If you are in Aruba and seriously want some of the best seafood you can have over there, you must try the Aqua Grill. I will certainly be going back when vacationing in Aruba again next year!

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Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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