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  • Enrique Balestrini

A guide to Valentine's Day dining.

Valentine's Day is around the corner and to help you decide where to go for that special dinner here are 10 options for all tastes and wallets.


Infini.


Infini Aruba
At Infini with my favorite foodE Galentine Ali Hector.

For that special foodie, Infini is the ultimate treat. The experience of watching all the dishes come to life is a great spectacle. I can guarantee that anything that Chef Urvin Croes does is mindblowing and the five-star service ensures an unforgettable evening for those who enjoy fine dining. One thing: dining at Infini is an immersive experience that lasts around 3 hours and your attention will be focused on every element from cooking methods, plating, and wine pairings, so I recommend this one to those who are really into food.


The Menu at Infini changes every certain months, you can reach out to discover more at reservations@infiniaruba.com


Lima Bistro.



Everybody's favorite. The atmosphere at Lima Bistro is relaxed but that does not mean that the food is not thought out. Everything at Lima is full of flavor and creativity. My favorite picks: The Market Ceviche with crispy calamari rings on top, Lomo Saltado for the main never disappoints, and for dessert, the french toast which is the new favorite of the Lima regulars. One advice: Lima is a very popular place, so reservations are a must.


Menu available here: Lima Bistro


Atardi.



There is nothing more romantic than a dinner on the beach and for those who are looking for the ultimate island experience, Atardi can be your go-to. In my opinion, the best option for that kind of vibe around the high-rise area. Dine under the stars or go earlier for sunset, there is no bad time. My favorites are the octopus and sea bass. Reservations are a must too.


Discover more about the menu here: Atardi Aruba


Amore Mio.



The name says it all. Amore Mio is the perfect option for those who want a romantic vibe without breaking the bank. A pizza date sounds like a great idea to me! also, they have salads, some Italian specialties, and nice cocktails and spritzers. My faves are the Calzone pizza and Caprese salad, and for drinks, they make a great Cosmopolitan martini and a Limoncello Spritz.


Menu here: Amore Mio


Olivia.


Olivia Aruba
Pulpo alla griglia y Gamberetti y Baramundi

If you want to stay around Oranjestad to celebrate your special person, Olivia is a great option too. The relaxed vibe and grown-up feel are perfect for those who want to stay away from the crowds and noises of the hotel area. The indoor-outdoor setting and low light are great for the occasion and the food offering is different, featuring Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. On my last visit, I enjoyed the red beet and labneh appetizer, the tortellini calabasa, and the Pulpo alla griglia y Gamberetti y Baramundi. There's a full review on my blog about it, read it here.


Menu here: Olivia Aruba


Azia.


Azia Aruba
Sushi and Cocktails at Azia. Photo courtesy of Gianni's Group.

The famous Asian fusion restaurant offers a sexy vibe that can set the perfect tone for Valentine's night. My favorite dishes are the dumplings, the Korean BBQ ribs, and the geisha roll. An idea: you could also go for a cocktail date by the bar, the mixologists do a great job there. Martinis are a must-try.



Les Cappuchinas.



Valentine's can be hectic and overwhelming for dinner. For those who are looking for a daytime date, Les Cappuchinas is a great spot for that special coffee, lunch, dessert, and even cocktails! They have Japanese specialties and classics like fluffy pancakes and eggs benedict, everything beautifully served. The pastries are something else too! I encourage you to check their Instagram highlights and I won't blame you if your mouth starts watering.



Casa Nonna.


Casa Nonna Aruba
Aperol Spritzin' at Casa Nonna

Wanna go Italian for Valentine's Day and still keep it romantic? Casa Nonna at The Ritz-Carlton Aruba is my recommendation. Their terrace tables overlooking the beach, gardens, and bonfire are such a vibe. My favorite pastas: Pansotti di zucca (Squash ravioli with brown butter and sage) and Pici alla Toscana (Twisted pasta strands with Tuscan beef-pork ragú).



Mercát.


Mercat Aruba Marriott
Sunset sipping from Mercát. Photo Courtesy of Aruba Marriott Resort.

The new restaurant at the Aruba Marriott Resort has been making waves with its Mediterranean dishes! I have been countless times already and it always hits the right spot. Sitting on their terrace around sunset sipping on cocktails sounds like perfection to me on V-day. My favorite dishes are the Mortadella and Pistachio Pinsa (flatbread) the Short Rib Pasta with lemon zest, and for dessert, the Crema Catalana.


Reservations and menu here: OpenTable Mercát


Ever.


Ever Aruba
Ever is fine dining done casually. Photo courtesy of Ever.

If you want to do a chef's table experience but at the same time you want to keep it casual and moody? Ever is your best bet. Ever offers all the detailed experiences of fine dining while keeping it casual. Dishes and cocktails are true works of art, presented elegantly but remaining creative! It could be such a gift to your Valentine.


Ever's menu is always changing and contains 8 courses. More info here reservations@ever-restaurantaruba.com


And here you guys have it. 10 places for all styles, tastes, and wallets. One thing: make sure you make your reservations ahead! There's nothing worse than an unprepared Valentine's Day, your other half deserves it.


As a final note, this post is not sponsored by any of the mentioned establishments.


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