Fine dining under the stars

Young couple enjoying their dinner at Las Ramblas

Under a tangerine sunset or twinkling night skies, Las Ramblas is the perfect spot for al fresco beachfront dining. Located just steps from the glittering sands of Eagle Beach, this charming seaside restaurant enhances balmy nights refreshed by cooling trade winds with light and healthy cuisine. Flavored with fresh herbs and the finest Caribbean ingredients, the menu features succulent seafood and the finest USDA choice meats.

"I am proud of the unique menu of Las Ramblas which reflects Asian, Italian and Mediterranean elements. I especially enjoy taking authentic dishes and adding my own special elements," Chef Sonny Partodikromo explains.

Originally from Surinam, Chef Sonny has worked at such well-known Aruba restaurants as The Pirates Nest, Driftwood and Valentino's. He was also Sous Chef at Wyndham Resort (now Westin) for over four years before assuming his current position as Executive Chef of La Cabana Beach Resort and Casino in 2006.

Las Ramblas seafood entree

At La Cabana, he oversees a brigade of fifteen, preparing average of 600-700 meals every single day including breakfast, lunch and dinner at Islander Grill; dinner at Las Ramblas, and meals in the associate cafeteria. "I enjoy the challenge of working at La Cabana which allows me more diversity and hands-on experience - from menu planning and F&B organization to maintaining our herb garden and cooking," he explains.

"Our herb garden is fragrant and abundant, including basil, cilantro, chili peppers, rosemary, Madame Janette scotch bonnet pepper, bay leaf and lemongrass, enlivening the taste of every dish. The signature Sangria is sweet, potent and refreshing, made with Grand Marnier, Triple Sec and red wine, and garnished with chopped apples, oranges, and melon."

For those who enjoy the Spanish tradition of a variety of small, succulent bites for a nighttime meal, diners at Las Ramblas can initiate their feast with tapas, prepared with Chef's creative touch. The delicate eggplant rollatini is grilled and stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and grated mozzarella. A dish originating in Provence, France, the tasty tapenade crostini of finely-chopped Kalamata olives, capers and anchovies is served on grilled French bread. Local white bottom topped mushrooms are first steamed and then filled with ground Italian sausage and pepperoncini, for a spicy surprise. The succulent Caribbean shrimp skewer and the pinchitos of beef tenderloin are lightly seasoned with fresh herbs; the goat cheese is flavored with finely chopped walnuts, fresh thyme and parsley, served with basil pesto and honey.

While the escargots bourguignonne (snails topped with chopped fresh garlic, parsley and butter) and steamed mussels (cooked in vegetable broth and finished with fresh garlic, lemon juice and dash of white wine) are prepared in the traditional continental way, the avocado topped with shrimps (served with Calypso sauce of papaya and brandy) and the seafood crepe (featuring shrimp, mussels, scallops and calamari, topped with hollandaise sauce) have a distinct Caribbean flair.

Las Ramblas seafood and steak entree

Irresistible charcoal-grilled entrees are accompanied by a sautéed seasonal vegetable medley (broccoli, zucchini, squash, haricots verts) with baked or mashed potatoes or saffron rice. The 14 oz cut rib eye steak, 12 oz end cut churrasco (tenderloin) and 6 oz center cut petit tenderloin are perfectly prepared to your specifications; the New Zealand lamb chops and grilled chicken breast are tender and juicy. To complement the charcoal flavor is a choice of chimichurri sauce (thick herb sauce from Argentina); mushroom sauce (sautéed with garlic, onion and white wine), or peppercorn sauce (green peppercorn and brandy).

Seafood lovers will enjoy the red snapper and the grilled salmon served with garlic butter sauce. The seafood paella, a hearty Spanish rice dish with assorted seafood and a touch of saffron broth. "Traditional Paella Valenciana is made with chorizo (sausage) and chicken, but we prefer a seafood version to give it an Aruba twist," Chef Sonny reveals. The Surf & Turf of grilled shrimp, scallops and petite tenderloin is perfect for those who simply can't decide.

A decadent slice of chocolate mousse cake or key lime pie (easily shared by two!) or a creamy crème brulée is the perfect finale. The attentive table service and the mellow music of Thomas Gonzalez complement your very special evening of fine dining at Las Ramblas.