Right outside of the long strip of hotels in Aruba is a small area full of nightlife, and right at the heart of this area is a relatively new restaurant with chic and beautiful design called Lobby. At first, I was relatively skeptical of going to a “new” restaurant near our hotel, especially with a somewhat questionable and strange name of Lobby. Nonetheless, our stay at the Riu Antillas proved to have food that was less than satisfactory. It was nearly impossible to squeeze into a restaurant at this all-inclusive establishment. For a couple of the nights, we escaped the inevitable buffet and ventured into Lobby across the street instead.
Upon entry, Lobby has a wonderful atmosphere and excellent decor. The outside is very inviting, and is covered with chic and comfortable lighting that makes the place very attractive. Inside, the place is just as nice — very well-designed bar, comfortable booth seating, and an overall excellent interior by my standards. They put a Christmas tree up for the holidays, and all of the staff was extremely personable, friendly, and patient. It was a very impressive restaurant by this standard already, and had exceeded quite a number of restaurants in NYC that did not prove to have such fine attention to decor and service as Lobby in Aruba evidently did.
But, truly — the test of a good restaurant comes down to the food. Spoiler alert: we liked the restaurant enough to visit twice in the week. Throughout these visits, we had stuffed mushrooms, scallops with bacon, and peking-style duck to share. All three of these dishes were phenomenal. My favorite was easily the scallops with bacon, which we ordered at both visits. Each dish was carefully crafted, and the taste was all great. No complaints… Shockingly. Scallops would definitely order again.
Then, for the main — we ordered the dover sole. I had no idea what a dover sole was prior to this visit, but apparently it’s a relatively expensive fish. Lobby served it as a whole fish, beautifully filleted right at the table by our waiter.
This fish was excellent. It was literally one of the best (perhaps, the absolute best) fish I ever had. The flavor was unbelievable, and the tender, buttery, softness of the fish was delightful. We ordered this fish at both visits as well, and I could probably live off of it for some period of time without getting sick of it. We also had the lamb shank, which was very tender and pleasant. We had a number of sides — truffle fries, risotto, and cream of spinach. The truffle fries were probably the best bet. The risotto was very good, but also terribly heavy, and the cream of spinach was average.
Truly — the winners of the evening were easily the scallops with bacon and the dover sole (emphasis on the dover sole). But, I had an excellent experience at this restaurant at both visits. It far exceeded my expectations, and I want to have a Lobby in NYC. The atmosphere, decor, service, and food was all on par. Highly recommended.
If you don’t believe me that the dover sole was good, then judge yourself: