Noord, Aruba

Photo: Modern White Cuisine
Photo: Modern White Cuisine

It’s time for dinner on Aruba. But an all-inclusive buffet, fried seafood, and sickly sweet cocktails just aren’t going to cut it tonight. It’s time to leave the beachfront restaurants behind and find a really good meal on One Happy Island.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to look very far. There’s a chic, modern restaurant that’s practically hidden in plain sight. White Modern Cuisine is located in Palm Beach Plaza, a mall just steps from the gorgeous, two-mile beach with the same name. From the walls and the bar to the tables and the chairs, the restaurant has an all-white dining room. Elegant plates look like artwork that you almost don’t want to ruin. While the chef, who is originally from Aruba, prefers to use ingredients in their purest form. The results are amazing.

Before the food is served, start dinner with a White Cocktail. Their names, beginning with mojito and martini, may look familiar, but with fresh fruit juice and herbs, they certainly don’t taste the same. As you sip your cocktail, you mull over the menu. All of the appetizers—from lionfish ceviche to marinated avocado with seaweed chips to a creamy corn chowder—sound amazing. You almost surprise yourself by ordering the summer salad. The dish is anything but simple though. Twenty indigenous vegetables, herbs, and flowers are served on a piece of slate. A bell pepper coulis, a French-Caribbean dressing, an almond cream, and a cilantro vinaigrette decorate the plate. Plus moringa chips add a bit of crunch.

Photo: Modern White Cuisine
Photo: Modern White Cuisine

Though it was difficult, almost painful, to select your appetizer, you zero in on a main course right away. There’s no doubt you’ll order the Aruban seafood stew. Mahi-mahi and red snapper, scallops and shrimp have been simmering in cream for what seems like hours. It’s a hearty stew with carrots, corn, and polenta. While pickled onions, scallions, and what turns out to be onion crème combine with the seafood for an unbelievable smell.

After a hot stew, you need a cool dessert to end the meal. You don’t even glance at the dessert menu when your server suggests the raspberry trifle. It’s raspberry sorbet with a corn crumble. It’s fresh. It’s cool. And it tastes like a whole new side of Aruba.

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