Visitors from the USA, Brazil, Colombia and Italy, staying the Renaissance, Bucuti and Westin, just to name a few, joined the jubilant staff members toasting to the continued success of one of the island’s best-loved eateries.
The restaurant has been in the hand of the Merryweather family for over a quarter century, and while the dining room expanded over the years along with the menu, the fresh fish factor remained the same, as Driftwood restaurant serves only the freshest, and just-caught, swimming in the morning, served in the evening seafood, in its quaint and charming heart-of-town headquarters.
The name and the décor definitely support the restaurant’s theme. Weathered, well-travelled driftwood lines the rooms, inter-woven with mirrored glass, shells, fish nets, and retired maritime bric a brac.
Those who have been coming to Aruba for many years will recall that the Driftwood Restaurant started with just 8 tables, and a hand-written menu, which Francine Merryweather designed, including the logo. The tablecloths were hand-sewn too, and the atmosphere distinctly cozy and intimate, which restaurant patrons, both locals and visitors found irresistibly charming.
It still looks and feels pretty much the same, with unchanged quality of fresh catch, and the Aruban-style congenial hospitality. The famed fish soup is forever unchanged, based on an old family recipe.
The Driftwood’s fish soup is made every day and served brimming with Wahoo, Mahi Mahi and Grouper, as well as a twig of basil, otherwise known in Aruba as Yerb’i Hole, home grown in the garden. The best way to enjoy the fish soup is with a piece of the restaurant’s buttery funchi – baked polenta or with a slice of traditional Pan Bati – corn meal pancake wedges.
At the helm of the restaurant, Herbert, second generation passionate restaurateur, who cares deeply about the restaurant’s dinner experience making sure each one of his guests enjoys his meal to the fullest.
The Driftwood restaurant menu still features the largest Shrimp in the sea, Fresh Fish & Caribbean Lobster even Alaska King Crab Legs, all cooked in a variety of tasty ways with garlic and wine, curry and cream, in the traditional Creole style, or blackened, while also offering famous combination platters making any seafood lover’s dream, come true.
Meat eaters will be pleased with the restaurant Black Angus beef steak, chicken and lamb. Patrons find the Pasta Thermidor or even the Chicken Parmesan, hard to resist.
The restaurant is open for dinner every day, and should you desire to catch you own fish for dinner, join the owner on Driftwood I and Driftwood II for a half or full day deep sea fishing charter.
Happy Anniversary Driftwood restaurant!
Pictured here, the management and dedicated staff members, toasting to their continued success.