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“Wonderful!”

Carte Blanche Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $95
Cuisines: European, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Serves Alcohol, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Carte Blanche is a restaurant for foodies, people who are open minded for an exquisite fine dinning experience, without limitations. Carte Blanche features a 14-seat elegant bar in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. The highlight of the restaurant is Chef Dennis van Daatselaar cooking right in front of you a 5-course Carte Blanche dinner known as a “chef surprise”. Alongside him is Maitre d’ Glen Bonset pairing wines and mixing premium drinks
new jersey
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful!”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

We had the most wonderful experience being "non-foodies". I am more open minded than my husband and was shocked that he ate what was served to him without a moments hesitation. Dennis, Glen and Hector couldn't have been nicer and very accommodating to my special requests.

My only regret is that my sister and brother-in-law didn't share this experience with us as due to a car accident they had to cancel their trip.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank NewJerseyBettyboop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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943 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Westminster, Maryland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Most definitely the best dining experience I've ever had!”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

First of all, in regards to the 'bad' reviews- I don't know if this was just an update to the website in response to all the confusion or what, but the Carte Blanche site does clearly state that they do not do vegetarian, and that you have to call to confirm your reservation. Obviously if they only serve 16 people per night, they want to know those people are going to show up, and why should they have to chase 16 people around an island every night to figure that out? You want to go so badly, you confirm. If THE chef gets sick, that's kind of out of their hands, I mean, you can't have a stand-in for a chef who creates the menu in his own head, and if you have the time/money to travel halfway around the world JUST for a restaurant, you need not complain about anything! I find it hard to believe one restaurant is the only reason someone goes to Aruba, although if it was, this would be THE restaurant. :)

Ok, now on to the review: I put my husband and I on the waiting list before our trip to Aruba last week, and we were lucky enough to get in. We are avid Food Network fans, so we often watch these professional chefs on tv presenting people with beautiful plates of food that maybe we've never heard of or tried ourselves, but that look so delicious, we'd try it in a heartbeat! When I happened upon the description and reviews for Carte Blanche, I thought this would be the perfect experience for my husband and I, and it was! I'm not sure exactly how adventurous the Carte Blanche menu gets, but I'd trust Dennis to serve me anything! It was so nice to have a meal that was completely thought out with accompaniments, sauces and seasonings meant to bring out every flavor of the dish. This was so much more than your typical steak with horseradish sauce or asparagus with hollandaise. I would definitely recommend doing the wine pairing also, especially if you're not so schooled in wine, like me! It's amazing to see how it really can compliment a dish.

The atmosphere at Carte Blanche is wonderful- gracious, friendly hosts, a very lovely room with 16 people from around the world, seated around a 'bar' of sorts, behind which Dennis cooks and Glen prepares the wines for each course. Everyone introduces themselves in the beginning, then conversations start from there as the meal progresses. There are 5 courses: 3 appetizers, 1 entree and 1 dessert, but we also had a small amouse- bouche and prosecco before all that. Dennis presents each course, as though the 16 guests are the judges on a Food Network show. :) He describes everything in the dish, and Glen follows with a description of the wine and why he paired it with that dish. I was somewhat aware what the price would be, although it was actually less than I expected based on a certain review that said without the wine pairing it was $300- something for two. My husband and I did the pairing, no coffee afterwards, but how much could that have possibly been if we had? Our bill was $318 and worth every penny. We would do it again without hesitation.

Just to give you an idea of what we had (obviously I can't relay all the technicalities): The amuse-bouche was butternut squash soup, followed by grouper ceviche, with a piece of halibut and tuna, veal, red snapper with white asparagus, lamb rib chops with garlic mashed potato (I'm not a lamb fan, but this, paired with the zinfandel Glen chose, was my favorite!), tiramisu and/or a chocolate brownie dessert. Of course, my husband and I had to get one of each of the desserts, and the brownie option paired with the port, was my other favorite pairing. My photos do not do justice, and, by the way, I failed to photograph the snapper course before I dove in!

I'll admit, I don't have a personal chef. I'm not overly high-maintenance, like perhaps those of us who travel to a foreign country just to dine out. ;) My best restaurant meal is normally Morton's steakhouse, which is great, but nothing I've had at home during a regular week has ever been this creative and unique. You aren't just served your food here, it's presented to you, and there is a difference. The food is created by the person who is actually doing the cooking. It's carefully thought out and planned, and the result is amazing.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank amstarliper72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“AMAZING FOOD, AMAZING EXPERIENCE, with a hefty price tag!”
Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

Listen, first off, I am definitely a foodey and food snob. Secondly, I don't mind spending a lot for amazing food and an awesome experience. This place has both.

The concept is that Chef Denis prepares/cooks the entire 5 course meal for you (in front of you), while Glen pairs the wine for each course. These guys are a dynamic duo. They need and feed off of each other really well. They are hilarious, a lot of fun, as well as appropriately obnoxious and sarcastic. I LOVE IT!

There are only 16 seats, these two guys, and one support staff.

Best word to describe this place is INTIMATE. You have a chance to personally interact with the chef and the guests near you because it's limited to 16 people only.

Chef Denis is amazing. The food was incredible and he knows his stuff. Glen is definitely the life of the party. Real fun and funny!

My only critique about the place is that it's really expensive. Expect at least over 350 bones for two. Although very expensive, definitely worth doing and returning to this place at least once or for special occasions. Just ensure to make reservations 3 months ahead.

Overall, this place is now in my exclusive list of top 5 favorite restaurants. THIS PLACE GETS TWO THUMBS UP! I definitely recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Merritt001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, North Carolina
Level Contributor
151 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Top Shelf!”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

This place is fantastic and I don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said. Dennis really knows his way around the kitchen. I might have had the best fish dish of my life. It was a perfectly cooked piece of grouper served with white asparagus. All of the courses were wonderful but that one stole the show for me. The first course was a very close second, being the best ceviche I've ever had,served with a huge scallop and a piece of seared tuna. Glen was quick with the drinks and very personable, as was Chef Dennis. My wife and I had a wonderful time and it seemed like the others around us did as well. Just a very memorable evening all-around. We will definitely go back the next time we are on the Happy Island.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank aureliusjackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The Best on Aruba”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

If you're going to Aruba and you're doing your planning 3-6 months in advance, book dinner at Carte Blanche. It'll be the best meal you have on the island (and probably one of the best meals you've ever had) and will be one of the best activities you do too.

It's a unique experience that you won't get in almost any other restaurant. The concept comes from the typical chef's table(where you sit at a table or bar next to or across from the kitchen and watch and occasionally interact with the chef and staff) that has been taken to the extreme: there is only the chef's table and only 14 diners. And you all sit across the bar and interact with the chef (and the wine guy).

Glenn - the wine guy - and Dennis - the chef - are terrific. You can't over estimate this aspect of the meal. Dennis will tell you all you want to know about the food and preparation, along with his career, the island, etc. while he's cooking the several courses of your dinner in front of you. And Glenn will make sure your wine pairing is really good or your drink is perfect, but probably more importantly, Glenn will get the party started and keep it going. He's the grease that keeps it all moving. He's polite, knowledgeable, well traveled, and appropriately impetuous.

Even if you don't get a reservation, check with them and see if you can sit in where someone else canceled. That's how we got in - and it was the best thing we did on our vacation.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Plate18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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