The sun is shining, as it usually does in Curaçao, and I am in between appointments, so I decide to go for a walk, venturing down the coastline toward Marie Pompoon. I soon find myself standing before a make-shift, blue hut boasting the hand-painted sign: “Piska Fresh”- Fresh Fish. Normally the smell of fish sends me in the opposite direction, but the transaction that was happening on this day drew me in.
My eyes immediately find their way to the stacked pile of yellow fin Snappers being sold to a handsome Dutchman. Of curious nature, I ask him where this heap of fish is going. He informs me that he is the manager of El Gaucho and that they would be served for dinner that night. It was amusing to think that I had just spoken to the owner who happens to be a client of EC so I settled on my dinner plans that evening.
Arriving at El Gaucho just a few hours later, I am met by the charming smile from earlier. Tim, the fish buyer and general manager welcomes my friend and I, then offers a menu, but I assure him I didn’t need one. I knew what I wanted: the yellow fin Snapper I had seen earlier. “Good choice” he remarks with a smile, and my friend says: “I’ll have the same!”, we laugh.
While we wait for the fish dish to be served, I stare off into the beautiful panoramic views afforded by the hillside position of the restaurant. I reflect on the day and the blessings in my life. Tim makes his way back to the table with a cocktail and appetizer and shares funny anecdotes about his different functions at El Gaucho. When he finally presents the plates, I do something very cliché, if ever a moment warranted it, it was now. I photograph my dish and post it for my friends to see.
As I take my first bite into that succulent fish, the flavors dance a salsa as the fish melts, and I think, “Have I died and gone to restaurant heaven?” As a foodie, I know well prepared, well seasoned fish.
I dine out often, and I eat with a rather critical palate. This night, however, I tasted to most delectable fish ever. Perhaps it is the whole experience of seeing the fresh yellow fins at the stand, the gorgeous ambiance of El Gaucho, stunning view and the top notch service that made this evening unforgettable. Whatever it was, this girl is hooked and recalls that this one of her favorite places to dine in Curaçao.