Gili’s Beach Club – Impeccable Seafood in Aruban Paradise
Gili’s Beach Club is a beautiful Aruban themed open-air establishment found in the Trump International Resort in Sunny Isles Beach. It was by far one of the most aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing restaurants I have had the pleasure of dining at. Located right on the beach, you can choose a table that lets you bury your toes in the sand as you dine or be seated on the veranda. We highly recommend making a reservation around the sunset time, the colorful hues of pink and purple reflecting off the azure water as the sun set created a lovely ambiance amongst the rich turquoise blue and pristine white of the restaurant décor. The concept of Gili’s Beach Club is quite unique, in that the main entrées are served on a wooden board and you grill them yourself on top of a scorching 700 degree lava stone. This twist on fine dining was exciting and we loved it! On top of the amazing ambiance, it added another level of interaction between the guest and the food, ultimately making it for an incredibly memorable experience.
Executive Chef Kurtis Jantz has curated the perfect menu to reflect the languid atmosphere of dining in Aruba with the flavors and refinement of Mediterranean delights. Our server Osheen was absolutely wonderful, extremely attentive and warm, she really created a lovely vibe for our dinner.
We began our journey with a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and Pineapple Island Sour. Both drinks were refreshing and delicious, the strawberry daiquiri having a delightfully fresh taste and just the right amount of ice to flavor ratio. The island sour featured Bacardi, pineapple sour, and dark rum and left a delicious fruity taste on the tongue.
For starters we must mention the breads- The Pan de bono was so amazing, it was a yucca starch based warm bread with fresh cheese inside along with sesame bread.
For an appetizer we chose the shrimp tacos, which we cooked the shrimp on the lava stone. It was so fun watching them sizzle and turn into a pretty pink color, hot and fresh ready for the eating. They had a nice chimichurri seasoning on them and went quite well with the caramelized onions and peppers I cooked besides them.
Following that appetizer came my entrée of sea scallops and saffron rice. The rice came cooked already with a savory flavor and perfect texture. The sea scallops I cooked myself on the lava stone and were quite delicious as well. Gili’s provides a little card with cooking time recommendations for each protein, so no worries if you aren’t the best cook! They make it easy for you. The delectable scallops were seasoned perfectly and came with a key lime compound butter that melted delightfully atop the scallops as they cooked to perfection.
The desserts were just as mouthwatering as the dinner, with our selection being a Snickers Chocolate Cake, which was a decadent slice of vanilla cake with chocolate mousse, chocolate crumbles and topped with caramelized peanuts. It was beyond exquisite!
Overall it was a perfect and pleasant evening, there was also a live band accompanying us for our dinner playing catchy reggae covers. Gili’s Beach Club surpassed all expectations of every aspect of our dining experience and I encourage you to please make a reservation with them and experience this paradise for yourself! They are now accepting reservations for this upcoming Father’s Day! Don’t wait until Father’s Day to celebrate dad! The Friday and Saturday prior to Father’s Day, Dad can choose from so many more savory meats, vegetables, and seafood not featured in this review, and then grill his own entree at the table on the lava stone. To top it all off, fathers who order any Lava Stone Grill dinner will receive a complimentary Old No. 7 Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey cocktail – specially created and inspired by Executive Chef Kurtis Jantz’s own fond memories with his father.