The Pietermaai district, just beyond the heart of Willemstad, emerged in the 18th century as the city’s first suburb, a neighborhood of merchants and artisans. While it was a fashionable area then, in the 20th century it suffered a decline. As often happens, this ended up having an upside as many of the area’s historic buildings survived—albeit neglected.
Now many of Pietermaai’s colorful buildings have been lovingly restored and it has become a destination again, especially when its bars get busy in the evenings. Among the neighborhood landmarks that are enjoying a second life is Blessing Curaçao. The restaurant is located in, appropriately given its name, a former church reborn as a restaurant in 2007. The menu includes some dishes that are on the daring side, like a crème brûlée bouillabaisse, but there are also basics like sirloin, salmon risotto, and burgers for less adventurous eaters. The setting, under the watchful eyes of statues of saints and angels, is divine.