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Nov 18, 2007 01:57 PM

Amsterdam - d'Vijff Vlieghen

My mouth waters just thinking about place. It is very expensive and very worth it. The address is 294-302 Spuistraat. Their website is It could be the best meal in Holland (which ordinarily would not be much of an accomplishment, trust me, but this place is world class). The premises consist of five adjoining 17th-century houses and there are 9 interconnected dining rooms. Art and antiques abound. Our first starter was mackerel confit in lime oil with deep-fried shrimp and glasswort sauce (photo 1, €12.00). Awesome. The lime oil was really a foam; bits of bacon were good; we could taste a chicken-spinach broth; cornichon pickles were nice. The next starter was sauteed duck liver with tarte tatin of shallot and preserved grapefruit peel (photo 2, €16.50). Stunning. These were long French shallots; the liver was gently soft, apparently cooked at a very low temperature. The grapefruit peel was encased in bacon, a bit too oily. Starter three was crispy fried beal brisket with beef marrow, asparagus, and compote of pear and mustard seeds (sorry no photo, €12.75), which was just magnificent. The marrow was molded into a cylinder, and the pear compote tasted somewhat of apple. We had two main dishes. First was grilled turbot with chanterelles, celeriac cream, and pumpkin coulis (photo 3, €33.50). Turbot is still just turbot and the fish had a fairly plain taste. The vegetable elements were interestingly complex, though. Then we had grilled veal fillet with crispy fried sweetbreads, green asparagus tips, and a croquette of mashed endives and potato (photo 4, €34.50). The sweetbreads were formed into a loaf; the veal was beefy and red. The vegetables and sauce were very fresh which complemented the rich meats. Service was friendly and helpful, in no way pushy or pretentious.

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    1. Going to have to dissent on this one ... I've always found dVV a bit tourist-trappy, and the kitchen inconsistent. It can, on occasion, be outstanding, and it sounds like you were indeed there on a good night. But by no means is this the best restaurant in Holland, or even Amsterdam for that matter ...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bradbury

        I have to agree with Bradbury. We ate there last year, and while it was good, I really felt like we could have done better with a little more research. Pretty pricey, too, iirc.

      2. I agree, wholeheartedly, with Reynold. It may not be the French Laundry, but it is certainly world-class (as in: it would be the Dutch Olympic entry, but wouldn't necessarily expect a medal). Anybody who expects better in Amsterdam clearly hasn't spent a great deal of time in Amsterdam (or has spent their time there eating with those marijuanically enhanced tastebuds that make FEBO such a success).

        1. One word to fit d'Vijff Vlieghen: overrated. It's good, certainly. Very good even, but vastly overpriced for what you get. I am happy to pay whatever it takes for a good emal, but the food there is merely very good. Of course, one has to be mindful of the environment, really exceptional food is hard to come by in Holland (my wife is Dutch, so God knows we've tried many places). By Dutch standards it is good, but compared with standards internationally... we live in Tokyo, and the three neighbourhood French and Italian places within a few minutes' walking distance from our house are better than that.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Asomaniac

            I agree with Asomaniac. I went to dVV once about six years ago, and found it underwhelming. It seemed as if visitors and regulars were seated in different rooms, and that the visitors were given a very packaged and uninvolving experience. The food wasn't bad, but it did not make up for the price and artificiality.