Amsterdam Report -- Blauw aan de Wal, Restaurant As, De Kas
We had three great days in Amsterdam. The weather was chilly, but we rented bikes and rode everywhere.
Blauw aan de Wal -- spectacular dinner. Great space and fabulous service. We started with a pumpkin soup with a perfectly poached egg and Iberian ham. Then, confit of duck which was wrapped in the most tender crepe and served with a delicate parsnip puree and porchini mushrooms, all in a perfect sauce. Finally, a warm chocolate cake with vanilla creme anglaise and chocolate sorbet. Bread and butter was also great.
Restaurant As -- Sunday dinner. Great space and service. Lovely bread. First course was a salad with the freshest greens, roasted chesnuts, roasted mushrooms and parsnips. The dressing was light but peferctly balanced. Then, the freshest turbot cooked on the bone with buttery mashed potatoes and unbelievably fresh spinach. The restaurant has a garden and grows much of its produce. Finally for dessert, a fantastic apple cake -- moist and delicate.
De Kas -- probably the weakest of the three but still good. The first course was the best. A trio of gnocci with cucumbers and dill, langoustine with pumpkin puree and finally a little cake of veal confit. The main course was smoked pork with lentils which was served with great turnips in a creamy sauce. Finally, another warm chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse. The bread and butter were delicous. Wine pairings were overly generous.
Also, I can highly recommend our hotel -- Seven Bridges. Lovely owners and the breakfast served in the room was simple but delicious.
Really interesting comment about de Kas. We decided not to go after two friends, independent of each other, went and both were disappointed. I wonder if it's chef has left or if there has been another significant change in the kitchen?
dutchgrub, I have another friend "whose opinion I trust" that went a year or so ago and absolutely loved de Kas. I really do wonder if something has changed there.
re: Joe H
I wonder if the limited options at De Kas might be influencing the mixed responses. Since they serve only one daily menu at a time, I imagine that someone could be disappointed if whatever was being served was not to his liking.
For example, I’ve been there when the menu was fish-intensive. Perhaps if a carnivore chowhound went on that day, she could have been quite disappointed. But as a fan of fish, I was quite impressed.
I’ve certainly been disappointed by other single menu restaurants before (e.g. Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA). Not because the food was bad, but because they weren’t serving something that I was excited about.
You can’t please everyone – and that may be one of the risks of serving a single daily menu. Is de Kas overhyped? I don’t know - maybe, it depends on the day. It certainly is overpriced, but that is another issue entirely.
thanks for the detailed report of your Amsterdam eats! Glad that you had three great days. Like most of us foodies you did a lot of research and it's nice that it paid off!
I keep hearing so many good things about Blauw aan de Wal. Everybody loves it! Think I might have it to my list of best Amsterdam restaurants. And As is a good find - I hadn't been in a while because the (indeed beautiful) space was rather empty last time I went.
Do you think de Kas is being slightly overhyped? I mean, people always love it. But maybe the reason is the gorgeous greenhouse setting more than the food?