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June 2011 Honeymoon dinner - Amsterdam

Dapuma Oct 26, 2010 09:54 AM

Hello, AZ USA CH'r and was hoping to get some advice here. Going to be going to London - Paris - Amsterdam for the honeymoon and want to do one incredible dinner in each city. Since we are going to France and London seems to be very French inspired we want to try to avoid French cooking if possible...so where is our best amazing dinner going to be found. If i could get a top 3 from a few people that would be great, i dont know exactly where we are staying yet but i think somewhere around the Dam Square or within 10 minute walk of Dam Square

We will be in Amsterdam for 3 days, so a traditional Dutch experience would be great and then one amazing place.

Thanks

  1. s
    sufunsified Oct 26, 2010 10:30 AM

    De Kas - I'm an ex-New Yorker super snobby about food, and De Kas was one of the most incredible meals I've ever had. It was recommended to me by a chef friend, and it recently won two "Best Of' awards from Time Out.
    http://www.restaurantdekas.nl/

    It's way east of Dam, but it's easy to get there by tram or by bike. I don't know how long you're staying in Amsterdam, but make sure to get out of the Dam area- most places within a 10 minute walk of it fall into the kind of gross, kind of tacky tourist realm.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sufunsified
      Dapuma Oct 26, 2010 11:49 AM

      de kas looks very cool - seems neat enviornment to have a resaurant in

      1. re: Dapuma
        j
        jenniferjones Oct 26, 2010 12:28 PM

        I know that mentioned De Kas and De Witte Uyl to you on a London board, but mentioning here again just in case you were more concentrated in the London food info. They are both fantastic and very different from eachother in the fact that De Kas is more "sustainable greenhouse gourmet" and De Wiite Uyl is more of a romantic and eclectic place. Both if them are outside the city center, so make sure plan accordingly. We had dinner at De Witte Uyl and Easter lunch at De Kas.

        You can also find up to date food info on fine dining as well as street food and casual places on www.dutchgrub.com. It is worth a read. Almost every eating experience we had in Amsterdam was based upon that blog and this board, and we left very satisfied!

        1. re: jenniferjones
          Dapuma Oct 26, 2010 01:48 PM

          I did see that on your post and just checked them out, they both sound very good, and seem like very cool places to check out

          that dutchgrub site is great...i will be giving that a thorough read over the next week

          nice to know they have street food on there as well, will check it out...in regards to collardman i def want to try the herring, that seems very traditional street food - is blue pepper a good idonesian ristafel or is there a better one to check out or another option?

      2. re: sufunsified
        c
        collardman Oct 26, 2010 12:53 PM

        I second the point of exploring beyond the Dam. Your question about a typical Dutch experience is a little hard to answer. Unfortunately, old line typical Dutch food is generally pretty unexciting.

        But under that heading you should probably try a pannekoekhuis, a pancake house, and of course an Indonesian ristafel. While we go to Holland every year we haven't gone to Amsterdam for several years so I don't remember the Indonesian restaurants we were led to the last time there.

        You will also want to grab a broodje, the Dutch sandwich. The good thing about June is that it is new herring time, my favorite time there. I even have a "I'm a fish junkie" t-shirt. The new "crop" of herring arrives and, when good (like good sardines) it's like eating a pat of butter. Unfortunately, most of the herring now come not from Dutch waters but from Scandinavia.

      3. zuriga1 Oct 28, 2010 07:36 AM

        I see one of my favourites - De Witte Uyl - has been mentioned... I second that idea.

        Do have some rijstaffel, too while in Amsterdam. I liked Samo Seba, but there are a few other top-knotch places, too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1
          c
          collardman Oct 28, 2010 01:23 PM

          I checked with Dutch friends and for Indonesian they had a personal recommendation of Restaurant Sampurna @ Singel 498. This recommendation was from a Vegan. They also mentioned that one of the top food critics just gave a very good review of Puri Indonesia @ Albert Cuypstraat 58/60

          1. re: collardman
            zuriga1 Oct 28, 2010 09:59 PM

            Thanks... will certainly remember these names for our next trip!

        2. j
          JC2 Oct 28, 2010 03:06 PM

          We loved Blue Pepper, but it is by no means a traditional rijstaffel, There are three set menus (although you can order a la carte). Some of the dishes were quite remarkable. I would highly recommend it. We also loved De Kas. Did not have a great dinner at De Witte Uyl, although I think the atmosphere was wonderful - and based upon others' comments, maybe we just hit a bad night. .

          3 Replies
          1. re: JC2
            eoj Nov 2, 2010 03:49 AM

            My last dinner at De Witte Uyl was also a disappointment, so I'd go for De Kas, where I had a wonderful experience. One of my favourites for lunch is Brasserie de Joffers, about a 10 minute walk from the Van Gogh museum.

            As others have said, Dutch food isn't really a "cuisine" ... most pancake places are pretty tourist oriented and underwhelming. I'd suggest poffertje's and stroopwafels in Albert Cuyp market instead. If you have lunch in a cafe, the most Dutch thing to order is probably a "tosti" ... basically a grilled cheese sandwich, but there's often variations like ham-and-cheese. Also, you've got to get some of the fabulous frites with sauce from Vleminckx Sausmeesters, near the Spui.

            Here's all my Amsterdam restaurant reviews: http://allison.gryski.com/p/amsterdam...

            1. re: eoj
              n
              Nancy S. Nov 2, 2010 04:31 AM

              I thought De Kas was disappointing. I was expecting excellent, and I felt it was ordinary. Also, the setting was a bit country club-like, to me. I much preferred Blauw aan de Wal. I loved the setting and the service. It's much more intimate and lovely. The food was also more interesting and innovative.

              1. re: eoj
                b
                Buzzy2 Jun 15, 2011 01:25 AM

                I made it to Vleminckx Sausmeesters yesterday after trying one of the chain shops the day before. The frites were very good, but not great in my opinion. I am very picky about fries, so I am clearly in the 'highly opinionated' category that you might want to ignore. LOL

                It was interesting to me that both the chain frites and the Vleminckx frites were both crispy but hard on the outside. It may have to do with the type of potatoes being used now. years ago, when I bought my frites at a little corner store near Leidseplein (which has been replaced by a non-frite chain, I am afraid) I remember them as different, and better.

                I spent a long time trying to create these fries from memory at my restaurants in the US, and we were able to achieve what I thought was an excellent fry. The inside was soft and fully cooked and the outside was crispy and light. These fries were similar but they were crispy and hard or heavy on the edges, sometimes chewy.

                I learned from my experience at my restaurants that potato varieties made a big difference in the results, as did the time of the year, since some potatoes were stored for long periods before being shipped and in that time they changed. The most obvious change was in the water content.

                Thus, although I liked the fries at Vleminckx more than the chain fries, I wasn't blown away.

                I also noted that they are described as vegetarian fries, so my expectation of additional flavor from meat fat (duck perhaps?) was also dashed. LOL

                I'm off to Brussels to continue my search for the best fries in Western Europe. I will say, by the way, that I do not think they are in Paris. (from my earlier research)

                 
                 
            2. Dapuma Dec 24, 2010 09:05 AM

              Trip is finally planned, based on the websites i am going to go with De Kas for sure, because it just looks more interesting

              Here is where we are staying so not sure which market is closer or if both are and it doesnt matter

              Nieuwe Keizersgracht 22-A, 1018 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands

              Seems like the reviews are mixed between De Kas De Witte Uyl - which i hope to also try but not sure if that will actually work out or not because both places are closed Sunday, we are there friday saturday sunday

              Vleminckx Sausmeesters sounds awesome, 100 year old place that specializes in french fries...IN

              Albert Cuyp market: sounds great, although not open on Sundays

              Noordermarkt market v Albert Cuyp Market: Which one is the best to go to? We can only make it to one - is the french fry place closer to one or the other?

              Are the Museums open on Sundays? seems like there may be a limited number of things to do on a Sunday...however if the anne frank house and the other musems are open then, that sounds like a great day to get that done

              Bitterballen: They are little balls of mushed meat and potatoes, breaded and deep fried, that you have with some mustard
              - sounds good with a few pints!

              Also other question, is there a nice "coffee house" that isnt going to be filled with college students getting crushed out of their minds, wanted to check one out (when in rome) but didnt want to relive my college days

              Any cafe's recommendations for chocolate / pasteries - saw someone have a site up and recommended brasserie de joffers looked at their website and it looked very nice...but nothing is in english so i really dont know what their site says :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dapuma
                eoj Dec 26, 2010 12:25 PM

                Brasserie de Joffers is not so much a chocolate/pastry place -- more a place for nice lunch/brunch in the style of a Parisian cafe (and they do have english menus).

                Noordermarkt and Albert Cuyp Market are rather different things. The Noordermarket is either Saturday (when it's mostly farmer's market and a little flea market) or Monday when it's mostly flea market. There's a neighbouring market that has a bunch of other stuff. The Albert Cuyp market is a typical Amsterdam street market with a huge variety of stalls from food to fabric to furniture to flowers. It runs Monday-Saturday.

                Neither market is particularly close to the frites place, but Amsterdam is small, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.... just get yourself a bicycle or get acquainted with the tram system.
                You'll find many places are closed all day Sunday and Monday until 1pm. Restaurants and cafes are frequently open though.

              2. s
                scotty27 Dec 24, 2010 09:35 AM

                You might love the following place. I'm in Boston, but lived in Holland. It's very old fashioned. You might also consider something Indonesian...

                Restaurant 't Swarte Schaep

                Address:Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 24
                Amsterdam, Netherlands
                Phone:(020) 622-3021

                www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                1. eatamsterdam Jan 7, 2011 03:10 AM

                  Hi Dapuma,

                  Here are some other options to consider, if you're still looking for local fare in unusual buildings (and not as far out as De Kas): Restaurant Open (www.open.nl) is in a converted section of railway bridge just west of Central Station. It has a French/Dutch menu with an emphasis on heirloom vegetables and fresh, organic produce. It also has a fantastic elevated terrace in the summer.

                  Gartine (www.gartine.nl) is a shoe-box-sized cafe tucked away on an alley near Kalverstraat shopping street. It also serves French/Dutch-inspired dishes for breakfast, lunch and high tea. It's run by a passionate husband and wife team who grow a lot of their own vegetables.

                  Blauw aan de Wal is a high-end restaurant incongruously located in the heart of Amsterdam's Red Light District. It's really only affordable for special occasions (and the menu is quite French) but the wines are great.

                  For handmade chocolates flavoured with unusual things like lemongrass and thyme, Pucinni Bomboni is a must (www.puccinibomboni.com). My favourite place for pastries (try the lemon tart!) is Gebroeders Niemeijer Bakery (Nieuwendijk 35).

                  Enjoy your honeymoon - it sounds like a great trip.

                  Eat-Amsterdam
                  www.eat-amsterdam.com

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: eatamsterdam
                    q
                    qli Jan 9, 2011 01:28 PM

                    Excellent recommendations! I love especially Gartine. Another great restaurant I would like to advice is Le Restaurant, a 20 seat restaurant, very good food and wine for just 65 prix fixed. It has a star and is months ahead fully booked! But if you are looky you will have a great evening!

                    1. re: qli
                      Dapuma Jan 11, 2011 01:32 PM

                      Thanks for those recomendations, unfortunatly they didnt have English translations so it was hard to figure out what they were all about, but it gives us some more options i will have to read some more about each of those...that chocolate place sounds amazing and i love lemon tarts so i will be tracking that place down for sure

                  2. a
                    AdamD Jan 9, 2011 01:33 PM

                    Hash plant
                    followed by anything you can get your hands on....;)

                    1. j
                      jaclynk Jan 11, 2011 06:28 AM

                      I've been living in Amsterdam for over 2 years now (originally from Chicago, land o' good food), and we've found a handful of REALLY good restaurants.
                      First and foremost, don't eat in Dam Square! All you'll find is tourist aimed restaurants full of not so great food. Luckily, Amsterdam is a relatively small city and you can get around extremely easily by walking or trams.
                      1--De Kas, very unique atmosphere. It's in a greenhouse, and they use veggies that they've grown themselves. Food is great if you're willing to eat anything, it's all set courses so just be ready for anything.
                      2--De Witte Uyl, nice little restaurant. Pretty good food, and the dessert is delicious! You can get a board full of chocolate that you cut up yourself. Very yummy.
                      3--Baltazhars Kueken--very nice place to go, always busy so make sure to make a reservation. They serve at 6 and 9 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It's pretty warm inside, so dress in layers...you pick fish or meat, and again it's a set menu, but everybody gets a table full of appetizers, your main, and then the chosen dessert for that night. The kitchen is in the back and you can watch everything being made back there.
                      4--Restaurant Blauw, if you want Indonesian food this is the best one I've been to. It's just on the other side of Vondel Park (a must to walk through, or if the weather's nice a picnic). You will also need to book ahead here, it's definitely different than anything else here food wise.
                      5--Pancake House, it's on Prinsengracht just near the Anne Frank Huis. A must if you visit, you can go for lunch and sit if you'd like.

                      That's all I can think of right now, good luck and enjoy your trip!

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: jaclynk
                        Dapuma Jan 11, 2011 01:33 PM

                        thanks for the recs...i used to get to chi town at least once or twice a year when i lived in the midwest, great place in the summer

                        Are any of those places you listed open on Sunday, seems like everything is closed then so we have very few options of what to do for a dinner on Sunday

                        1. re: Dapuma
                          n
                          Nancy S. Jan 12, 2011 04:58 AM

                          Lastage (Geldersekade 29) is open on Sundays. My husband had a really good dinner there a few weeks ago, on a Sunday, in fact. We also like Blau aan de Wal, and are not so crazy about De Kas (the food is a bit disappointing and the atmosphere is a bit lit a county club dining room).

                          1. re: Nancy S.
                            Dapuma Jan 15, 2011 08:10 PM

                            does anyone know if Balthazar’s Keuken is open Sundays?

                            i think we will probably go with de kas because it looks so interesting and De Witte Uy because of how many people said that chocolate board is legendary, and we both love chocolate

                            Sunday is our difficult day since most places are closed

                            1. re: Dapuma
                              n
                              Nancy S. Jan 16, 2011 05:02 AM

                              Don't get too excited by De Kas and De witte Uy, both are somewhat ordinary.

                              1. re: Dapuma
                                eoj Jan 24, 2011 11:02 AM

                                The chocolate board is sort of overrated ... the legendary aspect is the quantity really, not the contents. It's huge blocks of milk, dark, and white chocolate, along with some fudge. You do not get to take home leftovers so they must waste a lot of chocolate.

                                If you're really keen on a memorable chocolate experience, I'd suggest finding Puccini Bomboni (there's a couple locations) and buying a bunch of chocolates to eat. We found them a very different style to the chocolates available in Canada, and super delicious.

                                1. re: eoj
                                  Klary Jan 25, 2011 02:11 AM

                                  if you love chocolate, this new place might be worth checking out:
                                  http://www.vanderdonkchocolates.nl/ro...

                                  as for Sundays:
                                  here are several places that are open:
                                  Yamazato at the Okura Hotel - high end Japanese

                                  Orontes & Orontes West cheap and cheerful Turkish food, the best grilled lambchops I've ever eaten in Amsterdam

                                  Hotel de Goudfazant off the beaten path in Amsterdam Noord, great location, simple but good food

                                  la Perla - great pizza, eat it at the lively communal table

                                  Vis aan de Schelde - high end fish restaurant, skip dessert and head on over to the little icecream booth oppisite the restaurant: Pisa.

                                  Betty's - have never been myself but highly recommended by many people as the best vegetarian restaurant in Amsterdam

                                  restaurant Greetje for Dutch classics with a modern and creative twist.

                                  1. re: eoj
                                    Dapuma Jan 27, 2011 10:45 AM

                                    that sounds way less exciting...we prefer quality over quanity

                                    thanks for the ideas on sunday...simple food is probably good as we will probably go out and let loose on Saturday as it is our last weekend day on our trip

                                    is Puccini Bomboni open Sundays?

                                    1. re: Dapuma
                                      n
                                      Nancy S. Jan 27, 2011 12:34 PM

                                      I really recommend your considering Lastage on Sunday. It's new and not touristy.

                                      1. re: Nancy S.
                                        Dapuma Jan 28, 2011 12:21 PM

                                        that woudl be better than an indonesian place?

                                        Menu seems priced pretty well - is it french food or italian - i cannot read dutch so hard to tell

                                        do they have english menu's or english speaking staff to translate

                                        1. re: Dapuma
                                          n
                                          Nancy S. Jan 28, 2011 01:19 PM

                                          I would call it modern Dutch. The service is great will translate into English for you. In my opinion, it would be a much better alternative to an Indonesian place.

                                          1. re: Dapuma
                                            eoj Jan 31, 2011 01:17 PM

                                            You can in general count on encountering English speaking staff at any restaurant (actually pretty much everyone in Amsterdam seems to speak at least some English).

                                            Lots of cafes have bilingual menus and on our first visit, we found that a knowledge of French and English was enough to figure out much of the Dutch on menus.

                                        2. re: Dapuma
                                          eoj Jan 31, 2011 01:13 PM

                                          http://www.puccinibomboni.com/

                                          Yes, they're open Sunday. See website for hours and locations.

                                2. re: jaclynk
                                  b
                                  Buzzy2 Jun 14, 2011 12:04 AM

                                  Jaclynk, regarding Indonesian, I am looking for a full range of rijsttafel options and was referred to Tempo Doeloe for authentic cuisine. If you know it, can you compare it to Blauw for authenticity and quality? Thanks.

                                  1. re: Buzzy2
                                    b
                                    Buzzy2 Jun 15, 2011 12:25 AM

                                    Tempo Doeloe was very good last night. This was only my second experience with rijsttafel, so I would not consider my opinion to be expert.

                                    I started with their chicken soup, which had a very nice, flavorful broth and lots of tender chicken. The basil, which was a nice surprise, didn't add as much flavor as I had hoped. Actually, I was originally hoping for cilantro, so maybe that's where the disappointment came from. Overall it was very nice because of the broth and the tenderness of the chicken.

                                    I chose the Rijsttafel Istemewa (the large one) which is shown on the menu as two person minimum but they served it to me for one.

                                    Although I didn't count them, I was supposed to get 25 items. I did photograph them, however.

                                    The pork satay was acceptable but far from what I had hoped. The pork was buried in a VERY heavy peanut sauce and therefore I was unable to judge the flavor of the pork. The meat, however, was not tender. It was well within the edible range, but not what it could have been.

                                    Most of the other meat dishes were tender and flavorful with just a couple of exceptions. There were several, including a couple of beef dishes, which were excellent. The shrimp dish was also excellent, in part because the shrimp were very fresh and flavorful.
                                    Vegetable dishes and tofu were generally very tasty, some a bit spicier than others.

                                    The small plates were served with a dish of white rice and one of yellow (saffron?) rice with condiments on top adding a little crunch. There was also a common regional salad of cucumber, onion and other vegetables in a vinegar sauce and some rice chips.

                                    With such a large selection of choices, I found that I had plenty of items that were really enjoyable and thus the rijsttafel was a success for me. I had initially mentioned that I didn't want my soup hot, but instead preferred medium heat, and I was served what might be considered a mild meal with a few medium exceptions. Of course, I stayed away from the obviously hot red chili peppers whenever I encountered them. LOL

                                    For dessert I chose the pineapple sherbert (Es Nanas) with jackfruit which turned out to be a large plate with 6 or 7 fruits, great sherbert and a pirouette cookie. Quite a bit more than expected.

                                    Regarding the service, although the greeting upon arrival wasn't warm, I admit that I was a little late for my reservation. I had to wait a couple of minutes at their 'bar' which I noticed can get very crowded at times and isn't an ideal waiting place. The staff has to pass the bar seating area constantly. I was surprised that no accidents occurred.

                                    However, my servers were very attentive and helpful throughout my meal and they were also friendly. They were very busy, but they always found time for me. At the end of the meal one of them asked if I wanted her to call a taxi for me. Thus, my rating probably reflects half a star for service.

                                    I might try one of the other recommended spots, such as Blauw, upon my next visit, but I certainly enjoyed this meal.

                                     
                                     
                                     
                                3. s
                                  suleaman Jan 11, 2011 04:57 PM

                                  You asked about Amsterdam, but there is a city called Valkenburg. It is a smal town, very busy in summer. They have great restaurants, great view, nice ambiente. Not cheap but the town give you all you need for a romantic night under the dutch sky. You should google this town:)

                                  1. Dapuma Feb 12, 2011 08:57 AM

                                    Update

                                    Friday: De Kas - booked

                                    Saturday: De Witte Uyl - booked

                                    Sunday: Lastage - email sent

                                    Just wanted to say thanks so much for everyones help

                                    Just have to tackle France now as England and Holland are all set

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