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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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
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. .
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...
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.
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)
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 :)
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.