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Mar 17, 2011 05:35 PM

Two weeks in Benelux

Two serious foodies taking day trips in and around Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Brussels the first two weeks of June...what are the "must haves"...especially regional specialties??? Looking for reasonable prices with the occasional splurge.

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  1. There's plenty of threads covering favourites and highlights in Amsterdam if you search the board. Maybe ask something a little more specific if you want a tailored response.

    1. I can help you. Which day's? Lunch and/or dinner? Also snacks? Including countryside of Amsterdam (beach?) regards, Hans

      8 Replies
      1. re: hvdmeeberg

        Dear Hans,
        We will be traveling by train. We are open to staying for dinner in any of the cities we visit for day trips, but would be just as happy to dine in our "base" cities of Amsterdam and Brussels.
        Two full days in Amsterdam, then a day trip to Maastricht ending in Luxembourg.
        A full day in Luxembourg (Wednesday, Market Day).
        Three full days in Brussels - first night, Thursday, dinner reservation for Comme Chez Soi.
        Day trips to Bruges and Ghent, staying in Brussels.
        Return to Amsterdam for day trips to Antwerp, Haarlem,The Hague, Rotterdam, all while staying in Amsterdam.
        We are (unfortunately) not beer drinkers, so we are primarily interested in local food specialties or personal favorites.
        Many thanks,

        1. re: essbeth99

          Hi Essbeth,

          I'll think you have to try the new dutch kitchen:

          Then one dinner at one of the all time classics in Amsterdam

          If you like yoyr wines then visit Vyne & have dinner next door at Envy

          Regards, Hans

          1. re: hvdmeeberg

            Dear Hans,
            Thank you for taking the time to post these suggestions. I know we will try to get to all of them!

            1. re: hvdmeeberg

              Thank for the tip Hans; yesterday we enjoyed Wilde Zwijnen very much! Schorseneren (...), beet ravioli, sea bass to perfection. Their Saint Veran is great!

              1. re: Willem

                Your welcome. Recently opened restaurantanna (dear the dam, former michelin starred chef) really good food: More french/italian/south europe cuisine.

                Enjoy, Hans

                1. re: hvdmeeberg

                  thx! first starter already makes me wanna book:
                  Truffle risotto with sautéed veal cheek, poached egg and a mushroom mousse

            2. re: essbeth99

              "first night, Thursday, dinner reservation for Comme Chez Soi"

              Why did you prioritise CCS? If you are going for one up-market meal in Brussels, you will probably have a better experience at the Sea Grill which is also two star - neither of these are cheap however.

              There are however several one star restaurants with better cost/value ratios. Try Brasserie de la Piax, Bon Bon, Challet de la Foret or Chez Marie.

              1. re: kerriar

                Someone recommended CCS to us. My son and I will follow your suggestions and, at the very least, investigate your suggestions. With five weeks to departure, the anticipation is building and everyone's suggestions are motivating me to exercise more now so that I can try as many of these delicacies as possible!
                Many, many thanks for your time.

          2. If you want to venture out of the cities, go to Magis in Tongeren or de Leuf near Heerlen. Spend a day in Maastricht which is loaded with quality restaurants.

            6 Replies
            1. re: POY

              Dear POY,
              Thank you for the tips. Magis and de Leuf both look amazing!

              1. re: essbeth99

                I second Maastricht. Moved here a year ago for the food and atmosphere (from Rotterdam). The hilly province of Limburg is the most foody in the Netherlands, and has many regional specialities, and even some good wine (f.e. Riesling by Apostelhoeve).
                The 2000 year old city is a gem. And the food capital of the Netherlands. Simple places serve good food, and on he high end the town has most stars, more than Amsterdam.

                Regional dishes are amongst else:
                - Knien in ut zoer (rabbit stew, in vinegar, though many varieties are sweetened by apple sirup, often plums are added, and spices like cloves).
                - Zoervleisch, also a stew, bit like the rabbit, lots of onions
                - Asperagus!!
                - Huitschvleisch (translation?)
                - Tete de veaux (originally French, localized)
                - Vlaai: kind of pastry, can contain fruits like black plums, cherries, apricots, gooseberry, or even rice

                For food shopping go visit Adriaan (local wild honey, mustards etc., truffle mayonaise), definitely visit the Salonard, for pastry, bread, cheese, brownie!! - heavenly!
                For vlaai go to the Bisschopsmolen.
                in the street called Koestraat there is a very nice deli, het Fransche Huis.
                Excellent, yes excellent coffee: Blanche Dael

                The most typical local spot for dinner is Cafe Sjiek. Fantastic place. Very crowded, no reservation, can be up to an hour waiting time (at their winebar, with some pate or oysters). Good affordable wine (Henri Bourgeois Sancerre, Deux Roche Saint Veran, a very nice Cairanne).
                Great terrace under a huge tree. Have asperagus (classic style)!

                For fine dining: Beluga is outstanding (2 star, 19,5 GM)! Toine Hermsen is the soulfood of fine dining. For Rotisserie on very very high level go Tout a Fait. Nice classical lunch and affordable 1-star is Chateau Neercanne, a place of great beauty...if you dont eat there, just go have coffee or champagne.
                Very nice innovative but true to the classics is Rozemarijn. Best fish is 'O'. If you would want Asian food, go Thai Ichi, where also sushi/sashimi is great (chef is a Thai who lived in Japan).

                For simple salad nicoise in relaxed surrounding, de Moriaan.
                Feel of France in Maastricht: Petite Bonheur.
                Italian like you are in Italy: Gio
                Most classical Maastricht lunch: de Bobbel (onion soup!, many regional dishes)
                Just outside of town at the river, very good food at Sofa. In a nice suburb: Villeneuve and Bisjop.


                1. re: Willem

                  Wow, I only live 30 minutes away and learned a few things, thanks. I too, by the way, recommend Sofa which we found last month.

                  1. re: Willem

                    Hi Willem:

                    Thanks for your exhaustive list of recommendations for Maastricht. We were thinking of a weekend stop over in Antwerp, but after reading your tips, we're thinking of spending it in Maastricht instead. Because this post is almost 3 years old, I wonder if they are still valid or if you have updated food recommendations for Maastricht.

                    Thanks in advance for your help!

                  2. re: essbeth99

                    ah ja, the very best restaurant of the Netherlands is Oud Sluis, i think even world top-25. Seafood oriented. Oysters 6 different ways is a signature dish. Amazing food.
                    Als 3 star is the Librije - here the cooking is very much regional, nice.

                    1. re: Willem

                      Thank you for all the information...we may have to adjust our itinerary to do Maastricht justice!