dinsdag 10 december 2013

Restaurant Update: November 2013: Caffe Parma | Franklin Bar | Bocinq | fa. Speijkervet

Caffe Parma

There's a new hip italian spot in town.
No cheesy wine leaves, no Mediterranean stucca, no singing waiters.
It's an urban chic place with a Provencal interior.
We went there a week after the grand opening.
Staff was friendly and had things under control.
The acoustics were nice, but there weren't a lot of people.

The menu is basic and simple. Italian classics, but there are some interesting meat dishes for us carnivores. I ordered the duck. It was actually pretty amazing. Perfectly cooked, right temperature, succulent, well seasoned, and served on a bed of mashed veggies.
It looked good, smelled good and tasted good. Top quality.
Across the table the pizza was looking good as well, and it tasted very authentic, fresh, light, a lot of flavor. Very refreshing.

 They specialize in their special pasta. You pick ingredients, the chef makes something amazing with that choice.
Must try that next time. Because we'll definately be back.

 The only thing to improve is the selection of wines. The wine list didn't really dazzle me to say the least. A hip place like that could do better in that department.

 All in all, a very useful addition to the culinary scene in de Pijp. Next to Barca and Marie.


Franklin Bar & Kitchen

Franklin is a new modern big city cocktail bar with a restaurant serving seasonal food.

The place looks good, could be in any cosmopolitan city in the world.
Great cocktails, often they have famous bartenders work their magic behind the bar.

Sometimes there are society events. We were there when Esquire Magazine had their best dressed men awards in Amsterdam and the nominees were drinking cocktails before the show to get into the right mood. Always good to see a well dressed crowd.

The appetizer with the Wagyu beef was pretty amazing, expectations were rising.
However the main course didn't completely fill these expectations. The venison was fine, really fine actually, but was drowning in pumpkin sauce. There was little difference between the sauces and the puree. A shame, flavor wise it wasn't all that bad, but the texture screwed things up.
A good try though, but too many powerful flavors getting mixed up in your plate.

The staff however is amazing, very friendly, very helpful.

Great accoustics, and fine wine. Excellent value for money.

Definitely one of my new favorite hangouts in my area.



Bocinq refurbished.
It looks stylish, chic, neat, very French setting. Very comfortable dining room, it can be a bit loud because it's popular with groups. If you want a quiet meal, book your table at Dutch dinner time (18:00-18:30), you'll be finished before most other nationalities arrive.
Staff is not only gorgeous, but very professional, attentive, but with the right amount of distance.

Shared dining is hot at the moment in Amsterdam. Choose 3 dishes per person and share, the French-Moroccan menu is amazing and very unique in Amsterdam. The quality, the scent, the flavour of the dishes are spot on. A real treat for your taste buds. Even the vietnamese spring rolls tasted and smelled like the ones I had when I lived in Vietnam. It's authentic, clever, well prepared, with the right amount of seasoning and spice. Well done! There is a large selection of wines, for any budget, my feeling is you can't go wrong.

The venison, the crab cakes and Moorish chicken are to die for.
Price/quality things are great too.

(photo's (c)bocinq)


fa. Speijkervet

If you like meat, you need to try out fa. Speijkervet.
It's all about meat, they get an entire animal and use all of it in their menu. (including kidney pies etc.).
The meat is also processed in the kitchen, I like that concept.
The restaurant is located in an old bakery, the main dining room is where they used to have the bread making machines. It's a artsy industrial like lit interior, a lot of tiles, big space, rough chic.

The atmosphere is hip and urban, there's a mixed crowd, a lot of hipsters, a lot beards and a lot of tattoos, but also quite a few rich babyboomers checking out what the hype's about.
It's a big restaurant and it's always full, make your reservation on time.

The food: well the food is good, but it's not all mind blowing. It also depends on what you get.
The cocquilles st. Jacques with horseradish were not impressive at all. Rather plain and not a lot of variety in taste. On the other hand, the board with meat (vleesplankje) was old school spectacular, took us back to our childhood dinners with our grandma. The red beets (Deventer Zwartblad) were a very unique dish that got it totally right. A lot of exciting flavours, well balanced and a good texture, very inventive.

We got the beast (Procureur pork) and that was ok, but that was about it. It was succulent, well prepared, well seasoned, but the dish lacked something spectacular, and the bacon was a too obvious addition to the dish. It was delicious, but not completely memorable.

The staff is friendly and well in the know of what will appear on your plate, which is mandatory I feel.
There is an interesting wine list, with reasonably priced wines.We had an Italian wine, Apollonio, it was excellent.

Price/quality wise you're very ok here, excellent value for money.
I also like the fact that the menu actually changes quite often, it keeps you coming back for more.

All in all, it's a good and cool dining experience. One that I will be revisiting often.

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