maandag 15 december 2014

Fall Update 2014 - Amsterdam Restaurants & Bars

1. Restaurant As

Zuidas|Beatrixpark - Oud Zuid - Amsterdam

Hidden in the shadows of the Zuidas high rise and the Beatrix Park trees, Restaurant As is a 50ies church converted into a restaurant, with a kitchen outside. It's a great place to dine outside in summer. All organic, good ingredients, local produce... but Restaurant As lacks consistency. 

They're on the edge of the price/quality equation. Meals are served on big plates placed in the center of the table, when a lot of people in your party order the same meal, portions may turn out on the small side. That's a shame, because usually, the food is delicious and very well prepared.

Recommended, keep your fingers crossed and try it out yourself.

2. BAK

Westelijke Eilanden - Houthaven Amsterdam

Restaurant BAK is truly an experience. It's well hidden under the exposed beams roof in the Veem building lining the Oude Houthaven (Van Diemenstraat). They began as a pop up restaurant, but the pop remains up. They're here to stay. Hopefully for a very long time. You really feel like you're in a secret gastronomic hide out while dining in the BAK attic overlooking the Houthaven. 

The chef creates a daily menu. Very organic, a lot of vegetables. It's all seasonal, they grow their own vegetables in crates on the pier in the Houthaven. You can choose the number of courses you want to have. Order as many as possible, you'll love them all. Price/Quality you can't go wrong. I can recommend the wine pairing as well. You'll be dazzled. 

One of my favorite restaurants in Amsterdam.

Think Wilde Zwijnen but a bit funkier.
Highly highly recommended!

3. De Foyer

Keizersgracht | 9 Straatjes Amsterdam

From the same crew that amazed the Amsterdam food scene Répéré. The concept remains the same, another pop up restaurant, in the Felix Meritus building, together with FOAM. This time the building and interior is even more gorgeous. All biological wines, old fashioned food served in a modern way. It's all about the taste. Definitely try the cheesecake for desert, it's to die for!

You must try this cake!

Service is impeccable, the atmosphere is relaxed but has something elegant and glamorous. Prices are low, quality very very high!

Highly recommended.

4. De Goudfazant

Noord | Via Oosterpont

Nowadays I find myself crossing the IJ by pondje quite often. Noord is on fire. This is the first venture of the guys who run Cafe Modern. This old garage is an impressive venue. Check out the crazy bottle chandelier! Don't be shy, the place is huge, there's a lot of staff, and a lot of waiters racing past you with dishes when you head from the cloak racks to the bar, find a waiter and soon you'll be seated among hundreds of other patrons, hipsters, advertising people, business men (there's easy car parking). 

Eating here is a bargain. 30+ euros for a 3 course meal, you can't go wrong here. They have a very interesting wine list, and the staff is very able to guide you through it, in order to find that right bottle. The food leans towards traditional French, prepared to perfection. Great poussin chicken, hanger steak. 


5. Anna

Red Light District | Warmoesstraat | Touristic Center

I will be honest with you. I shun Warmoesstraat and the Red Light District. Too many English stag parties, too many 10 € Argentinian steak houses, too many tourist traps. But it's true, the Red Light District contains a few gems, definitely for coffee and shopping (Koko Coffee & Design, Quartier Putain, ...) but there's a very fine restaurant hidden in Warmoesstraat: Anna.

It looks completely the opposite of the surrounding hell holes and oozes class, elegance and tranquility. The latter is not easy to accomplish in this area. The back faces the square behind the Oude Kerk. I must admit, I had one of the best meals all year in this restaurant. The combination of the interior, the staff, the food, the wine. Speaking of wine: if they have the Sterhuis, go for it.

You will be served little pieces of art. They taste as good as they look. Great combinations, inventive creations, generous portions, local produce, cooked to perfection. Traditional dishes, produced by Lindenhoff in Baambrugge, but the chef doesn't shun eastern influences. That is exciting. Some more trivia: they serve excellent bread.

Highly recommended.

6. Remise 47

Oud West - Foodhallen

The Bellamy square area has been the hottest place to be in Amsterdam during the fall. The old "tram remise" (tram work shop) has been converted to a posh hotel, fine restaurants, upscale real estate and a food market. First to open its doors was Remise 47 in Hotel De Hallen. Followed by Halte 3, Meat West and the foodhallen. 

The setting is wonderful, with a very nice outdoors area. The food was promising but not the end of the world. The scallops were well prepared, and the meat was alright but not memorable. Since we tried it out after they just switched concepts and were short in staff we are confident they will be up to par in no time.

7. Ree 7

9 Straatjes - Western Canal Belt

The 9 straatjes are fun to shop. There are some nice bars, and some good restaurants. One of the best places in this area to have lunch is Ree7. It's small but cozy. This gastro bar definitely has a hipster flair to it, but the crowd is very varied. The main thing is: they serve healthy looking and very taste food. Very nice and creative salads, not very common to find those kinds of salads on Amsterdam menus. 


8. De Foodhallen

The hippest place in town this fall without a doubt. Go there before it looses it's flair and is in every tourist guide possible. (And thus swarmed by Amsterdam tourists and stag parties on beerbikes).

Try the Vietnamese stand and the sausages. There's also a nice wine bar. At the east side there's a non-food market, with make up, craft beers and artsy stuff hipsters love.

Highly recommended.

On the list to check out:

Le Coq
Smokin' Barrels
Americano Bar & Kitchen
Carter Bar & Kitchen
George Bistro
De Plantage
Aan de Amstel
O Mai
Graceland Bar-B-Q

Jacques Jour
Paper Planes
Van 't Spit
Mossel & Gin
Buurman & Buurman
Van de buurt
Hotel not hotel
Waldorf Astoria
Meat West
Halte 3
Eddy Spaghetti

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