Amsterdam is a city where culinary opportunities are rising faster than just about any city in Europe. The multi-cultural nature of the residents plus the fact visitors come from all over the world has resulted in Michelin star chefs painting culinary creations with a unique approach. And the product is meals and creations that expand the normal culinary boundaries. These five dining experiences are sure to provide an elegant and palate-pleasing evening.
Speakeasy Graphite by Peter Gast
The concept of a speakeasy lives, where you book your table, check in on a street that resembles an alley, then are led to a table where cooking occurs in four stations around the open-concept restaurant. No drop-in dining here, you must book a reservation, then get an entry code for your dining time. You start in a posh bar, then sit at one of only six tables, which are placed around the open cooking stations. It has a private feel with a close-to-the-action view, and only takes 20 patrons per night. Dining options are 10, 15 or 20 courses for the evening. None will disappoint as embodied with creations that optimize visual appeal with a unique taste. The menu changes daily and seasonally with the Michelin-starred Gast using unique seasonal ingredients. Combinations include langoustines with orange dressing and gingerbread croutons, stingray with chicory, and venison with beets and light Dutch cheese are examples of what mysteriously and carefully appears at your table. If that wasn’t enough, unique wines are chosen each evening for each course.
If you want an excellent French meal along the canal, a stop at this unique hotel, bar and restaurant combination. Start in the Library Bar which has 5,000+ books along the shelves, all authors who have stayed at the hotel and signed a copy for the living display. Contemplate literature with one of their signature craft cocktails in a literary atmosphere. Then head upstairs for a canal view while dining in an environment that when combined with the service, might just place you in Paris for classic French cuisine. The Scallops with barigoule cream and confit tomato are a can’t miss starter.
Stromma Dinner Cruise
Possibly the best way to see the canals and accompanying history of Amsterdam is a Stromma Dinner Cruise. Usually dinner cruises are hasty buffets, yet in this case, you get a four-course meal, served professionally as you meander the canals with all beverages. You can choose between options for the courses, such as the Salmon en papillote prepared with lemon and dill as the main course. During the 2.5-hour cruise, your meal and beverages are spaced correctly to make a memorable evening. The captain intersperses historical and cultural notes during the sail.
Der Silveren Spiegel
The Silver Mirror is a Dutch house that dates to 1614. While you are under the original beams, walls, and stairs, the stage is set for fine Dutch cuisine including period-based china and silverware. The food is merely an incredible presentation to match the taste. You can’t go wrong with the fish of the day, prepared with spinach, green cabbage, smoked eel, lava, and Hollandaise sauce. Chef Yves van der Hoff goes to the same creative care with desserts such as the Stewed pear with chocolate mousse, curd, and Dutch treacle-waffles ice cream.
In the city center, located adjacent to the NH Barbizon Hotel, the comfortable neo-modern Scandinavian décor is a clue that an excellent meal is in store. The four to six-course dinner menu changes seasonally and it carefully matched so each course flows to the next. The staff is keenly aware of your preferred pace, so expect to dine at the appropriate speed for your preferences. The food and ambiance have a spa-like feel where one course melts into the next. The roasted pear and pumpkin salad prime the taste buds for the monkfish with roasted seaweed with oyster sauce.