BAK, Amsterdam, 5/13/17

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building

BAK is located in a commercial building on the waterfront.  There is a bell you need to ring to get buzzed in and then you have the option of walking up multiple flights of stairs or taking the elevator to the top floor.   As you turn right out of the elevators you will find the restrooms that you’ll use while dining right around the corner.  The view is wonderful with all the boats coming and going as well as a couple of docked boats, one of which I understand is a bed and breakfast.  Music plays in the background, tables are well spaced but small and there is an open kitchen at the end of the long room.  However it is not the only kitchen as evidenced by a dumbwaiter that moves things up and down between the other kitchen.  

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stairs in the building

Chef Benny Blisto was in the kitchen (they were prepping for an event the following day where they were serving white asparagus) but did not choose to visit with diners.  DAK offers tasting menus of 4 or 6 courses with two optional courses to add.  During our visit turbot was one additional course as was cheese.  They offer wine pairings at 26 euros for the 4 courses in the small menu and you add on a variable per glass price for each extra course.  We chose the 6 course menu and added the turbot as well as wine pairings.

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entrance to the left
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entrance
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view out the windows
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interior
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kitchen
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interior from the other end
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Frankie enjoyed looking out the window
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table set up
menu cover
menu cover
menu
menu
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wine list

 

To start the meal they bring out yummy hot sour dough bread that was soft and chewy in the center while the crust was crisp and crunchy.  With it came a bowl of whipped brown butter.

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bread and butter
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closer bread
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closer butter
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champagne front
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champagne back
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dumb waiter to other kitchen

 

Vegetables and herbs included a variety of Dutch vegetables both raw and pickled, flowers, wild garlic oil and cream of cheese (Pierre Robert). The cheese had a strong flavor but the vegetables worked well with it.  On top of the cheese was a crispy cracker that added more texture.

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wine with vegetables
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vegetables and herbs from lindenhoff
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closer
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Frankie appreciated the option of tap water

 

Lettuce was grilled and served with sliced portobello.  The dressing was a sauce of sauerkraut and oyster that sat below the greens and botarga was sprinkled on top.  It was a tasty dressing and the grilling brought out the flavor of the lettuce.  A nice course.

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wine with lettuce
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lettuce with oyster, sauerkraut and botarga
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another angle

 

White asparagus  were plated with kelp, sea lavender and a glaze of yeast.  Kelp was the darker bits, crisp and blending well,  it also combined with the buttery sauce which was very good.

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wine with asparagus
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wine back
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asparagus with kelp, sea lavender, yeast
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closer

 

Turbot was plated with endive and grains.  The fish was grilled and coated with a sourdough glaze.  The sauce was made from fish bones and grains.  Escarole completed the nice plate along with some buttery mashed potatoes hidden under the fish.  The turbot was firm and excellent and the sauce fantastic. The greens were grilled and were rich and smokey tasting.  A wonderful course.

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wine with turbot
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turbot with endive and grains
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closer
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kitchen

 

Roe deer with turnip and onion was quite good.  The deer was cooked on a Green Egg and had a sauce of coffee and sour dough.  An onion compote was under the turnip pieces and a grilled turnip leaf was in the middle of the plate.  The deer was tender and nicely rare.  Another wonderful course.

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wine with roe deer
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roe deer with turnip and onion
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closer
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meat closer
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onions under the turnip
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meat under the lettuce
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Frankie got ice
benny in the kitchen
Chef Benny Blisto in the kitchen

 

The first dessert was rhubarb with sorrel,  pine and raspberry sorbet. The sauce was from red sorrel mixed with tarragon and kelp.  The sorbet was nice and some grains on top of it added a bit of crunch.  The leaves on top I found to be too tart to enjoy and overall the dish needed a heavier hit of sweet to work with the tart components.

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wine with rhubarb
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rhubarb with sorrel and pine
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closer
Frankie checked it out
Frankie checked it out
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readying white asparagus

 

The last dessert was angelica ice cream, strawberries and nasturtium and oats crumble.  The strawberries were nice as were the oats but overall it didn’t seems as tasty as the ingredients would lend it to be.  Desserts don’t seem to measure up to the savories here.

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wine with angelica
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angelica: strawberry and oat
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closer
coffee
Frankie and the coffee

 

 

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