212, Amsterdam, 7/5/18

building
building

212 has only been in business since January 2018 and surely will become a hard reservation to get once word gets out, so get to it now.  The seating was at a u-shaped counter (with drawers for extra flatware underneath) surrounding the open kitchen, where Chefs Thomas Groot (there that night) and Richard van Oostenbrugge work their magic,   The chefs and some of the staff previously worked together at Bord’Eau.  A couple of high-top tables on the sides are available for larger groups.  A lovely wood ceiling, dance music in the background, comfortable bar seats, two walls of windows looking over streets and canals and a hum from the happy crowd set the ambiance.  The atmosphere is casual rather than formal and even a bit noisy.   It was a fantastic meal and service was out of this world- really friendly, fun and welcoming.  It all adds to an unconventional and memorable dining experience featuring a spectacular meal.   I would easily go back.  

IMG_2121
neon sign

The menu offers 4 or 7 course tasting menus, with an optional Wagyu grade 5 course and cheese courses, or an a la carte menu.  We opted for the 7 course tasting and made it 8 by adding the Wagyu and ordered our own bottles of wine.  There was really good portion control and pacing throughout the evening.

interior
interior
interior
interior
interior??
interior
interior
interior
ceiling
ceiling
and frankei
Nice server Aukje and Frankie
wine list cover
wine list cover
menu
tasting menu
a la carte menu
a la carte menu

 

The evening began with a cool, wet cloth to freshen you and a series of amuse bouche.   First was celeriac foam topping Dutch shrimp for a delicious bite.

amuse
amuse bouche: Celeriac foam on Dutch shrimp
closer
closer

 

A crispy smoked chicken skin was topped with fava beans, cauliflower cream and garden greens. It was great.

amuse
amuse: crispy smoked chicken skin topped with fava beans, cauliflower cream and garden greens
closer
closer
closer
closer
champagne front
champagne front
champagne back
champagne back

 

An egg yolk floats in a broad bean consommé with bacon oil, after being injected with crab bisque.  An interresting explosion of crab when you break the yolk.  A nice combination of flavors and textures. 

course
amuse
closer
closer
chef talks with guests
Chef Thomas Groot talks with guests

 

Bread was a sour dough variety that was finished/smoked on the fire and served warm with French butter with a bit of salt and paradise pepper.  A crisp exterior nicely contrasted with the dense yet light center.  It was served warm but not made in house. 

bread and butter
bread and butter
bread closer
bread closer
Frankie stood with the butter
Frankie stood with the butter

 

Crumble of Red Mullet with Smokey broth with seaweed contained red mullet jelly, red mullet fillet, passion fruit, pickled and then fried scales in a sauce of mullet and citrus.  The crunchy scales really added a nice texture while the fruits nicely rounded out the dish.  It was served cool, not cold and the flavor really stood out with slight overtones of smoke.  Very good.

Crumble of red mullet, smokey broth with Seaweed
Crumble of red mullet, smokey broth with Seaweed
closer
closer
underneath
underneath
wine
wine
wine back
wine back
wine side
wine side

 

Open ravioli of French oyster with briny veal shank velouté was served with hazelnut, BBQ lemon confiture and green cabbage.  The sauce was made with cockles and cream of oyster.  Grilled lemon and a thin layer of hazelnut jelly on top of the plump oyster really added to the flavor.  Hazelnut was a brilliant addition to the mix.  The briny foam was nicely moderated by the lemon and cabbage.  This fun course was loaded with scents and flavors.

Open ravioli of oyster with briny veal shank velouté, hazelnut, BBQ lemon confiture, green cabbage
Open ravioli of oyster with briny veal shank velouté, hazelnut, BBQ lemon confiture, green cabbage
closer
closer
inside
inside
inside
inside
Frankie watched the kitchen action
Frankie watched the kitchen

 

A langoustine poached in duck fat was served with Dashi Albufera, coffee and Katsuobushi (smoked dried tuna belly), which continued to move after it was served (video included).  The coffee and lemon dusted the langoustine.  The sauce was amazing on this barely cooked langoustine.  It was buttery and rich and made you want to lick up every bite.  The coffee was definitely a flavor that was present in this truly excellent dish.  Yum x 3.

Langoustine poached in duct fat, Dashi albufera, coffee, Katsuobushi
Langoustine poached in duct fat, Dashi albufera, coffee, Katsuobushi
from the top
from the top
closer
closer
another angle
another angle
inside
inside
Frankie liked it
Frankie liked it

 

Codfish ‘Darne’ with Salmis of codfish was served alongside a chicheron with the liver, morrels and spruce.  Codfish throats were covered with a Bordelaise sauce and cooked perfectly with a texture and sweetness like lobster.  It was excellent – three stars for this one.  A crispy piece of throat of the fish was stuffed with liver which was dynamic and fun plus it blended nicely with the morels, sauce and fish. The other pieces were cod loin and covered with a smoked potato sauce and “land caviar”.  Both dishes were flavorful and wonderful.

Codfish 'Darne' with Salmis of codfish, Chicheron with the liver, morrels, spuce
Codfish ‘Darne’ with Salmis of codfish, Chicheron with the liver, morrels, spuce
antoher view
another view
closer
closer
another angle
another angle
photo
Codfish with a smoked potato sauce and “land caviar”
other end
other end
another angle
side
kitchen working
kitchen action

 

BBQ Anjou squab was served with a leek vinaigrette alongside a stew of the rest with ‘boiled potatoes’ and black truffles.  The perfectly cooked French squab was on top of some spring onions and garlic with a dab of black garlic puree and a vinaigrette of oxtail and roasted leek.  The ‘potatoes’ were in a sauce of stomach thickened with liver.  The ‘potatoes’ were filled with a parmesan mixture.  Both were delicious dishes.

BBQ Anjou Squab with leek vinaigrette, stew of the rest, 'boiled potatoes', black truffles
BBQ Anjou Squab with leek vinaigrette, stew of the rest, ‘boiled potatoes’, black truffles
turned around
turned around
squab breast
BBQ Anjou Squab with leek vinaigrette
other side
other side
meat
squab
'boiled potatoes'
stew of the rest, ‘boiled potatoes’, black truffles
inside
inside
Frankie wanted to know about these
Frankie wanted to know about these

 

The Wagyu grade 5 was roasted over oak and plated with a Marsala jus, Wagyu beef tongue, seaweed mayo, caramelized onions and black truffles.  The beef had an amazing taste and tenderness.   The texture was that of beef butter – just what you want and expect from this piece.  Get it whenever you have a chance as it’s the best ever.  The caramelized onions held their own here – they were also delicious.

Wagyu grade 5 (50g) roasted over oak, Marsala jus, Wagyu beef tongue, seaweed
Wagyu grade 5 (50g) roasted over oak, Marsala jus, Wagyu beef tongue, seaweed
closer
closer
meat
wagyu meat
meat
wagyu meat
onions
onions
Frankie and our wines
Frankie and our wines

 

A huge selection of cheeses were placed on a special counter brought out as the evening wore on.  It was a wonderful selection but we felt we had plenty with our menu but I’ve included a couple photos for you (one thanks to assistance from Kevin Man who also did the set up).

George readies
Kevin readies cheese
cheese
cheese display
cheese selection
cheese selection
George
The most fun Kevin Man with Frankie

 

A frozen soufflé of avocado, jalapeño and spruce was mixed with some white chocolate.  It was very tender and creamy, yet solid.  It had a little spice which made if fun and interesting.  A light dish it still had a lot of flavor and left a nice tingle on the tongue.

Frozen soufflé. avocado. jalapeño. spruce
Frozen soufflé. avocado. jalapeño. spruce
closer
closer
closer
closer

 

A selection of after dinner drinks were set out to temp you and we couldn’t resist.  Sommelier Daphne Oudshoorn was helpful in selecting a couple items that complied with our preferences.  I must say, her talent is not just for wines – she made terrific selections, one of anise flavor and the other with quince.

after dinner drink selection
after dinner drink selection
after dinner drink menu
after dinner drink menu
one pick
one pick
one pick
one pick
Frankie and the drinks
Frankie and the drinks
somm and Frankie
Sommelier Daphne Oudshoorn and Frankie

 

Cherry’s was dessert and it was Liquid Amarena, Smokey Boubon, Lemon, Cherry-umeboshi foam, black olive and crispy walnut.  The cherry in the ball was a sugar bowl mixed with walnuts, pine needles, olives and rosemary sorbet.  You could really taste the herbs in the ball and the sugar made it have a little chew in the crisp part.   Sour amareno cherries were served on a smokey bourbon and lemon sorbet that almost had a taste of Margarita to it.  The cherries made this one better than that though and actually mixed well with the other.

Frankie and Liquid Amarena, smokey bourbon, lemon, Cherry-umeboshi foam, black olive and crispy walnut
Frankie with dessert: Liquid Amarena, smokey bourbon, lemon, Cherry-umeboshi foam, black olive and crispy walnut
ball
Cherry-umeboshi foam, black olive and crispy walnut
closer
closer
inside
inside
other
Liquid Amarena, smokey bourbon, lemon
another anglke
another angle
Frankie and the bottles
Frankie and the bottles

 

We were thrilled to have a tour of the kitchen after dinner with the very nice and talented Chefs Thomas Groot and Raymond Plat.

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Chef Groot talks about some of the equipment
IMG_3745
kitchen cooking devices
chefs and Frankie
Chefs Raymond Plat and Thomas Groot with Frankie

2 thoughts on “212, Amsterdam, 7/5/18

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