Gebr. Hartering, Amsterdam, 5/13/17


Restaurant Gebr. Hartering is a small place with most of the tiny, closely spaced dining tables on the first floor but with a few tables on the floor below.   The wood tables are covered with a cloth runner and napkin and set with tasty olives.  Service is exceptionally friendly and helpful.  They offer a la carte as well as 5 or 7 course tastings, where the 7 course adds a beef rib steak for 2 and cheese course.  The first 3 courses are served family style.  The noise level is significant with so many people having a good time, many in groups of 4.   Continue reading

BAK, Amsterdam, 5/13/17


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.   Continue reading

DAALDER, Amsterdam, 5/12/17


DAALDER is made up of 2 rooms and a small kitchen.  Both rooms are tightly seated and packed with people.  There is no music in the background but plenty of conversations and laughter.  Wood tables are covered with white runners and nice cloth napkins and bathed in subdued lighting .  There is only a surprise tasting of 4 – 7 courses.  We opted for the 7 courses to try the most things.  Service is efficient and super friendly.  They were kind to repeatedly go over the descriptions for me as there was no printed menu and the noise level added to understanding challenge.   Continue reading

De Librije, Zwolle, 5/12/17

front entrance

De Librije has been located for 3 years in an old prison in Zwolle, a short train ride from Amsterdam. The dining area is downstairs and upstairs is a hotel.  They offer a tasting menu of 5 – 7 courses or a la carte options.  For the tasting there are  4 courses where you have a choice of dish and the additional ones are chosen by the chef.  For our 7 course tasting we both chose different dishes from the options but for the surprise courses we were served the same.  After a moment in the reception area we were moved to a pre-dining room lounge.  Drinks are offered and champagne was topped off as we enjoyed some snacks which were all pretty good.  Also Chef Jonnie Boer comes out to visit about the menu and you make your choices and decide the number of courses.   Continue reading

Breda, Amsterdam, 5/11/17


Breda is a fairly large casual place.  The rectangular space has a long bar with a few seats but mostly small closely spaced tables appointed with nice linens.  There is no background music but the sound of the conversing patrons provides a significant noise level, however conversation is possible.  The servers are all friendly and speak good English, but pacing is a little variable.  They serve only a surprise tasting of 5, 7 or 9 courses and they do not adjust portions.  However we got the “Full Monty” or 9 course menu and it was very doable.  Dishes all seem to have a little twist that elevates them beyond the usual and makes them quite tasty.  Tables are set with bread and butter, course salt, olive oil and a flatware rest so you can re-use your utensils.   Continue reading

Bord’eau, Amsterdam, 5/11/17

restaurant windows

Bord’eau is located in the De L’Europe Hotel which overlooks a busy canal in Amsterdam.  One wall of the lovely restaurant is floor to ceiling windows overlooking this canal – a great seat for a show with your meal.  The tables are good sized and well spaced with faint pop music playing in the background.  Service is friendly and helpful but pacing was too slow leaving lots of time between courses which seemed deliberate since there was no crowd.  The food seemed to be going for more visual punch than flavor.  They offer an a la carte menu as well as tastings of 3 – 6 courses and it is well detailed what is added with each additional course.  There is also an optional duck liver course that could be added to any of the tastings.  (We chose to add that to our 4  course tasting). Continue reading

Graham’s Kitchen, Amsterdam, 5/10/17


Graham’s Kitchen is a medium sized place made up of a couple rooms.  An open kitchen faces the small wood tables in one room and I would ask to sit there, just to watch the “show”.  Graham Mee has been a chef at Michelin starred restaurants and opened his own place about a year ago.  He is from Liverpool, England and thus speaks great English and enjoys chatting with his guests.  Tables are fairly close but noise level didn’t seem to be a problem even with the soft music playing in the background.  Service is efficient and super friendly.  It is a 3 – 6 course tasting menu at night with several choices of optional add ons.   Continue reading