My trip to Europe was wonderful. I saw amazing sites, met fun and interesting people and ate some fabulous meals. My first stop was Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a beautiful city boasting more canals than Venice, some of the world’s finest museums, and friendly people who speak English. Navigating the city is easy, because the place is one big circle. The weather in early July was in the upper 60′s, which was fine since I arrived from San Francisco. The food is challenging, unless you are willing to lay it down and go to nicer restaurants. Since I spent lots of time alone I was happy munching on small things throughout the day and having nice dinners with my husband in the evening.
Before starting my day I would enjoy the hotel breakfast, at Hotel Pulitzer, with my husband. This included smoked salmon, fresh fruit, various sliced meats, three kinds of sliced Gouda and the sliced bread I purchased from Bakkerij Visser / ‘t Stoepje, on my second day (please click link for review of bakery). After breakfast off I went, exploring various galleries, stores and museums. Since everything is so close together I would stop by the room for a snack of bread and Gouda or grab frites with mayonnaise midway through my day. I drank a lot of delicious lattes and enjoyed a few local pubs, for drinks only.
Even though Amsterdam is not a foodie destination by any stretch of the imagination, there were a couple of dinners worth mentioning.
My husband and his boss were supposed to have dinner at the highest rated (by Trip Advisor reviewers) restaurant in Amsterdam, Brasserie VLAMING. They were having a business meeting with another gentleman so I wasn’t able to join them. Even though I made a reservation for this location when they arrived it was closed. There was a note for them taped to the door with a number to call, and a message offering to pick them up to bring them to the other location a couple of miles away – can you imagine such a proposal in SF or NYC. Assuming their companion wasn’t going to go they bailed on the idea and had dinner at the hotel. Their loss turned out to be my gain. The following evening I was invited to join them there for dinner.
We were seat and greeted with humble apologies. Quickly we had wine menus and drinks were on their way. We shared the starters and even though I couldn’t enjoy everything I certainly did enjoy quite a bit. First was the assorted appetizer platter. This was served on tiers and each snack had it’s own dish. There were olives, cheese, meat, and bittenballen (this is similar to a croquet, so I am told) and the roasted veal carpaccio with tuna mayonnaise (tuna salad). This was surprisingly delicious. Three of the four of us had the same entrée, fried duck breast. This was delicious. My husband had a pork dish (I think it was schnitzel???) and he liked that a lot, but not as much as my duck that he polished off in lieu of finishing his meal. Obviously you will want to specify that your meal be gluten-free, but this was a place where it wasn’t hard to find something to eat and they were accommodating.
The second meal I must mention, and the one I would choose if I had to pick between the two, was at Proeverij 274. The dining experience here was fantastic. Proeverij 274 overlooks a canal (Prinsengracht) and has a beautiful view. The building is all windows and white, very simple. My husband and I had tried many restaurants that seemed to be well rated, but were only okay. We decided to forgo research, which was clearly a waste of time, to try this charming restaurant we had passed several times on the way to and from the hotel. I am so glad we made that decision. We were seated and offered aperitifs. I had the special aperitif of the evening that I cannot remember the name of, but enjoyed immensely. It is always nice to be offered a cocktail straight away and allowed to enjoy it before having to order. We knew this was going to be a relaxed meal.
The food at this restaurant is divine. My husband and I shared the Green Salad. However to call it a green salad is misleading. It had shallots with salty caramel, rillettes of ox tail, and a white wine vinegar jelly. As you can see in the picture there is a powder on top, which turned out to be a lemon powder/salt mixture. All of the flavors went very well together. Needless to say, it was amazing! Obviously the biscuit was for my husband.
My entree was the special that evening and it was outstanding. I had a beautiful piece of sole in a butter sauce served over white asparagus with mango chutney on the side. It was a beautiful combination of textures in my mouth. The flakiness of the fish accompanied by the crunch of the asparagus, and the creamy sauce were complimented by the coolness of the chutney. This was a perfect bite.
I love the beautiful city of Amsterdam and I know that being gluten-free takes a little effort, but is so worth it to be able to appreciate everything this city has to offer.
+31 20 4211848
1015 DS Amsterdam
+31 20 4272063
Bakkerij Visser / ‘t Stoepje
1016 NE Jordaan