Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Family dinner party

Konigstraat, Apeldoorn, December 21, 2015—
NO PHOTOS TODAY: I was so captivated by the occasion I forgot, and if I had remembered, the nature of the occasion would have stopped my hand. It was a family dinner party to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of our old friends Hans and Anneke, a very special night for us as in a way it set an official seal on our having entered this marvelous family. But on this blog we do not investigate geneology: we eat.

We're all staying at a convenient local hotel, part of a small chain of hotels, and dinner was by their chef, in their dining room, served simultaneously to at least two dozen guests, seated at three large round tables. And this is what we ate:

Gekonfijt kwartelboutje, kwartelpaté en een gebakken kwartelfilet met krokante aardappel en gerookte rode bietensiroop
quail leg en confit, quail paté and sautéed quail breast with crispy potato and smoked beetroot reduction

Gebakken Noordzee Kableljauw met kruidenrisotto en een beurre blanc met moluga kaviaar
North Sea cod, with herb risotto, beurre blanc, and moluga caviar

Gebraden hertenrugfilet met een balkenbrij van hert geerveerd met rode koof jus
Roast venison with venison scrapple, served with red cabbage

Grand Dessert 'De Keizerskroon' op etagères geserveerd

Each course arrived as small items presented with great visual interest, and I though each item well conceived and executed. Best of all: though great attention was given to visual appearance, the succession of courses added up to a real meal, substantial and pleasing. It's the kind of meal I like: poultry, fish, meat. (Good thing we had two salads yesterday.)

The cod held its own remarkably well, delicate and plain as it was, between the two game courses. Over the last forty years we've been interested in the evolution of Dutch restaurant cuisine, from rather dull, traditional, unimaginative but very local, to internationally aware and particularly attentive to French and then Italian influence, now back to its own traditions. Throughout, the glories of Dutch provender have been the mainstay. This dinner was a perfect demonstration of the value of this trajectory: sophisticated technique and visual values brought to sound, local, historic material and cultural tradition.

Much like our Dutch family itself: but I won't go there, here…

St. Veran 'Classic", Domaine des Poncetys, 2013
Rosso di Montalcino, Azienda la Velona, 2014
Moscato d'Asti, Podero Luigi Einaudi
•Bilderberg Hotel De Keizerskroon, Koningstraat 7, Apeldoorn, Netherlands; +31 (0)55 521 77 44
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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