Tuesday, January 5, 2016


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Prinseneiland, January 4, 2016—
THIS IS A FAVORITE restaurant of ours. I'd forgotten how much I like this room, which — with a smaller adjacent room — seats maybe a hundred diners comfortably in what must have been formerly an auto garage in Amsterdam's Jordaan district.

It is also a local favorite of a chef friend, who was with us; I cannot be certain there weren't a few extra slices of garnish on my primo. Probably not, though. This is a generous restaurant.

We ordered from the daily specials listed on the blackboard you may be able to make out on the wall to the left, the second lit object on the wall. (The photo was taken close to midnight; the dining room had been full.)

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Our amuse-geule had been baccalà vicentino, salt cod in the Vicenza style, sweet with beautifully reduced onion soffrito taming the cod; and it was delicious. Kees and I went on to the tajarin al tartufo nero: the pasta smooth, liscio — the word is untranslatable, but perfectly appropriate. Yellow with egg, and buttery. And the garnish — well, frankly we prefer white truffles on pasta, my Contessa and I, black truffles need more cooking than the steaming pasta gives them, especially piled this high: but I am not complaining.

On, then, to the secondo: Costata di maiale per due.This turned out to be generously thick slices of smooth-textured, sweet-flavored pork roast, served with a mêlée of leek, clery, onion, and other aromatics in a beautifully semi-reduced glaze.

Dessert: I couldn't resist the offer of panforte: after all, we're still within the Christmas season. I was glad I chose it: figgy, nutty, nicely textured, soft and pleasant.

The flavor, technique, and authenticity of the entire meal — and others remembered from previous visits over the years — puts this firmly among the Hundred Restaurants.

Timorasso, Terra "Petit Derthona", Vigneti Massa, 2013;
Nebbiolo, Langhe, Elio Altare, 2014:
Again, authentic wines, nicely balanced, fruity, rich, very well made
•Toscanini, Lindengracht 75, Amsterdam; 020 623 2813

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Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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