Wednesday, September 21, 2016



Prinseneiland, Amsterdam, September 20, 2016— 

THIS WILL ALWAYS BE among one of my Big Five restaurants: any involving our friend Kees. And so it is almost always our first stop in this city: a modest, comfortable dining room on the Barentszstraat, out in the zeeheldersbuurt near the main railway station.

We'd breakfasted in the Reykjavik airport, on salmon and beer, and lunched on coffee and a raisin bun at Schiphol. By dinner time we needed a reset, and Marius was just the place.

We began with the house amuse-gueule, olives, salami, bread and olive oil — the salami a saucisson sec from Saumur, complex and sophisticated.

Next, the Contessa and I going mezzo-mezzo: skate with spinach sautéed in brown butter; squid, sliced into strips, with tomato and a marvelous Georgian-inspired "pesto" involving walnuts, raisins, and spices. 

Main course: for her, roast quail with duck liver; for me, braised beef with chanterelles, corn, and romanesco. The beef was from a retired dairy cow, summoning childhood memories from the farm; deeply flavored, sound and nourishing.

Wines: Greco di tufo, Calafe, 2009 (!); Fixin, Domaine Gérard Seguin "La Place", 2014 (very nice indeed)

Restaurant Marius, Barentszstraat 173

1013 NM Amsterdam; +31 20 422 78 80

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