Thursday, November 2, 2017

Catching up in Amsterdam

Coconut ice cream, pineapple, licorice sauce
Prinseneiland, November 1, 2017—
TOO MUCH ACTIVITY, uncertain internet connections, laziness — all conspire, as Constant Reader knows too well, to interfere with Blogging Every Day. So here's a quick catchup.

October 30, 2017, Monday: breakfast early at Cafe Mads, rather a nice cafe nearby. We have our usual: caffe latte for the contessa, cappuccino for me (or maybe two), a croissant apiece.

•Mads, Zoutkeetsplein 1, Amsterdam; 📞+31 20 303 45 25

Then we spent the day at the Rijksmuseum where we lunched — I had the Burrata salad, quite tasty: soft burrata, sharp cherry tomatoes, an anchovy, pine nuts. With it, a beer from the tap — Heinekens, of course.

After the museum visit we walked to a nearby poffertjeskraam — a pavilion serving pannekoeken and poffertjes — for our traditional plate of those delicious little popover-like crepes, about the size of a silver dollar, buttery and sweet with their powdered sugar.

•De Vier Pilaren, Stadhouderskade 11, Amsterdam; 📞+31 20 363 68 31

In the evening we walked to a nearby restaurant only to find it closed; then on to another, quite different, upscale, with an interesting menu and wine list; and here I had "ribeye" — cut more like a loin steak, with separate pea and arugula purées. Alas I no longer remember the wine I ordered.

•Wolf Atelier, Westerdoksplein 20, Amsterdam; 📞+31 20 344 64 28

October 31, 2017: Up and away on the train to early for breakfast, so we had the usual one at a Julia's — a chain of "Italian" Illy-type pasta-panini joints — in the station in The Hague (a city I hardly recognize any longer). The coffee was not much better at the marvelous Gemeentemuseum, the object of the day's journey, but the appelgebak, Dutch apple pie, was tasty.

Lunch at a place downtown; no notes. Sorry. Then on getting back to Prinseneiland we were too tired to think of going out, and made do with our hostess's delicious pumpkin soup, some cheese, and a decent red.

     🍷Château Tapie (Languedoc), 2016

November 1, 2017: breakfast at home for a change: coffee from a little Nescafé machine, with foamed milk from another specialized gadget, with delicious dark bread from the not-too-distant Vlaamse bakery. Then a long walk to a canal-house museum on the Herensgracht and, afterward, lunch at the nearby Hof van Eten, where I had a sturdy plate you might call Dutch-Italian nachos: decent old Amsterdammer cheeese melted over halved cherry tomatoes on good dark bread, wtrewn with snippets of chives and heightened with a judicious sprinkling of sliced Jalapeño peppers. (photo); dinner Goude Reaele (photo) Het Hof van Eten

For dinner we walked to the nearby Gouden Reael, which had been closed on Monday. I had a delicious bowl of onion soup, bound with crème fraiche and flavored with tarragon and gruyère. My rotisserie "cockerel" — in fact a small poussin — was slightly undercooked, therefore hard to eat. But the dessert was one of the most interesting and rewarding things we've been presented with yet, listed, simply, as

of the rotisserie | licorice | coconut ice cream

The pineapple slices had indeed been roasted a bit and had a wonderful flavor. They sat in a nearly black pool of licorice sauce and were topped with a scoop of perfect coconut ice cream. We talked to the chef about this dish afterward: the menu has just been changed, and this was one of the first plates they'd served. The sauce, he said, is simply licorice, water, and a little egg white, all emulsified in a nitrogen whipper, the sort that's used to whip cream. It was a magnificent dessert.

     🍷an unknown decent bubbly (brought in error); an unknown decent red
•De Gouden Reael, Zandhoek 14, Amsterdam; 📞+31 020 623 3883

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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