Friday, October 27, 2017


Prinseneiland, October 27, 2017—
DINNER WITH FRIENDS — almost family, in fact — at our favorite Amsterdam restaurant, and not only because the chef-proprietor is an old friend. Almost family, in fact.

This is such a pleasant kwartier of old Amsterdam, the Westlijke eilanden, a group of small islands built up over a century ago — first as warehouses, then as low-income housing, now increasingly being turned into condominiums. The lighting, the architectuee, the openness to sky and water all contribute to a degree of serenity rare in contempor\ary cities. I love it here; I always feel at home.

Kees's restaurant is on the table d'hΓ΄te format: a four-course dinner for a set price, with minimal opportunity for substitutions. (Vitello tonnato and a grande bouillabaise are always at the ready, though.) Tonight I had poached hake with squid, olives, and what else I can't recall, followed by pieces of onglet, the lower back cut of beef, with mushrooms and potatoes. Delicious, both of them, as we knew they would be, and gezond — sound and healthful, a joy after a day or two of travelling.

Dinner: Kees's "Chocolate Nemesis," a deep, serious chocolate brownie-like dessert, and apple tart with raisins — the original "Dutch apple pie," but utterly superior to what I used to get at lunch counters in the States.

     πŸ·Vin blanc, Mas Saint Laurent (Langueoc), 2015 (a little flinty, crisp and flavorful); Cabernet sauvignon, France, delicious and serious, details not noted
•Marius, Barentszstraat 243, Amsterdam ; πŸ“ž+31 020 422 7880

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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