Saturday, January 4, 2020

Eating every now and then

Chefsbar, Delft

Hotel Best Western Museum, Delft, Netherlands, January 4, 2020—
A GOOD HOTEL, well sited. Breakfast was only a few steps away, across the Oude Delft along the Oude Kerkstraat to Boulangerie Michel. A decent bland cappuccino, a flaky buttery croissant that might have been warmed a bit, good berry jam, a glass of apple juice. We'll likely return tomorrow.
Boulangerie Michel, Oude Kerkstraat 4, Delft, Netherlands; +31 15 737 04 92.

Lunch a little further off, after a morning looking at paintings and getting in touch with old friends. Tanja knew a place; it turned out to have an interesting menu including pappardelle in tomato sauce. These turned out to be rather delicate, almost as if made of young veal — with fillers, no doubt, but substantial and pleasant. And six slices of good dark bread, and a substantial green salad on the side.

Puro Cucina, Voldersgracht 28, Delft, Netherlands; +31 15 820 03 90.

A nap, and then dinner. How to find a place in an unknown town? I generally look for "restaurant" on both Google Maps and Apple Maps, and scan through the social media reviews that turn up for nearby places. One place stood out, and there we went, without a reservation. We were given a table for two in the bar area, and I ordered a Martini. The waiter looked uncomfortable, and I explained it was gin and vermouth, you do have vermouth don't you, shaken with ice then strained into a glass.

Soon my Martini arrived, more vermouth than gin, but a fine aperitif. The waiter asked for a review and I was honest. Well then we won't call it a Martini, he suggested, it is a Chefsbar Martini. Or a Chefsbartini, I replied, and we were all content.

After amuse-gueles — sushi with tuna, sweet potato and chanterelle, a barely noticeable paring of each, delicate and balanced — I opened with a "marbre", a galantine I'd call it, with layers of pulled veal, duck-liver mousse, and prosciutto, on a bed of celery-root "risotto." This was cunning and delicious.

Afterward, chestnut flan, with red and pickled yellow beet slices, spinach, and mashed potato — a pretty thing to look at and a pleasant thing on the palate, once past those damned beets. Dessert: Crème brulée, coffee and chocolate layered, with on the side a whisky pudding with a citrus-flavored madeleine.

Service was friendly, calm, professional; the rooms are quiet and inviting; the food enterprising but not assertive, the wine list adequate. We'd go back here any time.

🍷Rosé, pays d'Oc
Chefsbar Centre, Voorstraat 20A, Delft, Netherlands; +31 15 212 03 54.