Food is a pretty glorious thing, especially when you don’t need to make it yourself. Everything always tastes better when someone else cooks it for you.
If you told me a month ago that I would be writing a blog post on dining, I wouldn’t have believed you. Joey and I don’t go out to restaurants very often. That being said, we ended up starting our Europe honeymoon breaking the mould and indulging in a handful of exquisite restaurants.
Whether you’re a food connoisseur or a first time visitor to the Netherlands here are a few tasteful restaurants worth trying:
Found in the heart of Rotterdam, Joey and I visited Humphrey’s Restaurant with Joey’s cousins for a night of dining and drinks. When we were there, the restaurant had an amazing 3 course meal option for €25.95. This dinner deal, allowed us to pick from a preset menu the appetizer, main course and dessert of our choice. I went for the goat cheese salad appetizer, mushroom risotto as the main and creme brulee for dessert. The food was cooked to perfection and we were stuffed to the brim when we left.
Location: Noorden, Nieuwkoop
We visited the Leeuwtje with school friends of Joey for late afternoon lunch. The restaurant was very rustically decorated giving me the cabin-in-the-woods feeling from the moment I entered. There was a hearty selection of soups and sandwiches that we chose for lunch, but the stand out for me was the dessert platter we ordered to finish off our meal. Mouthwatering cherry cheesecake, chocolate mousse, tiramisu and a decadent berry cookie came on a long wooden platter and capped off our luncheon.
We visited the the Bluespoon hotel lobby bar with a longtime childhood friend of Joey. It was a very posh location with staff dressed to the nines and sleek decor to appease the eye. Think of Prada with Le Château influences. Though Joey and I stuck mostly to the white wine, one of the bartenders was a serious mixology specialist and concocted a maple syrup rosemary bourbon that we sampled. I’m no drink expert but even I could tell that the perfect pairing of flavours was irresistible.
The Loetje is a relaxed establishment found in several places around the Netherlands. The one that we visited, with some good friends, was in Amsterdam. The Loetje is a busy restaurant with very upscale food at an affordable price. It is always a busy restaurant and it can be almost impossible to get a table. The big selling point is that it is rumoured to have the best bitterballens in the Netherlands. After eating there I must say that I strongly concur!
I explored the culinary delights of Cafe Central with Joey’s aunt, when we stopped for tea and lunch in Gouda. It had been a cold morning of wandering the city and we were looking for something to warm us up. The special of the day was a cheese and mushroom soup served with warm bread and that is exactly what we ordered. I only had to taste one spoonful to quickly realize that this soup was to die for! It was the perfect balance of creaminess and seasoned to perfection. I had to refrain from asking them to bring out the whole pot.
Fresh local ingredients and impeccable tasting wine, De Eendracht is a higher end restaurant serving an assortment of meats and seafood. Nestled in the quaint neighbourhood of Abcoude this restaurant doesn’t see many tourists given its off the beaten path location. Unfortunately for any non dutch speaking traveller that happen upon this restaurant, they don’t have any English menus, ordering is a little like playing Russian roulette; you never know what will show up in front of you. What stood out for me when we dined at this place was that Joey, who does not eat seafood, thoroughly enjoyed the breaded calamari.
Joey has been trying to get me to the Pannenkoeken Boerderij since our last planned visit to the Netherlands. I am happy to report that this time around we actually made it. The Dutch typically eat pancakes for supper and this restaurant is known to have a smorgasbord of different sweet and savoury pancakes on their menu. We spent a nice evening at the Pannenkoeken Boerderij with Joey’s aunt and uncle. It was a challenge, but each of us selected a different pancake for dinner. When they arrived we split them into 4 so that each of us could try a small quarter. Joey’s favourite was hands down the cinnamon raisin pancake, mine was the savoury meat and cheese.
If you are looking for a delicious change of pace while traveling Europe you are sure to find some fantastic eateries. While not known for their cuisine, the Netherlands in particular has no shortage of delicious and interesting places to try for an ultra memorable experience.
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