MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics, including restaurants
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Henry Kiichli
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#51 Post by Henry Kiichli » April 28th, 2019, 4:34 am

Right now CNN is showing Quest's Amsterdam show. Love him or not, his travel shows have a lot of good stuff.
"Police say Henry smelled of alcohol and acknowledged drinking a six-pack of Hamm’s beer with the hogs"

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#52 Post by dave holman » May 8th, 2019, 2:15 pm

Blake, thanks for a great read...just got bac from 3 days Amsterdam, post cruise, amazing city. do wish I had seen this earlier, still, didn't do too badly badly for a couple of "old rookies" Dave

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#53 Post by Magno González » September 3rd, 2019, 11:40 pm

Went to Cafe de Klepel yesterday.
Had a wonderful time there.
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They have some hidden gems on the cellar. Like a 79 meursault by Ramonet

Job not there anymore. He openes his own place now. Nick gave me his new place address and highly recommended it so ill try to go there if possible.

The new place is called Zoldering at utrechtse straat.

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#54 Post by Blake Brown » September 4th, 2019, 5:10 am

Magno González wrote:
September 3rd, 2019, 11:40 pm
Went to Cafe de Klepel yesterday.
Had a wonderful time there.

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B3E87C0F-7D2C-4C04-8334-53777EC91AD2.jpeg

They have some hidden gems on the cellar. Like a 79 meursault by Ramonet

Job not there anymore. He openes his own place now. Nick gave me his new place address and highly recommended it so ill try to go there if possible.

The new place is called Zoldering at utrechtse straat.
I appreciate the notice re Job`s new venture, looked it up and see he is partnering with 3 others and have their own website up {in Dutch}. Here is the link which includes some details and address on 141 Utrecthestraat:
https://www.zoldering.nl/debuurt
I`m emailing him now and will check it out when I return in October.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#55 Post by Magno González » September 4th, 2019, 12:07 pm

Today i tried a very nice bar a vin, mostly natural wine named GlouGlou. Amazing wine list and prices. Not a place to eat, they have charcuterie, cheeses etc, but not much from the kitchen.

The owner is named Tom and he told me they have another place in the lines of Bar Brutal from Barcelona with some more food. Named Centraal.

I really recommend GlouGlou
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GlouGlou !

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#56 Post by Andrew Kotowski » September 4th, 2019, 12:40 pm

You do realize you're sending Blake into total meltdown mode; he's likely checking his calendar on the hour to see if it's October yet.
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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#57 Post by Magno González » September 4th, 2019, 6:02 pm

[rofl.gif] i’m sorry Blake
[cheers.gif]
Andrew Kotowski wrote:
September 4th, 2019, 12:40 pm
You do realize you're sending Blake into total meltdown mode; he's likely checking his calendar on the hour to see if it's October yet.

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#58 Post by Blake Brown » September 4th, 2019, 6:12 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
September 4th, 2019, 12:40 pm
You do realize you're sending Blake into total meltdown mode; he's likely checking his calendar on the hour to see if it's October yet.
Hi Andrew, As the ole adage says, "You got that right".
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM FALL 2018 UPDATED VERSION WITH A SPRING 2019 UPDATE

#59 Post by Marcus Montanile » September 4th, 2019, 10:56 pm

I spent some time in Amsterdam for work and I really enjoyed Restaurant Marius http://restaurantmarius.nl/ and the adjoining Worst Wijncafe http://deworst.nl/.

Marius's food is a "Every day a changing 4-course market menu is cooked in the style of a refined French country kitchen. That also means that we work with fresh seasonal vegetables every day and that the fish and meat are all of 'good' origin." Hand written menu, old world wine list, and some really pleasant people. Maybe 10 tables so call ahead. It's quickish by cab but maybe a 20-30 min walk from Centraal.

Worst Wijncafe is smaller and also intimate. Spent time at the bar which is also right where the chef and one waitstaff hang out. Definitely a smaller plate place where you can chat with the cook or a small group. They only allow half the tables to book up with reservations so it was nice to be able to walk in and eat.

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#60 Post by Blake Brown » October 25th, 2019, 2:37 am

I just returned for another 3+ week stay, October 21-November 13.

Some changes have occurred on the local restaurant scene.

As reported earlier in this thread, Job Seuren, formerly of Cafe de Klepel has joined with 3 other partners and opened Zoldering. I stopped by yesterday to check it out and although he wasn't there, I got the tour and perused the menu and wine list. It's very similar to de Klepel in that it is a short menu and quality wine list with decent pricing. I was encouraged to make a reservation as it was said they are booked nightly- TBD. There`s a lot more seating here than de Klepel with 8 bar counter stools and 7 tables for 2-4 downstairs and a larger seating area upstairs. The menu is pretty simple and with a wide spread of options, all at reasonable prices. I'll add photos of all when I return for dinner.

One of the best restaurants in Amsterdam and one of the best vegetarian pre fixe dinners I`ve ever had was at La Rive located in the InterContinental Hotel AKA Amstel Hotel Amsterdam. I returned to scope it out and after learning they have the same chef and somm I met when last there, I made a reservation to return. The dining room is nicely appointed in a more formal decor, but as with most every place in today's world, casual dress is encouraged {not true for La Tour d`Argent in Paris}. The fare is a reasonable 100 Euros for a 6 course dinner with a 75 Euro, 6 wine pairing option. I usually have opted for the wine pairing, but am now leaning toward a good bottle of champagne or a red Burg or both to tide me through the evening. This will be my direction when I return to Restaurant Daalder, a must visit every time here.

It's mid fall time with a few trees dropping leaves and a bit of a color change. The temperature has been a very comfortable mid 60s in the day time. They had an extremely hot summer and then serious rains for the past 3 weeks. The skies seemingly open up when I arrive and my local friends always thank me for bringing the good weather.

Speaking of local friends, I have forged quite a few friendships at my stam cafe {neighborhood bar/resturant}, de Engelbewaarder. This includes the owner, all of the staff both behind the bar and in the kitchen and within the customer base. These people are true- blue and so loving and caring and genuinely happy to see me and chat about all things US including Trump and politics, which I avoid BTW. Because they all speak English as their 2nd language learned in childhood, it's difficult for me to learn Dutch although I make an effort to do so. When I think I have it figured out and approach someone with a statement in 'Dutch, they answer me in English, a clue I'm not doing so well.

More later as I explore the city.

Proost,
Blake
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#61 Post by Blake Brown » October 28th, 2019, 2:08 am

Dinner last night at La Rive. Fantastic. As reported above, I opted for the 6 course vegetarian pre fixe menu {100 Euro} and chose to go with 2 half bottles of wine as opposed to their 6 glass pairing {75 Euro}. NV Ruinart BdB and 12` Bertagna les Mursers NSG 1er Cru; both really good with the red Burg outstanding.

The very efficient sommelier not only did the wine service, but most of the serving although 2 other very competent waiters assisted as well. Each course was presented beautifully having its own taste profile, texture and balance. The beautiful ornate dining room was sparsely occupied and the 6 tables along the Amstel River bank side of the room were all taken by parties of 1 to 4 so it was very quiet and peaceful. I had table #5, my fav as its 1 of 2 that has direct river views without an inside pillar/ wall partially blocking it.

I highly recommend this restaurant for any who don't mind the fare and especially for those who desire to celebrate a special occasion as this is the right place to do that.

Next special outings, Zoldering and Daalder.
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"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#62 Post by Blake Brown » November 4th, 2019, 1:02 am

Went to Daalder for another stellar dining experience. They have it locked in with consistently great and creative dishes, skillful preparation and artist presentation. They still do only a 5 or 7 course pre fixe with a vegetarian option as well. Even though each dish is in the small plate/ bite category, it's enough even with the 5 course option . Many are rich and filling, but not to a fault. Each server is knowledgeable and much of the service duties are shared across the board.
They have a decent wine list, appropriate stemware and wine service.
When going as a single, I sit at the "chefs table" which is really a long L shaped counter with 7-8 of the seats positioned in front of the prep station where a lot of the creative dishes are arranged, from the amuse bouche to the dessert. Should anyone go and choose to sit at the counter, seats 40 and 50 {next to each other} are the best.

Chef Dennis Huwae has opened up a new place October 31 called Edel by Dennis. It's ala carte only, small bites and numerous choices. The menu is quite impressive and a writeup I read whcih came from a local restaurant critic was very favorable which I would have to imagnie. Here's a link: https://edelbydennis.nl
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2012 Champagne Geoffroy Emprente
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The veggie menu
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amuse-bouche
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more of the amuse
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ginger juice
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Autumn salad- seasonal veggies/chanterelle/ camomile
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Egg- porcini/ curry Madras/ Kaffir
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Bulgur- broccoli/ onion/ nori vert
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Lasagna- celeriac/ Pecorino/ Amalfi lemon
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Ravioli- pistachio/ cauliflower/ green mustard
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#63 Post by Michael Drucis » November 16th, 2019, 6:46 am

Thank you so much for the wonderful read. My wife and I used to go all the time but with kids now it's been forever......brought me right back. Ty

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#64 Post by R. Gaston » November 18th, 2019, 8:45 am

Blake Brown wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 1:02 am
Went to Daalder for another stellar dining experience. They have it locked in with consistently great and creative dishes, skillful preparation and artist presentation. They still do only a 5 or 7 course pre fixe with a vegetarian option as well. Even though each dish is in the small plate/ bite category, it's enough even with the 5 course option . Many are rich and filling, but not to a fault. Each server is knowledgeable and much of the service duties are shared across the board.
They have a decent wine list, appropriate stemware and wine service.
When going as a single, I sit at the "chefs table" which is really a long L shaped counter with 7-8 of the seats positioned in front of the prep station where a lot of the creative dishes are arranged, from the amuse bouche to the dessert. Should anyone go and choose to sit at the counter, seats 40 and 50 {next to each other} are the best.

Chef Dennis Huwae has opened up a new place October 31 called Edel by Dennis. It's ala carte only, small bites and numerous choices. The menu is quite impressive and a writeup I read whcih came from a local restaurant critic was very favorable which I would have to imagnie. Here's a link: https://edelbydennis.nl
Are you there now? My wife and I are taking a train from Paris to Amsterdam tomorrow morning. Looking forward to a few days.
Ryan

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#65 Post by Blake Brown » November 18th, 2019, 9:39 am

R. Gaston wrote:
November 18th, 2019, 8:45 am
Blake Brown wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 1:02 am
Went to Daalder for another stellar dining experience. They have it locked in with consistently great and creative dishes, skillful preparation and artist presentation. They still do only a 5 or 7 course pre fixe with a vegetarian option as well. Even though each dish is in the small plate/ bite category, it's enough even with the 5 course option . Many are rich and filling, but not to a fault. Each server is knowledgeable and much of the service duties are shared across the board.
They have a decent wine list, appropriate stemware and wine service.
When going as a single, I sit at the "chefs table" which is really a long L shaped counter with 7-8 of the seats positioned in front of the prep station where a lot of the creative dishes are arranged, from the amuse bouche to the dessert. Should anyone go and choose to sit at the counter, seats 40 and 50 {next to each other} are the best.

Chef Dennis Huwae has opened up a new place October 31 called Edel by Dennis. It's ala carte only, small bites and numerous choices. The menu is quite impressive and a writeup I read whcih came from a local restaurant critic was very favorable which I would have to imagnie. Here's a link: https://edelbydennis.nl
Are you there now? My wife and I are taking a train from Paris to Amsterdam tomorrow morning. Looking forward to a few days.
I returned to the States last Wednesday. Enjoy
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Re: MUSINGS FROM AMSTERDAM UPDATED VERSION WITH A FALL 2019 UPDATE

#66 Post by Blake Brown » November 19th, 2019, 8:41 am

More musings from the fall of 2019

I travel to Amsterdam twice a year for about 3 weeks each visit, one in the spring and one in the fall. The last 2 years the fall trip has started later in October and ended mid November.

This year, the summer season was abnormally hot and set many all time records. As such, fall came late and sporadically. When I arrived the trees were already showing significant color change and when I left, it was mostly finished and the leaves were falling in abundance which added to the beauty of many of the canals now being leaf covered. The temperatures ranged from the mid 60s F to the mid 40s F with a few nights into the 30s F. Rain fell off and on over the 3 weeks with a few significant showers lasting for a few hours. Wind is the most influential factor when it comes to comfort. It it’s windy, the “feels like” temperature is way lower.

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mid fall season- taken from my apartment
So, this is to say, when traveling to Amsterdam during anytime, take layered clothing options with proper rain gear from head to toe. The locals favor wearing hoodies or rain jackets with hoods as opposed to carrying an umbrella {paraplu}. That way their hands are free to ride a bike {fiets} as an example.

Amsterdam continues to be a very popular tourist destination regardless of the time of year. I’m there in the “off” season and it’s still jammed on the weekends especially. Tourism is ever growing here with more than 4.63 million international visitors annually. This is excluding the 16 million day-trippers visiting the city every year.

BTW, when visiting Amsterdam, the best way to explore the city is to do the touristy thing and take a canal cruise. You’ll see more from the canal than from the streets. I recommend doing both, but for sure, do the canal excursion. Also, it’s a great rainy day thing to do.

Walking down the street in any part of the Centrum, one hears many different languages. I often wonder, how did so many different people create so many different ways to communicate and who could have ever figured out to say it that way?

Within the Netherlands, there are many different dialects and a person in the South of the country often has difficulty understanding one from the North. And in Friesland, 1 of the 12 Provinces, located in the North, it’s really a different language. Some of my Amsterdam friends have trouble understanding a lot of the Frisia and it’s less than 100 miles away.

I fly KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines, each time I visit. In Business Class, they give you a choice of a selection of Delft Blue miniature houses which are real copies of the gable houses alongside the canals in Amsterdam and other historical towns in Holland. This perk started in 1952 and this year is the 100th anniversary of KLM and Delft house #100 was offered on the flight over. It represents the official residence of the Dutch monarch in Den Haag built in 1645. A complete set is sold for 1,500 Euro. The KLM lounge in Schiphol has 2 walls consisting of all of the houses lined up making for an impressive display. I have a miniature collection now and although each is filled with the famous and only Young Dutch Bols Jenever, distilled by the Bols distilleries, i leave them in tact and have formed a small village with them at home.

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The home collection of Delft Blue Houses
There’s so much to love about the Dutch. They’re very resourceful and enjoy the simple things of life. Many are really just happy to stay put and enjoy life in their homeland or take a train to Belgium {a little less than an hour away} or vacation to other parts of Europe, again, mostly by train. A local Amsterdam friend told me he has never flown and I asked why and his response was “I have a bike”.

Learning Dutch is very difficult as the language is so different from English. It’s made harder since most of the Amsterdamers speak English fluently having learned it since early on in life. Often i receive an answer in English when I pose a question or make a statement in Dutch. One has to be careful when they speak in English because they often use a word that sounds like the intended word, but has a different meaning.

I learn more about the US when I visit there than I do when in the US. They stay tuned to all of the news, fake and otherwise. OTOH, I take a walk daily to explore small pockets of Amsterdam and relate some of the discoveries to my local friends and they reply, I know more about the city than they do. It’s like when someone comes to Santa Barbara, they tell me things about the local scene that I’m not aware of.

On my first visit to Amsterdam, 1996, I had a super strong sense of the feeling of freedom. It’s been with me each and every time since. It was only a few years ago when visiting the Amsterdam Museum that I learned that the city is actually entitled The City of Freedom.

Here I am, a passionate wine geek and when I go to Amsterdam, wine is transmuted into beer for me as I explore the numerous high quality Dutch and Belgium beers available.

OK, enough for now. I shall return.

Proost,
Blake
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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