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07/10/ 2011 DFG on tour in Amsterdam

I got shipped off to Amsterdam this week for work, just for a few nights but I had a ball!  I didn’t get to spend much time wandering the city or anything, but I did get out for two great meals and thought it was worth sharing the experience.  I’m lucky to have a good girl friend of mine living in Amsterdam, so on the Monday night of my trip she chose a restaurant that she hadn’t been to before for us to test out. The restaurant in question was Juuls (http://www.restaurantjuuls.nl/), sold to me as a French restaurant – although I couldn’t actually be sure of that as I never saw a menu!  Huh? So how does that work?  Once we were comfortably seated our lovely lovely waiter explained to us that on Monday nights the menus are thrown in the bin and the chefs are given free rein to experiment with new recipes.  Hurrah, I thought – this sounds fun, and fun it was.  It was €36 for two courses, €44.50 for four and €52.50 for five.  We went for the three as it was only a Monday night and they were really quite good.  There was nothing too out-there or anything – scallop and lobster followed by steak for me and fish for my friend – but everything was well cooked, a little bit experimental and tasted good although the dessert was maybe a slight disappointment.  I just thought it was such a great idea that I promised to give them a bit of a plug!  It provided a real talking point for the evening, and I’m going to keep my eyes open for any similar ideas in Dublin, outside the realm of the expensive tasting menu.

On Tuesday night I was taken out by my work colleagues to a branch of Loetje (http://loetje.com/).  There are a few branches as I understand, and we went to the one in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel branch.  I was given a few options for where to go to dinner and fancied this one as it was out of town.  I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times previously but never left the confines of the city - I now know I was missing out!  This little village on the Amstel river was beautiful and the restaurant was buzzing.  We arrived at 8pm and had to wait half an hour for a table but it was well worth it.  The restaurant is famous for its steaks, so I ordered as advised by the locals – steak, chips and salad.  Great.  Beware though, they don’t ask you how you want your steak cooked and rare, with maybe a little bit of medium, was how it came – perfect for me, but I know it’s not everyone’s bag.  Brucie bonus on this one as well, only €60 for two with five drinks included in the bill. Highly recommend taking a trip out to here if you had any free time to kill.
Two nights, two great meals. Happy days.