On a cold and rainy night in Amsterdam, my colleague and I booked the Restaurant de Utrechtedwarstafel, quite by chance as our first two restaurant choices were fully booked. Lucky thing for us! This place was fantastic.
The restaurant is a small, neatly decorated space which seats maybe 30 people at most, with candle light added a charming ambience. The proprietors are Hans and Igor; Hans handles the dining room and wines while Igor prepares and presents the food course by course. There is no written menu; the cuisine for the evening is prepared spontaneously based on Igor’s selection of fresh ingredients and by what strikes his genius that particular day. The guest makes a selection of 3, 4, or 5 courses, and a wine pairing is offered with each course. We elected the 5 course menu with the wine pairings.
Igor also took note of my colleague’s gluten-intolerance and adjusted his offerings to her accordingly.
As we settled in and enjoyed a glass of champagne, we were welcomed with a rillette of duck as amuse bouche.
The starter was local shrimps from Texel with king crab, warmed in a vinaigrette of lime juice, tomato and green herbs, served on toast with confit Coeur de boeuf, tomato and avocado cream. Delicious. The wine paring was a 2011 Alois Lageder Lehen Sauvignon, a bright and light Italian white.
The second course was grilled brill with wild spinach, puree of potato cooked in a home smoked mackerel stock, finished with the mackerel, spring onions and olive oil sauce with saffron and fennel. Hans recommended the 2010 Dujac Morey St. Denis 1er Cru, a red Burgundy for the wine.
Next came a course of cage-caught wild duck. The duck breast was roasted on the carcass, and the legs were stewed with wine and vegetables, and roasted with mushrooms. Spectacular, especially taken with a 2008 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino, a hearty Italian red.
The fourth course was a delicate and delicious foie gras with fleur de sel, accompanied with a 2011 Kracher Cuvée Eiswein from Austria, which perfectly complimented the foie gras.
Finally for dessert, Igor prepared an amazing fig roasted in a fine pastry with honey and almond, a meringue shell filled with lemon cream and blueberries, and a sorbet of yogurt infused with verbena. This was accompanied by a delightful 2010 Capcanes Pansal del Calas Montsant from the Catalonia region of Spain.
We were completely impressed with the food, the service and also with the price. The 5 course offering with wine parings came to €125 per person. We will make it a point to return here on our next visit to Amsterdam.