Blauw aan de Wal is tucked in an alley in the seedy red light district; you most probably will walk by the place if you are not paying close attention, which is hard to do with the Lupercalian revels taking place in the streets all around you. Once you enter the place it is refreshingly bright, particularly the upstairs rooms (I thought the downstairs, after dark, was too dark), though the large windows look out on nothing interesting, the blank yellow walls of buildings. Be that as it may, the concentration here is on the food and the bright, starched linens and plain white plates on the table. The menu is very simply a couple of offerings with a couple of choices each on a fixed menu. My wife had the Angus steak tartare with caviar on potato salad and pickles and green apples. For the main course she had the perfectly done tuna with fennel in a ginger broth with brioche gnocchi and carrots and tiny asparagus. I had the octopus terrine with mussels on a bed of zucchini. My main course was the coriander and black pepper encrusted fillet of lamb with mashed chickpeas. For dessert we had the thick shaved parmesan poached pear in a white wine, honey, cinnamon and black pepper sauce. Our wine choice was a Braunewell Teufelspfad Spätburgunder 2011. This was a meal of a very high order, one of two really superb meals we had in three weeks of European travel, the other being in Sarlat, France.
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