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“The best restaurant in Holland”
Review of De Librije

De Librije
Ranked #1 of 195 Restaurants in Zwolle
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Belgian, French, Dutch
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed July 1, 2016

The Librije is the best restaurant in Holland according to my judgement. The experience offered is fantastic and it surpassed the expectations.
Its perfect in all its elements, great ambiance and excellent staff who spoil you. The restaurant is a pleasant place to sit down. The food served is incredible , nice combinations of various fresh ingredients, nicely presented and wonderful taste. Wide variety of wines from all area's in the world available to complement your dinning experience.
The restaurant has 3 Michelin stars and they are well deserved!
Obviously the bill is not on the low side, but price-performance ratio is outstanding.
At least a once in-a-life-time must do!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lou_schreurs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 29, 2016

De Librije Restaurant of Jonnie and Thérèse Boer in Zwolle is arguably the best restaurant in the Netherlands. Their superb creations are innovative and based on transforming regional products into something really delicious, for which they have justifiably been awarded 3 Michelin stars. In their restaurant a menu with 5 courses is listed at €177.50, the 7-course menu is €192.50. This is Europe and there are no additional charges such as tax and service.

On some of the longer cruises starting in the Netherlands, Holland America Line has recently introduced De Librije on one evening in one of their specialty restaurants. On that evening they serve food, created by De Librije. The chef is one specially trained by De Librije, the menu and the food are similar to what are served in Zwolle; even the porcelain ware is also from this restaurant. And for that evening the specialty restaurant staff is dressed in the Librije togs. For a 5-course menu + paired wines, the surcharge was less than $100 per person.

We started with an amuse of 3 separate creations; foie gras + nuts + canard + lime paté; cherry tomatoes + cheese balls; a golden egg + caviar + chopped pickled cauliflowers. There are of course substantially more ingredients in the servings than what I report here. The whole was an interesting blend of different tastes.

The first course was a blend of soft avocado slices + lobster tail + pickled tomatoes and croutons, which I thought was just average. It was served with a Seven Falls Chardonnay from Washington State with vanilla overtones. The second course was noteworthy; it was a rich and creamy lobster bisque, amazingly full of flavor, garnished with extra crispy croutons. It was the best bisque I had tasted in a long time.

The third course was sea bass, full of flavor, with an incredibly crispy skin, served with nuts, crispy onion slices, ham, and fennel. It was served with a pinot noir from Meridian, a full-bodied red wine, an excellent pair.

The fourth course was cod. The meat was smooth, soft, tasty, and full of flavor. The skin was again, incredibly crispy. The dish was garnished with North Sea shrimp and cipollini onions. It came with a Tangley Oaks Chardonnay.

Dessert was candied blueberries, chocolate mouse, shelled ginger pistachios and lots of smaller items.

It is difficult to describe the wonderful and subtle flavor of these offerings. Just listing the major ingredients is in adequate; because the preparation is the key and there are more ingredients not listed. There is a huge amount of care and groundwork required in the preparation of these dishes. We have been to some 3 Michelin-starred restaurants in France, (not many, regretfully, since they are expensive) and this was one of the most memorable. I should also mention that I told them that I was gluten-intolerant and they did manage to modify the dishes so it was still superb, even with this restriction. They did say it was the first time they served a client who was gluten-intolerant.

For comparison, the food in the general dining room of this cruise ship is not bad, and actually superior to some of the other cruises we have been on. But two evenings later we ordered the same cod as well as the same pinot noir from Meridian. If we didn’t know any better, it would have been a reasonably good cod dish. But compared to what we had at De Librije, this meat was stringy and flat, and the skin was not very crispy. It was obviously not easy to prepare the fish as superbly as they did in De Librije. The wine tasted of tannin and we complained. We were assured it was the same wine we had at D Librije.

So we let the wine stand, and two days later we found it was superb. The sommelier of De Librije had taken care to ensure that the wine was perfect before serving it to us that evening. Yes, there is quality in the detail.

1  Thank ploddinghappily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2016

The place you would spend your last meal if on death row, with all remaining friends at the chef's table. Incredible array of subtle 'stuff' to eat. Authentic taste and combinations that will last. Very nice staff inspired by the owners that after twenty years may have some routine in behavior and presence. Go for dinner and expect to enjoy the whole evening, or make your lunch last. Beat me: I got kicked out at 5.30 pm. Expect 250 for lunch and 350 for dinner if you go for the extensive treatment.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Albertkip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2016 via mobile

I had high expectations of this cookingworkshop but it was one big disapointment. It was all routine, executed by nice but not very professional youngsters. The chef showed up for less then 3 minutes.

Thank robertmel01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2016

This was my first experience at a Michelin Star restaurant. It was a once in a life time experience .. the food, the presentation, the ambiance .. everything.

Went with my bestie for Lunch, we booked two weeks in advance for a reservation (we were travelling in from India & had specific dates when we were available)

The restaurant is located within the Hotel. It is in the courtyard, nice and spacious. Well laid out, sufficient space between the tables so no one overheard the "ooh & Aaah" sounds we were making while eating the awesome food :)

We opted for the 6 course Menu, Therese helped us make some good choices from the Menu and then started my best Gastronomical journey ever.

The food was plated beautifully, right sized portions , great presentation & service. Some of the food though looked better than it tasted but it was a super brilliant experience. One that I will remember for years to come.

The whole experience lasted over 2.5 hours & we loved every moment of it. The apple pie deconstructed was such a creative experience. Every ingredient was created in its original form & everything was edible .. except the plate !!!! The chocolates with forest flavours .. mind blowing. Really a mushroom & chocolate combo .. who ever thought it could be so aweome.

Well all good experiences have a price, so yes this was the most expensive meal I have ever eaten till date .. but so worth it :)

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TravelaALotNot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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