I always have a “next time” list for places I’m looking forward to trying out. Right now it looks a bit like this:
- Bar Fisk
- Do you believe in (restaurant) love at first sight? If so, then let me introduce you to brand new Bar Fisk. In their words:
We bring the ever-lively, no-strings attached hospitality of Tel Aviv and Barcelona markets to Amsterdam.
Open past midnight, with pitchers of seriously wonderful sounding cocktails, a dreamy looking menu and a large terrace in the heart of The Pijp I’ve become somewhat of a groupie even before setting foot inside. And its substance as well as style that’s luring me. Chef Oren Aharoni knows a thing or two about great dining. Trained in two-star kitchens but with a passion for the casual vibe of modern streetfood, he and Israeli owner Irit Lior are on a mission to bring the best of new wave Tel Aviv cooking to The Dam. It’s low-key, small, relaxed and unpretentious, and just as I thought I couldn’t love them any more, I read the lead 5 star review on their site (written with tongue firmly in cheek):
Exactly the type of bar Amsterdam Needs
Brad Pitt. Los Angeles
This won’t be on my Next Time List for long. I’m heading back to the city in a few weeks and boy, they better be expecting me.
- The Avocado Show
- This place has finally opened its doors after an extraordinary build up and you can be sure you’ll find a huge queue outside. Notching up 45k fans on Instagram and a similar number on Facebook as well as features in Conde Nast Traveller, Elle Deco and swathes of other international media all before they sliced and diced their first avo, this place is hot hot hot. Based in the ever popular Pijp and serving….yeah, duh!….bloggers are going crazy with stunning #instacado updates at Europe’s first dedicated avocado eatery. Expect breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as late night treats, and even ice cream and chocolate smoothies all made from the green stuff. Due to the hype, I’d expect lots of Instagramming tourists (they’ve even put in rose-coloured banquettes for the perfect backdrop) but don’t count that against it, it’s one of those places that probably has to be ticked off must-do Amsterdam list.
- Guts and Glory
- I’m dying to try out Guts and Glory which attracts loads of buzz on the Amsterdam dining scene. It’s quite high-concept, delivered by a pair who run some the city’s best eateries, but by all accounts despite its theming, it is unpretentious and ultimately all about the food. The menu is a surprise – you pay by the number of tasting courses you opt for (this time it’s a heady 5, 6 or 7) – and they reinvent themselves with a new theme every few months. Listed in “chapters”, previous themes have included Italy and Latin America, and in the last few weeks they’ve unveiled the latest chapter – Japan. It’s a special, gourmet dining experience and one I’m hugely looking forward to checking out.
- Blue Boy
- Infamous bad-boy of Amsterdam’s bar and restaurant scene Caspar Reinders (founder of Jimmy Woo and Lion Noir) has a brand new venture in town. This upscale restaurant and cocktail bar is based in a monumental warehouse and former gay club in the red light district which has been completely reinvented as a fine dining destination with edge. Expect astonishing tasting menus (there’s no a la carte, just 4, 5 or 6 course menus – you get to confirm in advance if there’s anything you don’t eat) and a bold mix of antique and contemporary art and furniture. Book-up, it’s getting hot reviews.
- I haven’t recently had an occasion that demands a smart fine-dining lunch or dinner in Amsterdam but if I did, I think Rijks is where I’d head. Based in the museum complex and run by a chef who has experience at some of the city’s finest michelin establishments it is by all accounts a fabulous (if pricey) place to dine and has recently earned its first star.
- De Plantage
- This beautiful restaurant in the gardens by Artis Zoo looks like a wonderful place for a Summer lunch. Bistro food, flamingo lake nearby. Seriously, why I haven’t I been already?
- De School
- As you might have gathered by now, Amsterdam has a bit of a thing at the moment about tasting menus. I’m not the biggest fan particularly when they make a point of being veg heavy, BUT there’s a place that opened recently which might make me want to reconsider. Right now, it’s probably one of the city’s hippest spots, based in an old technical college in the West. Their ambition is to be a round-the-clock venue (it has a 24 hour license) so you can party in the club downstairs until 10 in the morning, and then head straight into work at one of the onsite creative businesses. Of interest to me is the restaurant which has received a great deal of blogger love of late and the venue is by all accounts fantastic.
- Meneer Nieges
- Meneer Nieges means Mr “Doomed”. This recently opened hot-spot replaces a series of failed restaurants on the same site, Aside from the wonderfully ironic name, it sounds promising for other reasons too. A cosy place to eat, drink and even dance, it’s by the guys behind the ever popular and trendy Hanneke’s Boom and Disco Dolly and is on lots of “hot and hip” Amsterdam lists right now.
- The Roast Room
- From the guys behind the wonderful fish restaurant Visaandeschelde comes a tribute to all things meat. Based at the rather uninspiring convention centre, The Roast Room has recently upped the game for conventioners and Amsterdammers alike. The Roast Bar is a ground floor brasserie whilst the Rotisserie offers fine dining upstairs. Vegetarians look away now!
- The Harbour Club
- Another mecca to fish. This time of the highest quality by the sound of it. Vast canal-side terrace terrace at the junction of Amsterdam’s 5 major canals in the posh Old South part of town. Busy at lunchtime with businessmen sealing their deals and ladies who lunch, it’s sashimi, oysters and black cod ahoy!