What could be more romantic than fine dining at a top notch restaurant in Amsterdam but all for under €30 -guaranteed! Well that’s what Amsterdam Restaurant Week is all about. For 10 days, once a year the city’s restaurants welcome with open arms, locals and tourists into their establishments to experience their food, ambience and service.
Hospitality is sadly not a priority for many Amsterdam eateries, but Restaurant Week goes a long way to help reverse that reputation. It’s a marketing strategy that I’ve warmed too, as it benefits the restaurant and diner. The Restaurant gains new customers whether from online reviews or word-of-mouth recommendation and I get to indulge in a 3-course lunch or dinner in a classy restaurant without breaking the bank.
This year’s restaurant week takes place between 28th August to September 7th 2014 and it’s usually a sellout event due to limited seats, with the Michelin Star restaurants like Ron Blaauw’s ‘Bridges Inspired’ booked up early.
If you are having trouble deciding which of the listed restaurants to grace your presence with, read my top 3 recommendations and visit the official website (available in Dutch and English) to make your reservation.
The Harbour Club, with its outdoor terrace reminiscence of a Miami Beach Club, is a winner for me. I’d go as far as to say its Majestic! Inside the restaurant is a 6-meter long fish tank the only one in Amsterdam. Located in a former wine-terminal, it can be reached by boat (boat rental Amsterdam), taxi or bicycle. Usually you can expect to pay around 20€ for a starter but not on Restaurant Week! The menu includes high class delicacies such as sushi and lobster – making my mouth water just writing about it.
Dragon I, an unassuming restaurant a short walk from Vondelpark, this place is all about the food.The ultimate restaurant for Asian food lovers, with its tapas style servings giving the diner an opportunity to try a range of different dishes.I’d also describe it as cozy and romantic, thanks to its atmospheric lighting and decor. It’s a personal favourite of mine and usually fully booked out on Valentine’s Day.
Keizersgracht 238 is a Starwood Restaurant with a stunning view of its namesake, the Keizersgracht canal. Weather permitting the chef takes to the elaborate garden terrace to serve grilled fish and steaks to order. Adjoined to the restaurant is the Pulitzer Hotel, where the bar boasts over 50 cocktails to order. Yes, it’s extra expense but with the money you save during Restaurant Week, you can afford to splash out on a Margarita or two! I like this restaurant for its ‘grown-up’ feel and impeccable service – you can’t go wrong here
So this Restaurant Week, I’ve booked restaurant Elkaar, meaning ‘with each other’. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this restaurant from friends. They swear it has not only good food, but also an intimate atmosphere. And they know how important that is to me.
Also in 2006, it received a ‘Bib Gourmand’ award from Michelin in recognition of their quality-value for money menu, which they’ve held on to. Now I want to see for myself, what all the fuss is about.
And you? If you are reading this, you must love as much as I do, dining out in different restaurants. Tell me about which of the participating restaurants you would choose and why? Maybe your recommendation will make it on to my list for next year!
Comment here or ask me a question. I’d be happy to answer.