A fine dining experience in the heart of Amsterdam
How things change over the course of 7 years. I remember the last time we visited Amsterdam back in 2011 and reflecting on how hard it was to find some solid dining experiences relative to other cities on the continent. Fast forward to 2018 and it’s incredible how things have changed for the better within the restaurant scene. There is now an abundance of choice available that it was difficult to fit in time to visit all the places we wanted to!
Hotel restaurants have impressively upped their game as well. The Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar for example, delivered a truly memorable dining experience through a beautiful mix of delightful creativity, stunning presentation and an environment that is heavily influenced by the art world.
Located within the whimsical and quirky Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht (where we stayed during the second half of our trip to Amsterdam) that overlooks one of the many canals running through the city’s old centre, the Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar is heavily influenced and inspired by an Alice In Wonderland theme.
The interiors are airy, cosy and contemporary, which provided a relaxing refuge away from the heat of the outdoors (in similar fashion to other parts of Europe, Amsterdam was experiencing their own heatwave during our visit). It is the sort of place you would come back to even if you weren’t a guest at the hotel.
While there were plenty of options of where to sit and enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, we were drawn to the central table area where well-dressed bartenders were in their flow – picking out key ingredients for their concoctions, expertly mixing these together in a flash and engagingly explaining the stories behind each. As we browsed the menu and saw cocktail names such as ‘The White Rabbit’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’, we were too intrigued not to want to hear the story behind some of these cocktails.
The menu itself was filled with beautiful illustrations designed by their in-house staff (some multi-talented individuals they got there) and one cocktail that we decided to go for was the ‘Long Life Elixir” because, hey, life is just too short!
After sampling some of the bar’s cocktails, we made our way to the restaurant that looks into the hotel’s lush green courtyard. Even this small outdoor area had reference to the Alice In Wonderland concept, with items such as rabbit-eared chairs forming part of the design. You really do feel you’re experiencing some sort of escapism here.
The Menu & Food
While we went for the tasting menu for dinner, this was a very different and exciting sort of adventure. We decided to leave the content of the tasting menu up to the team in the kitchen, with the only caveat being that each of us should have a different dish at each stage of the menu.
This resulted in the most wonderful of dining experiences – plentiful sampling of each other’s beautifully presented dishes, regular discussion around how innovative and creative the flavours and textures were, and perfectly complementary wines to accompany each dish as recommended by the team.
I’ve got to be honest…
Literally every dish was a standout for the both of us. Just look at some of them in the photos below!
Drinking and eating here was a truly memorable dining experience and has gone straight in to our list of restaurants we would want to visit again when our travels take us back to Amsterdam. I’m looking forward to trying more of the restaurant’s creations and following their progress, as it’s a place that should be on any foodie’s list when visiting this city.
Prinsengracht 587 – Ground Floor, 1016 HT Amsterdam, Netherlands