dutch delight

The best way to start an article on Dutch cuisine? A few quotes: – ‘The Dutch kitchen at its best is Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of poor bastards eating potatoes.’ – ‘Dutch cuisine? Did they discover a sequel to Dante’s Inferno?’ – ‘Famous Dutch recipe: Boil 1 kilogram of potatoes until they’re dry and serve them on a cold plate.’ – ‘Tomatoes from Holland should have been banned under the UN chemical weapons treaty decades ago.’ – ‘Take 25 cl of water. Let it stand for 2 days. Put it in a green glass bottle with a red star. Congratulations, you just brewed your own Premium Imported Beer.’

Conclusion? To start a Dutch restaurant you can only be a madman, cooking for disaster. As it turns out, a madman from the Southern province of Limburg did exactly this, opening a Dutch restaurant in Amsterdam in 2005. The only thing is, he does not cook for disaster. Au contraire, at the cosy restaurant in a street called pepper you’ll be surprised by Dutch delicacies. They do exist. Cherry on the cake is the warm blanket of hospitality the owner drapes around your shoulders when you step into Greetje. It’s just one more surprise of many to come. Owner Rene Loven named his place after his mom who, according to him, ‘Raised me with great tasting and nutritious home cooking, long before awareness for the environment became into fashion.’ The memories of his youth are today’s ingredients at Greetje: tradition, fresh products from Dutch soil and no additives of any kind. The previously quoted experts of Dutch cuisine will immediately think of potatoes and cauliflower with nutmeg when they read about ‘tradition’ and ‘products from Dutch soil’. They will be a bit confused though about the ‘no additives of any kind’. But although (mashed) potatoes do appear on Greetje’s menu, there is more to enjoy here than that. Much more.

For instance ‘Hot lightning cookies’ from the oven with marinated beetroot and Zaanse mustard dressing. And Filet of steamed plaice terrine with beach crab jelly, served with marinated cucumber. Or both of these starters and more with Greetje’s Big Beginning, a presentation of all their hot and cold starters for 2 persons. The menu continues with classics as Black pudding, Cutlet of Dutch suckling pig and gravy flavored with duck liver, Homemade ‘bitterballs’ and Crème brûlée with extract of natural sweet wood with liquorice ice cream. What’s left to say about Dutch cuisine after a night at Greetje? That we can only be ‘Greetful’ that in 1885 it wasn’t anything like it is today. Hence you can check out the Potato Eaters at the Van Gogh Museum in the afternoon and marvel over it during dinner at Greetje in the evening.

Restaurant Greetje
Peperstraat 23-25 1011 TJ
Amsterdam – The Netherlands
(0)20 779 74 50 | 
info@restaurantgreetje.nl | www.restaurantgreetje.nl

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