Wednesday, November 3, 2010


For dinner, I was really curious about the highly lauded Vandaag restaurant, which features modern Dutch cooking. I went with my pregnant sister and brother-in-law.

I started off with The Radler, a unique cocktail made with pineapple aquavit, ginger and Belgian wheat beer. It was delicious and can only imagine it being heavenly in the summertime. Also we were given a little appetizer, courtesy of the chef:

I can't remember what exactly is in it but about 5 ingredients are tucked on that slate, including the gelee on top, all of which sounded pretty complicated. It was a delicious savory--a good start.

We started with the seasonal pickle pot--the beets were excellent:

And I had to try the Sea Urchin bisque. Delicious--really captured the rich flavor of sea urchin which I imagine isn't easy in hot soup form.

My BIL had the razor clam:

For my entree, I had the Spanish Mackerel, which is a pretty oily fish but it was very well prepared--tender and underplayed its strong flavor.

My sister and her husband shared the duck for two. It was good but sort of a pain to cut up. In some ways, despite the lovely presentation of the duck whole, I think they may have preferred if the duck was cut up for them.

For dessert we had the smoutballen (puff pastry filled with nutella) and stroopwaffel (caramel sandwiched between warm waffle wafers). A sweet ending for our dinner, though I do have to say Trader Joe's sells tins of mini stroopwaffels which come very close to the one we had prepared in the restaurant.

The plates here grabbed our attention. This was my sister's dessert plate:

And this was mine:

And at the end of the meal we were presented with a final gift from the chef, a house-made berry fruit gel:

Overall, the food was excellent and a bit higher-priced than I usually enjoy. And sometimes I found the portion size lacking. For example, I would have loved a bowl of the fruit gels. Or a generous portion of the sides with my mackerel. But perhaps this is one venue, where quality beats out quantity.

Next time I hope to hit Vandaag in the summer and enjoy The Radler and a few apps at the bar.

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