To end our recent time in Amsterdam on a high note, I debated a few restaurants (including a return trip to Bridges, which I’ll cover in a later post), but ultimately decided on Vinkeles (and yes, I’m also dying to stay at the hotel it is connected to, The Dylan). For the only time in the trip I was able to wear heels (damn them taking up valuable space in my luggage and silly me for thinking I would get more use out of them!), I (gratefully) tottered just around the corner from our AirBnb.
Reservations? Made online with no problems. Note that I did have to put a credit card forward to hold and confirm the booking.
Ambiance? The restaurant is located after walking through the lobby, through another restaurant (?), and down some stairs. While I love how almost everything in Amsterdam is historic (and therefore charming), I’m not sure how an allowance for additional toilets or a separate entrance weren’t planned ahead for (the restaurant obviously has no control over this fact, merely stating that it is a proper walk to visit the loos). Long treks through the hotel notwithstanding, the hotel apparently used to be a nunnery, and the dining area is in what used to be the kitchen where the nuns used to bake bread (true story). The dining room is intimate and quite posh.
Food? Wowzers. Beautifully presented and masterfully created, each course was almost too gorgeous to eat. My only notes would be about balancing the proteins. I recall more fish/seafood than I expected and, in my opinion, one too many courses in a row. Additionally, while perhaps for a more refined palate, towards the end of the service, there was a dish (which I have since blocked out of my memory) that was a strange texture and had shavings of cold duck breast on top. Both Hubs and I tried our very best to finish what was put in front of us, however, I couldn’t tell if it was the taste, the temperature, or my lack of worldliness, but it was one I could have dealt without. The rest of the courses were absolutely divine.
Service? Impeccable. With steep steps and high heels, I was literally escorted up (and down). I once again tried to joke about serving New World wines, which was not well received.
Perhaps I should give up this attempt while dining at nice restaurants in Europe. Either way, I appreciated when the chef came out to explain one of our dishes – a nice touch. Additionally, there was a very good balance of pacing in the meal – something I’m coming to respect is a special art form in itself.
Cost? We enjoyed the Menu Alliance 5 Course (complete with amuse bouche(s) and desert, which was an additional charge, not that we were asked). The meal was EUR90.00 per person with a wine pairing option at EUR47.50. We also may or may not have had a glass of Veuve while waiting in the lounge…
Hubs parting thoughts: I will never eat cold duck breast shavings again…