This is Daalder Amsterdam
Daalder is quite unassuming. A little corner restaurant that doesn’t try hard to be anything but what it is. Awarded a michelin star and recommended by a friend, I made a special trip to Daalder in Amsterdam.
A long wooden bar filling up most of the room that seats no more than 8. Old wooden chairs and tables with white linen table runners and flickering candles create comfort and warmth. It’s cold outside, and this may be a foreign city, but it’s familiar in here. Only a few tables with locals conversing in Dutch while they indulge in early afternoon wine with their meals are present. A group of 4 older men sit in front of me. Old friends perhaps, who show their appreciation for the food with silence as the first bites of each course are eaten. Then, a quick crescendo to their lively chatter once again .
To start, an amuse of crisp of kaas topped with mustard. Perhaps highlighting the simplicity, comfortable confidence of the chef in his skill and choice. Unwavering in his decisions to serve what he thinks best.
A chefs welcome of texturized burrata, sweet mango, green apple sorbet, and savory lingering essences of tomato served in a martini glass with the smallest ever spoon.
Tuna tartar enhanced with lime and chive, a curry and corn sorbet, crispy dehydrated corn, dashi gelee, and greek yogurt.
A pleasing cold first bite subtly hints of corn then the shocks my palate with the dominance of curry. Quickly followed by the dance of supple fish bouncing across my tongue with ever light flavors of the sea. The dashi, a slight umami, a bit of salt. The pleasant crunch of dehydrated corn is unmistakably present and a welcome accompaniment to the ocean of other soft, supple textures .
Gnocchi with a reblochon cheese sauce. But to call it a sauce would be a disservice to the texture of this reblochon which is more like a heavy foam. Fresh shaved mushrooms atop give texture to the dish along with hazelnut and red onion that has been slow cooked with vinegar, maintaining the sweet and acid without an aggressive bite. These last two ingredients serve as the main flavor compliments to the richnesss of the gnocchi.
Sweet duck breast with a sauce made from its own juices served table side. A risotto of tarragon and chevre, toasted brioche, pickled mushroom, fresh radish, and sea bean. A purée of the pickled and caramelized onions that were served with the dish before. This, whether with thought or not, created a continuity from the dish to dish.
The duck has a firm, bold texture that is well accompanied with the layer of fat and skin. Not crisp, but not meant to be. Quite enjoyable.
A biscuit with a layer of milk chocolate paired with hibiscus and raspberry sorbet, fresh raspberry, coconut foam, and a coffee crisp.
The biscuits is more like a firm cake. Not too sweet, but enough to lift us out of the heaviness of the last 2 dishes and cleanse our palates and minds before sending us along our way. A clean finish, really. I like the raspberrries in Amsterdam. They are more plump and firmer in texture than the ones in America.
This is Daalder Amsterdam. Have a visit.