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Aan de Poel** – Stefan’s Connoisseur Weblog


Restaurant Aan de Poel is situated in Amstelveen, the rich suburb of Amsterdam. It’s located and named after a small lake referred to as “De Poel”. The terrace affords a gorgeous view of the lake, however the climate wasn’t The restaurant of chef Stefan van Sprang opened in 2007, gained its first Michelin star in 2009, and the second in 2013. I had been there solely as soon as earlier than, when it had simply gained its first star. I don’t bear in mind something from that dinner and am unsure that I haven’t been again since as a result of I didn’t assume it was value returning to, or as a result of it isn’t simply reachable by public transport and too near house to remain in a resort. Most likely a mixture of each. It’s only 8-10 kilometers (5-6 miles) from the 2 star eating places in Amsterdam (Spectrum, 212, Vinkeles, Ciel Bleu, and Flore) and so this was to be the final cease in my tour of all 2 star eating places in larger Amsterdam. However with hindsight, I don’t contemplate Aan de Poel as a part of the Amsterdam advantageous eating scene.

After we arrived at 7pm, the restaurant was already fairly full, and by 8pm all of the tables have been occupied. That is fairly totally different from Amsterdam, the place most diners arrive later. (The photograph doesn’t present as many occupied tables, as a result of I attempt to keep away from taking a photograph to be positioned on my weblog that prominently options different company of the restaurant and so level my digital camera away from individuals as a lot as I can.) I additionally seen quite a lot of households with kids, even babies, and it appeared like many company have been locals and regulars. And there have been quite a lot of tables that have been fairly shut collectively — the restaurant has area for 80 diners, in comparison with solely 24 at Restaurant 212.

The restaurant affords a seasonal chef’s menu (5 programs for 169 euros), some à la carte choices, and a signature menu with the 7 favourite dishes of the chef (239 euros). As we thought the signature menu could be one of the simplest ways to get reacquainted with the chef’s cooking, we opted for the latter.

We began with a Man Charlemagne Brut Basic Champagne, of fifty% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, a mellow Champagne.

The amuse bouche began with a pretend olive with inexperienced apple…

…a mandarin hoisin pancake with oyster mushroom moderately than duck, a puff with truffle and mayonnaise…

…and a creation of peas and inexperienced beans. There have been quite a lot of candy parts within the amuses, and the mayonnaise within the puff was extra distinguished than the truffle.

The primary wine of the pairing was a 2022 Chablis by Moreau. Properly creamy from the malolactic conversion.

This was a fairly good pairing for the primary dish of steak tartare dressed with oil and chives and topped with caviar, a pan-fried langoustine tail, and wasabi mayonnaise. The caviar was a really creamy mellow kind of caviar, not very salty or ‘pop in your mouth’. Though there was beneficiant serving on prime of the tartare, it was troublesome to style the caviar. The wasabi mayonnaise solely had a small quantity of wasabi in it, in order that was very mellow as effectively. The wine labored higher with the tartare and caviar than with the langoustine, for which the wine was a bit too creamy.

The subsequent wine was a 2022 Albariño from Fefiñanes in Rias Baixas, Spain. Properly fruity and mellow.

It was pairing for the yellowfin tuna with foie gras and bits of jamón iberico. The tuna was good and the foie gras was good, however they didn’t complement one another in any manner that was obvious to me.

We continued the wine pairing with a 2022 Toques & Clochers Clocher de la Serpent closely oaked Chardonnay from Limoux, Languedoc, France.

It was paired with lobster with a curry syrup and macadamias. The pairing of lobster with a (Thai) curry is kind of widespread and will be very good, however this syrup was largely sugar with mellow spices, and no chillies in any way (not less than not that I might detect). The dish was largely candy and though this was a hefty Chardonnay, the wine nonetheless couldn’t deal with all that sugar.

The subsequent wine was a small pour of the 2019 Château Piada Sauternes.

This was pairing for the signature dish throughout the signature menu, smoked eel lacquered with a candy teriyaki sauce. As you may also inform from the colour, this teriyaki sauce had extra sugar and fewer soy than an everyday teriyaki. This was like a mellow model of the Japanese unagi eel.

The next wine was a 2020 Domaine Pierre Boisson Monthélie, a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. It was fairly wealthy, and dare I say mellow, for a purple Burgundy.

After which nothing occurred for half an hour. We have been nearly to alert the wait employees, when the following course did arrive.

It was a mushroom risotto with a beneficiant serving of shaved black summer time truffle. Once I first tasted it, I assumed the rice was lacking. However then after I regarded, I might see there have been in truth grains of rice within the risotto. They have been nonetheless utterly tender, not al dente in any respect. We complained about this to the waitress, who apologized and requested if we needed to get the identical dish once more. We didn’t really feel like that, so as an alternative instructed they may make up for it by upgrading the following wine. At the moment I assumed it was a mistake that the rice was overcooked, however now that I’m penning this evaluation, I’m curious whether or not it was in truth a mistake, or that the chef meant the rice to be cooked to mush, as that appears to suit together with his cooking fashion? The risotto did have a pleasant mushroom taste.

The ‘upgraded’ wine was a 2011 Valpolicella Ripasso “10 anni” by Cà dei Maghi from Veneto, Italy. It was properly aged and effectively, mellow.

This was pairing for the Wagyu A5 strip steak with a pleasant jus. The wagyu was very tender and the garnishes have been good.

The palate cleanser was a sorbet with lemon bits frozen with liquid nitrogen.

The ultimate wine was a Riesling Trockenbeeren Auslese by Kracher, a botrytis wine from Austria.

It was solely simply wealthy sufficient for the Tarte Tatin with additional caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The vanilla ice cream had a wonderful taste, however was melting quickly. The additional caramel sauce made the Tatin cloyingly candy and creamy. The crust of the tart was tender moderately than crispy.

The meal was concluded with some good friandises.

Through the drive to the restaurant, my neighbor Cees and I mentioned that with Michelin starred eating places the standard will be anticipated to be excessive, however whether or not you adore it or not has extra to do with whether or not you just like the chef’s fashion or not. This chef has a really clear fashion of candy, mellow and tender, with little or no distinction, edges, or robust spices. It’s not stunning there have been so many households with kids, as a result of kids love this type of meals. The signature menu has all the luxurious components one can consider (lobster, caviar, foie gras, wagyu beef, truffle).

Aan de Poel clearly differs from the two Michelin star eating places in Amsterdam. It’s extra a household restaurant (for households who can afford it) with attention-grabbing dishes, than a temple to advantageous eating like the opposite locations. Once I write “temple” I don’t imply these eating places are formal, which they aren’t in any respect (besides Ciel Bleu maybe). However the ambiance is totally totally different and appears to cater to a extra worldwide clientele. The space is barely 8 to 10 kilometers (5 to six miles), however they appear totally different worlds.

I’m curious whether or not the seasonal chef’s menu is much less candy and mellow, however I’m unsure if I’m curious sufficient to go and discover out.



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