Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Amsterdam – De Roode Leeuw

Posted by jwpiper on February 5, 2009

On the recomendation of the bartender at In de Wildeman Bier Proeflokaal, I walked to Restaurant de Roode Leeuw for dinner. I was looking for a typical Dutch dining experience.

Perhaps it’s the dark wood or the red velvet seats, but from the outside, this looks like a fancy establishment. When gestured to seat yourself and approaching the table with the paper placemat and thick paper napkins, a different impression is given.

I order the Stomppotten, a traditional Dutch stew over mashed potatoes and vegetables and an Amstel. The Amstel is much better than the light version available in the US, but still quite bad. The Stamppotten is clearly a modern interpretation of the traditional dish. The stewing beef had been removed from the stew for finishing, the bacon was grilled dry, and smoked sausage all served over two different mashed potato stacks: one with carrots an brocoli and the other with cut cooked spinach(?). The waiter sparingly poured the stewing gravy over top. It was then that I decided Dutch food, while eu sunstabtially better than German is still too much thus influenced. Big and fatty and still a little bland except the sausages. The meal wasn’t bad… But if you’re going to modernize a classic, crisp the bacon, caramelize the sausage, and give me some texture on the stewing beef by grilling it after removing from the stew.

I won’t be seeking Dutch food anytime soon. Not terrible, but not good. As my colleague Bart says, Dutch food is peasant food. There isn’t a string culinary tradition. I will say, though, based on my experience in a hospital cafeteria, they can bake bread. The kind with the perfectly crackly crust and light, clean center… the kind no one in the US seems capable of baking to save their lives.


2 Responses to “Amsterdam – De Roode Leeuw”

  1. […] Amsterdam – De Roode Leeuw […]

  2. […] dish: stoemp. Actually, while the decision was somewhat motivated by my recent experience in Amsterdam with the Dutch version of this dish, I was also influenced by the fact that there wasn’t much […]

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