Mention Amsterdam to most anyone and they will conjure up images of the marijuana cafés, the glowing windows of the red light district, and perhaps the many museums that have filled the city. Rarely though will their minds go to food. This, however, is a mistake as one of the most unique and delicious restaurants in Europe resides just outside the hustle bustle of the famous city. Built inside the greenhouse what was once Amsterdam Municipal Nursery, De Kas (literally translated to The Greenhouse) is a fantastic little alcove of extremely fresh and wonderfully inspired dishes. The building was originally constructed in 1926 and due to be razed, but the combined efforts of Chef Gert Jan Hageman and architect designer Piet Boon have converted this into a crystal cathedral of culinary excellence.
With each dish being the birth of the light and airy surroundings you know you are guaranteed something spectacular. Though you’ll be surprised each and every time as De Kas’ prix fixe menu changes daily depending on what looks nicest in the garden and the mood of Chef Hageman. The three courses consist of three small appetizers, a main course, and an always unique dessert. Some past dishes include oven smoked halibut with lentils and cream sauce, grilled veal with Jerusalem artichokes and baked onion, roasted chicken with carrot oil, and a lovely grilled pheasant with a perfectly paired salad. Appetizers such as potato croquette, scallops with pumpkin puree, and savory thin sliced ham enveloping heady pieces of chicory are some of the surprises Chef Hageman has developed. Desserts always involve some fresh seasonal fruit and should not be missed.
For a special treat, De Kas has a singular table in the kitchen (seats up to four) that provides a wine pairing with each serving and a glorious cornucopia of tasty fare selected and customized by the chef. Their wine parings are quite good too, with a very comfortable list of vintages ranging in price from about $35.00 to $135.00. The service at De Kas is simply divine with the wait staff, runners, and maître d’ all extremely warm and personable only adding to the quality of the dining experience. Meal prices start around $50.00 USD a person for lunch up to $170.00 USD a person for the special kitchen table dinner. It’s not a cheap affair, but the price is definitely worth it for the excellent food, impeccable service, and sleek, modern, romantic atmosphere. Call ahrad for good directions, as De Kas is a bit set back from the main road and this is definitely a dining opportunity you don’t want to pass up!
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