31 May 2009

ONDER DE LINDE, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

It is often said that apart from harengs, cheeses, good bread and some broths that the locals eat proudly, the Dutch cuisine does not exist and that the culinary traditions of this huge maritime nation is a mixture made of the influences and the ingredients brought from all over the world, i.e., South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa...)

However, in the same way every rule has an exception, The Netherlands has 'Onder de Linde', led by the cook Herman van Manen, a former student at the prestigious 'Hotelschool Ter Duinen' (promotion of 1987) in Koksijde, Belgium.

Born on the ashes of a former restaurant 8 years ago, 'Onder de Linde' is a cosy, romantic, and contemporary place with a wide range of well executed dishes and an excellent cuisine.

Once you get into the place, do not rush to the table.

Instead, I advise you to take some time to have a look to the menu while seating at the fireplace with a glass of champagne. You will realise the quietness of the place, the simplicity and the elegance of the lights, the flowers everywhere, and the painted walls depicting characteristic scenes of Noordwijk at the beginning of the XXth century.

It is while waiting at the fireplace where you have more chances not only to understand the place and to be offered a couple of excellent starters ('bisque de homard' - balanced, tasty, excellent texture - and a 'mousse of serrano ham' - innovative, different, surprising, light), but also to guess that you have not mistaken the address.

Once at the table, we advise you to go for the three course menu (there is also a 4 and a 5 course menu) with the wine arrangements per dish. We did not regret it at all!. All the wines perfectly matched our food choices.

Starter: "Tartar of salmon with herbs, 'tsarine' potatoes, and home-marinated salmon with a honey mustard dressing" (accompanied with the French white wine 'Clos de la Vierge, Jurançon, 2006').

Mains: "Gratin cod with persil butter and brandade of cooked mackerel with a crispy fish croquette and Noilly Prat sauce" (accompanied with the Australian white wine 'Oxford Landing', Chardonnay 2007') and "Guinea fowl filet on a truffle risotto with wild spinachs and sauted greens and mushrooms" (accompanied with the Chilean red wine 'Botalcura, Carmenère/Merlot 2006').

We could have ordered a coffee instead of the dessert and stop the experience there, but we went for the mild and excellent "Lukewarm Vacherin Mont d'Or served on a home-made brioche and decorated with hints of blackcurrant - balsamic syrup" (accompanied with a Graham's fine ruby port, 2007)... I am sure it will take a lot of time before I can forget that dessert...

No doubt about it, "Onder de Linde" (and the cook Herman van Manen and his excellent team of attentive and extremely kind people in the dining room) deserve to be and remain in the Bib's Michelin Guide for many many years!

Rating: 7.8/10

1 comment:

Ruaz said...

hola! el teu blog vá esser triat para un premi.