In the oh-so-upcoming West, Pazzi is first of all a witty play on words: Pazzi,beyond being the acronym for Pizza, means also crazy, and used in Italian to say crazy about something (a famous pizzeria in Rome is indeed called Pizza pazza al pezzo). But beyond the clever pun, search no more: the best pizza in town is definitely served here. This simple, no-reservation place serves a thin crust and some variants which are really really excellent, all watered down by some good Birra Moretti. My choice is the classic Bufala which does disappoint me, as the sauce is tasty, the dough crunchy, the mozzarella flavourful, and Ale takes the the pizza van de week is also good. Definitely a place worth going back to, they also do take-way and accept no reservation. Because this is how you should always go and explore these places: with no reservation.
de Clerqstraat, 93
Yes, you read it well, this restaurant is actually located in an ex-Citroen car dealer, and the garage decor is so realistic cars can get to the floor, together with clients.
So the ambience is definitely extraordinary, the menu is quite small (4 entrees, 4 mains, 4 desserts, out of which not everything is available) but super tasty. We go for oysters as starter and a delicious lobster bisque in which some oven-baked ravioli stuffed with crab are happily swimming. For a main I go for the game (yummy! it is stuffed pheasant with a side of kale and mashed potatoes) while my companion goes for cod with hollandaise sauce. We discover that in Dutch FUNGHI PORCINI translates as “bread for squirrels”. Lucky squirrels! The wine list is quite disappointing, the service so so but very friendly, price ok and the location makes up for the rest. We will be back.
Watch out though: quite difficult to find!
Address: Stadionweg 22 Amsterdam
Located in the building that once hosted the Stacey’s restaurant (which significantly is remembered more for its location than for its food…), there is a new kid on the block since some months, the Anatolian barbecue ALI OCAKBASI, the Amsterdam antenna of an Istanbul institution. the verdict? really delicious. The ambience has been appropriately refurbished to feature a more Turkish environment, and the restaurant extends on two storeys. We eat on the ground floor, we order some starters (the pastirmali humus is delicious) and we continue with beef and lamb from the grill. The meat is tender and well marinated and the sauces and dips are rich but not heavy.
The service is very friendly and compensates some inattentiveness with extra care (the waitress forgot to bring us the two glasses of wine we asked, when we reminded her she brought them and she did not have us pay for them). Great ambience and delicious food, in a fantastic location – well done!
Probably the most famous Lebanese restaurant in Amsterdam, Beyrouth is located in the up and coming West, which is witnessing a true renaissance, in the now uber-cool Kinkerstraat. Beyrouth keeps its promise: we enjoy really good mezze, amazing hummus, fantastic lamb, and it all comes in very generous portions. We accompany the meal with the very own ALMAZA beer… and we end up not having enough space for desserts. The service is very friendly, the decor is cozy even if a tad tacky. Definitely a place where we will go back to.
This (little) place, as per its namesake, is very well known for its brunch, I go there for lunch hoping that the difference won’t be so much, and indeed, you get nice broodjes dressed up to be more ‘brunchy’ and of course pricey, a nice list of classical brunch cocktails such as Bloody Mary, a very laid-back atmosphere, and here is the magic which transforms an otherwise anonymous place which makes sandwiches into a place well known across town for its unmissable ‘brunch’! Food is ok, service is ok, ambience is very trendy without a real reason (I should probably open a whole new blog for the anatomy of cool as this simply fails me). The Turkish mushroom-feta-baba ganesh-pita that I take is good. My friend gets a croque-monsieur which is a sad, dry version of a tosti. Ok, I am not being fair, I should probably try it again for brunch really and not for lunch and I am sure my opinion will change. Oh-so-cool.
Eerste Sweelinckstraat 19F
We try this place one night in August 2015 after having walked by this street several times (it is on the other side of the Amstel as compared to where we live), and oh do we like it! We take a super simple fare with one primo (scialatielli gamberi and Zucchine) and one secondo (tagliata di vitello) and two glasses of Nero d’Avola della casa. The food is good, we eat outside and it is really lice and quiet, the service is very attentive, the staff is really Italian (not as at Toscanini) and we even enjoy a small limoncello, all for a reasonable price. we will be definitely back.
Eerste Oosterparkstraat 3-5
I know this post will be not so popular, with the small disclaimer that this implies actually having readers. But even more so, honesty in blogging is what matters, otherwise what the hell? So let’s get done with it: Toscanini. Toscanini is somehow an institution and considered by many, even the illustrious Little Black Book, one of the best Italian restaurants in Amsterdam. Indeed it is so popular that we need to book with great advance just to get a table on a Saturday night at 9 30 pm. What is behind such a strong fame? Well, I guess it is a ‘combinatie van factoren’, as the locals would say: the rustic set up (it is clearly a post-industrial environment, or as Ale says, an ex-garage), the Italian-looking and Italian-speaking staff (but alas, not Italian-being), the many wine wooden cases that decorate the shelves and the menu with some classics and some peculiar choices (faraona, anybody?). We eat well, we have some spaghetti with vongole and a fish which we ask about afterwards and we are still looking for, since the Italian-speaking and chest-exuberant (yet very, very Dutch-being) waitress does not really know. In a nutshell, we are happy, let’s be clear, but not super happy. Ok, let’s put it like that: we are happy that finally we can say we have been here and we can have an opinion based on personal experience, so that we can offer first-hand, (real) Italian judgment.
address Lindengracht 75