Le Garage is the kind of restaurant you either love or loathe. The extravagant interior and funky staff will not leave you unimpressed. Unsurprisingly therefore, this is a restaurant that has made headlines in Amsterdam ever since it opened and continues to do so. What you see here during a meal is a weird and somewhat unique spectacle. At least in Amsterdam, there is no other place that attracts such a large amount of intellectuals, celebrities of days long gone, who rub shoulders with wealthy diners and girlfriends half their age. On top of that, you will sit extremely close to your neighbours, and will be surrounded by mirrors in this colourful dining room created by architect Cees Dam. While the design of the room reflects patron Joop Braakhekke’s flamboyant character, the food and wine list are much more classical and conformist. The wine list is surprisingly good: Ente, Comtes Lafon and Leflaive are all heavily represented on it, and there’s no need to break the bank to have such highly prized wines at the Garage.
Food-wise, the solid bistro fare will not disappoint. Of course, you can order caviar and the likes, but there are other things that might be more emblematic of Le Garage. One of the more famous dishes is the ribeye with béarnaise. Carefully timed and served with a classic béarnaise, you can’t really criticise it. Given that Le Garage was trendy a few years ago, there are a few fusion dishes such as tuna pizza on the menu. This pizza ultimately has fairly little in common with the real deal, as it is based on tuna, a few layers of phyllo pastry and wasabi. Not all that bad, even if purists will probably shake their heads in disbelief. That, however, is part of Le Garage’s extravagant character, which won’t leave anyone cold; including us