Some restaurants manage to create unforgettable experiences. They simply deliver on every level. In Amsterdam one of the restaurants that fits into this category is Le Restaurant. Arguably the least pretentious, uptight of the gastronomic restaurants in the city, it bears more similarity with a table d’hôte than a restaurant.
The atmosphere in the intimate dining room is extremely warm, and as the front of house is made up of no more than two people, it really is a restaurant on a human scale. Jan de Wit, and Kostya Dadykin look after the guests during the evening, but all prepare the food during the day.
Apart from the people who are involved in running Le Restaurant, its history is equally interesting. Jan de Wit was one of the country’s most famous chefs, and was awarded two Michelin-stars for his “De Nederlanden”. He sold the premises for a respectable amount of money and moved to Southern France. After a while, however he got fed up with the easy life and decided that it was time for something else, and created a restaurant that suited his taste: less stiff, less pretentious, less ceremonial. On top of that, Le Restaurant also allows him to live out his passion for wine. He likes to travel and to discover small wineries that haven’t been hyped by the media yet, and he has a penchant for (Old World) wine that is elegant, focused and complex.
Thankfully, the food at Le Restaurant is remarkable in its own right. Whilst it is anchored in classical French cuisine, the team here constantly travels, and looks for new ideas. The result is food that feels contemporary, whilst never loosing sight of the most important criterion: taste.
Unusually for a restaurant in Amsterdam, Le Restaurant only offers a constantly evolving menu that isn’t even all that expensive given how much labour goes into it. The food is market-driven, carefully cooked, and remarkably tasty. Thus, your meal is likely to start with a parade of appetizers, and nibbles. These are mostly very fresh, and designed to get the taste buds going. Following the appetizers, de Wit and his team usually serve a piece of fish. The quality of which we have had during our countless meals here has been terrific, but the best part of a meal here inevitably is the main course. Often slow-cooked pieces of meat with rich sauces are the grand finale and simply make you want to have more and more.
Le Restaurant is the perfect neighbourhood eatery and feels timeless in every way. It will probably never feel outdated as the quality is so consistent and paired with its great welcome and wine. De Wit’s Le Restaurant really does tick all the boxes. It is for just these reasons that it has managed to become one of our absolute favourites in Amsterdam.