Amsterdam and The Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
In a city that is making its mark on the culinary world, the Grand Amsterdam has kept up with this trend. Bridges, Inspired by Ron Blaauw, the hotel’s highly acclaimed restaurant, opened in January 2013. This concept, a partnership between Michelin star chef Ron Blaauw and Executive Chef Joris Bijdendijk, is as the name suggests a “Bridge” between Dutch and French culinary offerings. Local fresh fish from Holland is prepared with French technique and inspiration in what has been named one of the best restaurants in The Netherlands. With the only raw bar in the city, and recently awarded their first Michelin star, they have quickly become a notable destination restaurant.
We had the opportunity to dine at Bridges during our stay and enjoyed a tasting menu with wine pairings which highlighted some of the restaurant’s signature dishes. The platings were inventive and served on colorful stoneware, featuring the fresh seafood they are known for combined with unique preparations. The first course of Roasted Langoustine was served with trout eggs, curry cream, and popped wild quinoa and paired with a German wine, Scheurebe, Manz, Rheinhessen, which nicely complimented the buttery flavor of the shellfish.
For a main course, I chose the Grilled Sole with Fois Gras, accompanied by Sea-buckthorn berry, salsify and vin jaune. This dish was paired with a Marsanne/Roussanne, Cuvee Prestige, Olleux Romanls, from France. My favorite dessert was the luscious Soft Chocolate Chard and Financier with whiskey foam and expresso ice cream. The Sommelier paired this with a delightful Moscato do Douro, Quinta do Portal from Portugal. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful evening.
The Grand Amsterdam’s award for the Best Service in Europe is well deserved as the service at the property was exceptional. Unobtrusive, yet with a staff that anticipated every need, we were impressed by their Dutch hospitality with a French flair. Staying in one of their spacious and elegant suites, we overlooked one of the canals. From our window, we watched as some of the residents in the neighborhood fed the swans and were entertained as the birds hungrily gathered around flapping their wings while catching the crumbs of bread that were tossed their way.
A real treat as a guest in one of the hotel’s suites is their butler staff. Offering personal valet service, they will assist with their guest’s special requests including restaurant recommendations, sightseeing suggestions, or transportation. They can arrange for a horse drawn carriage ride to tour the city or a private canal tour by a classic saloon boat. A lovely parting gift would have been to take my butler, Luiz, home with me, but they didn’t offer that as an option.
To help you plan for your next trip, or first time experience in Amsterdam, I will have a follow-up post offering some suggestions for things to see and do and dining options in this fascinating city.
* These photographs have been used with the permission of The Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam.
Disclosure – The Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam provided a media package for our visit. I have in no way been compensated and the opinions expressed regarding our experience are my own.
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