I can’t pretend that Easter has ever been a huge celebration in the Hampton household (none of us have all that much interest in chocolate, for a start, or Jesus for that matter), but any excuse for a celebration is an excuse to eat – and that’s good enough for me!
On Good Friday, we headed to Bar Spek for a bit of pre-party pizza. They were big (which was somewhat the point – we were lining our stomachs) and extremely crisp of bottom (Mary Berry would’ve been pleased) and reasonably priced. I tried the Verdure, which was not only a vege pizza but it also didn’t have any tomato sauce. I learnt something about myself: I miss tomato sauce, possibly more than I miss meat. By good fortune, I followed it up with a Picante, which was a spicy little pizza package of salami and plenty of the good red stuff. All in all, at just over €50 for a couple of pizzas and a bottle of wine, we couldn’t complain.
On Easter Saturday, I met a friend at Aan de Amstel – famous for being the restaurant of Yvette van Boven, whose cookbooks I studied in minute detail with my designer while trying to figure out how to make Vicky Hampton’s Working Lunch. Turns out, she really does know what she’s talking about. I started with an octopus salad with white beans, fennel, tomato and an almond puree. The octopus was tender, the vegetables well prepared with a herby summery dressing, and the almonds roasted to nutty perfection.
My main was a generous helping of pork loin with beetroot (both chunks of the regular kind, and slices of raw Chioggia beets), potatoes and a buttery sauce. It was more homely than restauranty, but it was so well cooked I didn’t much mind.
For dessert, I opted for the cheeses while my friend went for the pear clafoutis. It’s hard to judge a restaurant on its cheeses (it’s not like they make the cheese themselves – it’s more about their ability to make a decent selection) but the clafoutis was just as it should have been: warm, comforting and gorgeously French.
Dinner came to around €65 each, including a bottle of white Burgundy, and was one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time.
Those who follow Amsterdam Foodie on Facebook will know that Easter Sunday was celebrated not out at a restaurant, but at home with some rather fabulous hot wings. Oh, and I did finally scoff a few of those chocolate mini eggs, too… any excuse indeed.Leave a comment...