Worst Wijncafe: better than sausage

It’s a bit unfortunate that the Dutch word for sausage is the same as the English superlative for bad. Especially when the sausage I’m going to tell you about was probably some of the best I’ve ever had. But then you’d expect that from the people who brought us Marius, one of my all-time favourite restaurants in Amsterdam.

Worst Wijncafe does what is says (in Dutch) on the tin: it’s a casual hangout where you can drink fabulous wines by the glass (or the half glass – why bother?) or of course by the bottle. But when there’s this much grapey goodness on offer, you don’t want to stick to one.

The menu features a dozen or so dishes, all of which are small and meant for sharing – a bit like tapas. And just to save you the embarrassment of realising you’re not actually a wine connoisseur, the menu tells you which wines to drink with each dish.

We started with a fresh, warm sausage sitting in a bowl of lentils, with a glass of something white and clean-tasting. Pork and wine are two of my all-time favourite things in the world. If I’d been struck by a bolt of lightning at that very moment, I’d have died a happy woman.

Next, we had a semi-soft goat’s cheese (it turned out that, in addition to pork, there were other cheese and charcuterie options) with a lightly pickled fennel salad. A man with a fabulous leather apron suggested a full-bodied, deep-coloured Italian white to go with the cheese, which more or less sang an opera on my tongue.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, the rillettes appeared – soft, melting with pork fat, and coupled with a caramelised red endive and sultana affair. The wine that came with it was a classic Italian red that I could have bathed in all night.

But of course I didn’t, because our final dish was a plate of air-dried ham with pears, walnuts and a glass of red that made my drinking buddy go “Oooh, it’s all musky and sexy like pheromones!” which I think probably says all you need to know.

As for me, I could write sausage innuendo all evening. But instead I’m just telling you to go and eat it.

all the info

Worst Wijncafe (French)★★★★★€€

Barentszstraat 171, (Westerpark)020 625 6167 / website

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