Amsterdam Foodie

‘Allo ‘Allo! Ron Gastrobar Paris

Back in October, I noted the comeback that French food seems to be making – notably with the arrival of French bistrot Auberge Jean et Marie. Two months on, it’s apparent that French food is once again a culinary force to be reckoned with when Ron Blaauw starts taking an interest. I was invited to his new restaurant, Ron Gastrobar Paris, to check out the menu…

Said menu is split into three different types of dish: snacks priced at €7.50 each, including things like rillettes and crudités; regular dishes priced at €10-15, including classics like foie gras, frog’s legs and French onion soup; and specials at lunch or dinner – think croque monsieur and steak tartare. Blaauw’s Parisian branch has a well-stocked bar, too: I’d recommend kicking off with an aperitif at the steam-punk-esque bar before making your way to the table.

ron-gastrobar-paris-eggs-mimosa
Oeufs Mimosa – classic French fare

We nibbled on some oeufs mimosa to start: devilled eggs stuffed with their mustardy, creamy yolks. Simple yet polished – although the mustard for me held slightly chemical undertones. Next, a whole artichoke came with two dipping sauces for the leaves: a sort of salsa verde/herb oil and a mustard vinaigrette. A whole artichoke is a beautiful (if fiddly) thing to eat, and peeling back layer after layer to reveal the earthy heart reminded me of being 12 and visiting my brother in Brussels. He introduced me to my first artichoke, and that experience is arguably the reason the Amsterdam Foodie’s logo became an artichoke a decade ago.

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An entire artichoke is a beautiful thing…

Our hot dishes arrived in cute little Le Creuset-style pots. Boudin noir (aka black pudding to the Brits) came with caramelised apple, onions and lardons in a meaty gravy. Meanwhile, the cassoulet didn’t much resemble the Provençale variety I’m used to: it was heavy on mustard (Ron Blaauw seems to love mustard!) and the sausage tasted more like a smoked Dutch sausage than a Toulouse sausage. All that being said, I liked it – it just wasn’t the way I’d make cassoulet myself.

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Left: boudin noir. Right: cassoulet

However, possibly my favourite touch at Ron Gastrobar Paris came from the bathrooms. As you’re washing your hands, your ears tune into what sounds like an old-fashioned radio. Only to realise that speakers in the walls are in fact playing clips from the long-running 80s BBC television series, ‘Allo ‘Allo! “Listen very carefully; I shall say this only once,” you find yourself mouthing along with a nostalgic smile…

all the info

Ron Gastrobar Paris (French)★★★★€€

Kleine-Gartmanplatsoen 11A, (Leidseplein)020 496 1943 /  book now

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