Oesterbar Restaurant, Amsterdam, Netherlands: The Oesterbar Restaurant in Amsterdam, Netherlands has been around for more than 70 years, housed in a building that used to be a fish market. Inside, the décor is reminiscent of a fifties fine dining New York restaurant with long and narrow tables and white table cloths. The best seats in the house are along the storefront windows. Try to reserve one of those as there are only two tables in that area. If you are looking for something more casual and the weather is nice, book a table at one of their outdoor picnic tables. The view is not grand but a lunch or dinner outside is always nice.
What better way to start than with fresh raw oysters? We had raw Dutch Oysters for starters, which came in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large, (4, 5.50 and 6.75 Euro per piece, respectively). The smallest ones were the best, the large ones a bit fishy.
Here, they take freshness seriously—the fish and seafood are delivered twice in a day, once in the morning and another in the afternoon so you can be sure that every bite of food is fresh out of the water. Luckily, our timing was perfect as they just brought in the afternoon order when we were there.
For our main dish, we had the Dover Sole, which was nicely prepared with salad and potatoes. While the portion looked small, it was surprisingly more than I could eat (price 42 Euro: not cheap). We also tried the ½ lobster which was served with mushroom and a small portion of pasta. While the lobster was not much in quantity, it was ultra-fresh and flavorful, nicely seasoned with subtle spices that perfectly complemented the lobster’s natural flavor. Where the lobster was lacking in size and portion, the pasta and mushroom made up for it, producing quite a filling dish.
Dessert was apple cinnamon strudel, which was a heavenly delight with vanilla sauce, and the largest crème brulee I have ever seen, paired with vanilla ice cream and a beautiful sweet wine. The wine list is heavy with French wines but they still have a decent selection of both new and old world wines.
We were there late in the afternoon, after the lunch crowd and before dinner, so understandably, the wait staff was attentive and marvelous. Still, I have a feeling that even during peak hours, service would be stellar.
What I liked: Personal Service, the small oysters, the sole
What I didn’t like: Not much we didn’t like here but the atmosphere, portion sizes and presentation do not justify the steep prices.