1016 HL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Date of Last Visit: Sunday, February 22, 2009
The Victim: Pieter
The Damage: About 80 euros
The Background: Pieter, one of my co-workers, has offered to meet me for Sunday dinner. He's picked the place and we wander along the wondrously lit canals through Amsterdam's tony Nine Streets area to our destination. I peek in everyone's windows along the way because you know, in Amsterdam, people don't believe in window blinds. Yup, that's right. You can see right into everyone's homes. It's a bit crazy, but Pieter explains that if someone does move onto a street and keep their blinds closed, everyone starts thinking they must be doing something illegal!
The Entrance: envy is modern and dark and has an open kitchen that you can see into from the street. I like this openness. It bodes well, I hope. We're given a choice of a high-table or a low-table and we opt for the low. The restaurant is packed for a Sunday night, and Pieter explains that Sunday is still a big night for the Dutch to go out for dinner. (Pieter, I should mention, is Belgian, not Dutch.)
The Service: My friends Ted and Eve have warned me that Dutch service can be painfully slow. Ted and Eve are French, to put their comment in a bit of perspective. The service at envy IS painfully slow. We're left waiting forever before we're given a menu and then it's ages more before we're asked if we'd like any wine and then it's even more ages later before we can order our food. Luckily, I have nowhere to be.
The Food: Holy cow but the food is GREAT! My risotto is lovely and really creamy in a "no cream or cheese added" kind of way (as it should be), And they've given me a perfect strip of bacon and some pine nuts. I am tempted to order a second portion. But I don't. This is followed by some courgettes wrapped around the softest and lightest of cheeses. This could have only been better if it had been 30 degrees Celsius outside.
The Verdict: I really enjoyed my meal here. If I lived in Amsterdam, I'd go here all the time.