During our recent visit to Amsterdam we wanted one of our dinners to be "Dutch" food (though we weren't really sure what that meant). We were totally overwhelmed by the number of restaurants in the area of Central Station, so we asked for a recommendation from our cruise company's concierge. She recommended that we try Van Speyk; we followed that recommendation - and we're glad that we did. It was a great choice in terms of location, the restaurant's decor, service, and most importantly --- the food.
On the evening of our visit, Van Speyk had a three-course menu for €29.50; it was a great choice. The first course was a fantastically thick and flavorful gazpacho, with small shrimps and onions added to the soup. That was followed by a main course of mussels cooked in a vegetable / wine broth, served with fries and a salad. Finally, the dessert was a Sauterne flavored zabaglione, served with sliced berries topped with a caramel sauce. Wow! What's not to like?
Beyond that, the service was wonderful. In an heavily-visited tourist area, I was impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of the service staff. One possible reason is that this restaurant is not of the type that screams out to tourists. It is somewhat understated and elegant in its approach, and the restaurant's clientele seemed to be primarily local people. Speaking of elegance - you need to see the beautiful interior of the restaurant, particularly after dark when they fully illuminate their chandeliers.
We chose to have our meal outside and it was a nice choice. It was wonderful to be able to have a delicious taste of Dutch cuisine, while watching the excitement of Amsterdam pass by. We highly recommend this restaurant.
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