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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

DE OESTERBAR
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

During one of our several trips to this wild and friendly city we asked around to find the best seafood restaurant in Amsterdam.  The name De Oesterbar kept coming up so we promptly made a reservation.

You come to this place for absolutely fresh fish and shellfish, much of it from the nearby North Sea.  The selection on our visit--perhaps due to a limited catch that day--wasn't as vast as I had been lead to believe.  Still many of the "usual suspects" were mentioned as possibilities.

You can dine on the main floor where the bar is located or be seated in the more formal upstairs dining room.  That's where our reservation landed us.  To be honest with you, the place felt a little stuffy.  The wait staff was formally dressed and extremely efficient.  Perhaps a little bit too efficient.

We had heard a lot about a Dutch favorite booze called jenever which we started our meal with.  Turns out this stuff is a high test octane type of gin.  It is served ice cold in a shot glass that is filled to the very and I mean very top of the glass.  And the "rules" say you can't initially pick it up.  So you bend over the table, make contact with the glass with your lips and sip it down until it's safe to pick up without spilling.  Then, under the supervision of your funny waiter, you must slug the whole thing down.  Wow.  Talk about a kick!

Now on to the eating!  We started out our meals with various appetizers.  I had some wonderfully fresh raw oysters.  Another member of our party had steamed mussels.  The other folks dining with us went for shrimp.

All of us but one chose fish for our main course and it was very good.  I had the plaice fried.  My wife went with fresh salmon and our daughter and her husband both picked halibut.  Our son opted for a steak.

The gals had a dessert, nothing to write home about, and the guys stuck to coffee to finish the meal.

While the meal was good it didn't exactly knock our socks off --- until we got the check!  Pretty lofty even by our standards.  But we enjoyed our experience dining at the best known seafood eatery in Amsterdam.

De Oesterbar is located at Leidseplein 10 in the city.  Reservations are highly recommended.  Phone number is 020/623-2988.  And if you hoof it over there on foot from a nearby hotel watch out for the bicyclists.  When you hear that little bell behind you, dive for cover!  They mean business.  On more than one occasion my wife has almost been mowed down and I know a Delta flight attendant who was tagged by a biker and she wound up with a broken ankle!

OTHER NETHERLANDS RESTAURANT REVIEWS:

Kartika - Amsterdam
Sea Palace - Amsterdam


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