October 18th, 2009
My mom and her friend came to visit this past week and as a result, I was treated to a restaurant tour of my new, adopted city. Our first night was spent at Christophe, one of Amsterdam’s top spots and well lauded with one Michelin star. The cuisine is French and the decor is contemporary with a muted urban palette of grays and creams plus an elegant center chandelier.
Most important – the food was excellent. The starter salads were deliciously fresh with endive and a mix of fresh mesclun. My pumpkin soup was served right inside a pumpkin with a mixture of nutmeg and hazlenuts and that ever tasty dash of cream. Entrees like beef with a foie gras topping and seasonal vegetables like haricot verts and a partridge with candied pears and a stuffing with beets and foie gras make for a memorable, if not fattening meal. We were all exclaiming like Sally in the diner. (Okay, not that loud). For desert we feigned demure by ordering ‘just cheese’. Now, for those who know me, this is hands down my favorite part of the meal. The cheese tray at Christophe did not disappoint. With a majority of french cheeses – there was one lone Dutch cheese which the waiter sold with pride – the fragrant cheese trolley featured everything from blues to stinky creamy types to crumbly goats. We each selected three and then pretended to share. It was indeed marvelous, complimented by an excellent full-bodied red, suggested by the restaurant’s somelier. We had originally requested a Margaux and she steered us to a southern French wine instead – clearly not motivated by the cost.
The only downfall of the night came at the end when I went to the bathroom. Tucked down a dimly-lit subterranean hallway, the tiny bathroom was not only cold due to the open window but downright grimy. The floor-length window was covered by a long curtain that did little to buffer the cool breeze nor improve the decor. Worst part though was that the bathroom stalls were so tight that I was forced to leave the door ajar. Sadly, the experience made for quite a blemish on an otherwise ideal evening dining out. I do hope to go back because the food was so darn good, but I will be sure to use the restroom beforehand.
They also have a “kookschool” which looks like a lot of fun. Click on the link above for more information.