Restaurant Review: Bluespoon
Dinner our last night in Amsterdam was at a lovely hotel restaurant called BlueSpoon that featured a small, cozy dining room that was completely open to the large kitchen, so all diners could feel a strong connection to the cooking staff while waiting on their delicious meals. The chefs worked hard but quietly as we pondered the stunning menu of delectable options. Though it wasn't a large menu, I had some serious struggles deciding what to order because everything looked absolutely amazing. We ordered as much as we possibly could that didn't seem to be overbearing for two people to split. To start, we split an order of the Pumpkin Risotto, which was offered as an entree but brought to us as an appetizer. Cooked inside a tiny pumpkin, the creamy risotto had a warm, decadent flavor that was amplified extensively when you got a scoop of pumpkin meat to go along with it. It was every bit as good as any pumpkin dish I've ever had, and the presence of an actual pumpkin on the plate made it all the more festive. We had our fair share of pumpkin items this weekend (steered clear of pumpkin spice lattes, surprisingly, though). Alongside the risotto we shared a vegetable appetizer called salsify, which was essentially fried carrot with hollandaise sauce served over a bed of arugula feta and artichoke salad, all of which had the richest flavor and gave us tastes of many different things in only our first course. For an entree, I opted for the halibut, a fish I have not had since the days of cooking dinner with my parents in the late days of August, but one I am extremely fond of for its rich, meaty texture and ability to transform depending on flavoring. This one did not disappoint. It was an extremely thick cut of fish, and had a perfect texture to it, not to mention the most snow-white coloring on the inside with a crispy, pan-seared surface. It was served with a creamy sweet-and-sour puree and came with mussels that added their own flavor in a separate sauce drizzled over top. While I am not a huge fan of mussels, the shellfish sauce definitely added an interesting twist to an otherwise very sweet dish. I enjoyed every bite of this perfectly sized dish before we turned our attention to the dessert menu. While everything looked outstanding, we opted to split both the milk chocolate creme brulee and the pear hazelnut crumble. The creme brulee was a decadent chocolatey flavor with hints of dulce de leche and a dark chocolate truffle on top, with all the flavors and textures combining perfectly to make each bite rich in chocolate and sweetness. The crumble featured so many different elements beginning with the crumbly crust of hazelnuts and cookie topping, a sweet fruity medley in the center, and a layer of warm vanilla cream coating the bottom, which didn't take long to get to. Also alongside was a scoop of the most delicious vanilla ice cream that complemented each bite of the dish in the most flawless way possible. No taste of this dinner went without raving, and nearly every bite was eaten of the dishes we ordered. The environment also contributed to our enjoyment of dinner. The restaurant was very quiet, but the majority of the tables were filled with happy diners. Like most everyone I encountered in Amsterdam, the staff was extremely warm and friendly, making us feel welcome and appreciated the entire evening. A little dog even sat at the table behind us, showing just how accommodating and kind the restaurant was. This is a must if you're looking for a nicer meal in Amsterdam. One of the best meals I've had since coming to Europe!