Amsterdam's Pantry: A Restaurant Review
Recently while in Amsterdam, my husband and I had the distinct pleasure of dining at The Pantry. We were looking for a traditional Dutch meal and fortunately found this restaurant which was a real treat.
The Pantry is located on a side street in the Leidseplein area of Holland. The actual address is Leidsekruisstraat 21 1017 RE Amsterdam, but coming from the U.S. that address is Greek to me...oh, please excuse me, I mean Dutch to me but I think you get the idea! I If you are not familiar with the Leidseplein area, it's a large square area in Amsterdam that is famous for having a great nightlife. This area is filled with restaurants ranging from gourmet, to Italian to traditional Dutch to McDonalds, as well as night clubs and theatres. The hours for the restaurant are from 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. which is a testimony to how busy this area of the city is due to all the evening attractions there. There are shops and pastry carts sprinkled throughout the streets as well, although most of these are not open that late.
From the outside, the Pantry looks quite simple. But once inside the restaurant doors, you will feel welcomed by not only the interior, but the staff as well. The interior is faintly lit and decorated with quaint wooden tables and chairs that may be a bit too close together for some patrons. The dim lighting and the closeness of the tables helps give the restaurant a cozy feeling. There are old Dutch artifacts and paintings decorating the walls.
The restaurant specializes in traditional Dutch dishes. For a tourist, being able to experience these dishes with the help of an extremely friendly and helpful staff makes a visit a very memorable one. The staff speak English as well as Dutch and are more than happy to suggest traditional choices based on customer's food preferences. They are also happy to share their extensive wine list with you.
Cold appetizers range from bread with herb butter ( extremely delicious herb butter I would add) costs 3.50 Euros, but for the more adventurous diner, smoked eel on toast runs 9.75 Euros and Salted Herring with onions and pickles runs 7.50 Euros.
Soup of the Day
The Soup of the Day is usually pea soup which is quite delicious and thick. It is served with rye bread and thick slabs of smoked bacon and runs 5.65 Euros but is definitely worth it.
For vegetarians, your choice consists of cheese fondue with bread, raw vegetables and salad for 14.50 Euros or Salad with toasted honey apples, walnuts and bread.
The menu at the Pantry was quite versatile with dishes that would appeal to many a tourist. There were contemporary items like Dutch ham, salted pork chops, fillet of sea bass, and a salmon dish. But my husband and I wanted to make sure we had traditional Dutch food. There is a special section on the menu labelled just that! We were not quite sure which dish to order.The waitress gave us a full description of all the Dutch dishes on the menu. My husband decided on Zuurkoolstamppot which is mashed potatoes mixed with sauerkraut and served with smoked sausage or a meatball. He chose the sausage and was thrilled with his meal as sauerkraut is a favorite food of his. His meal came to 12.50 Euros.
I chose a savoury beef with onions dish which also came with mashed potatoes and red cabbage. I wasn't too sure if I would like the red cabbage but it was very good. The potatoes were delicious and creamy and there was no doubt about whether they were real of not, as there sometimes is when dining at restaurants in the United States. My meal came to 14.60 Euros and was well worth every one!
For dessert, there are not many options but options there are looked delicious. We chose to share a delightful dessert of Pofferties which are mini pancakes served with melted butter and powdered sugar. They were delectable and worth the price of 5.00 Euros.
The meals, cozy atmosphere and attentive waitstaff at this restaurant do not disappoint and if you are in Amsterdam, I highly recommend the Pantry restaurant. We enjoyed it so much, we went back again the evening before we left to savor the Dutch atmosphere and food just one more time.
Dutch Food Poll
If you were to visit this restaurant, which dish sounds the best to you?
Other Places to Visit in Amsterdam...
- Amsterdam: The Rijk's Museum
The Rijk's Museum in Amsterdam is an amazing collection of Dutch Art through the ages. It's most amazing exhibits include paintings by the Dutch masters including Rembrandt. ( Photos included)
- Amsterdam: The Heineken Experience
A tour of the Heineken Exeprience is full of interactive experiences and 2 beers are included in the price. One of Amsterdam's most fun tourist attractions.
- The Bikes of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is full of bicycles and here are some interesting pictures and facts about a few of them.