To treat my friend Martijn for his birthday, I took him to dinner at De Juwelier. Chef Richard van Oostenbrugge of two-Michelin star restaurant 212 has opened up two new restaurants around the corner: De Juwelier and Bistro De La Mer, which both have 1 Michelin star. I picked De Juwelier for Martijn, as it is an informal restaurant even though it has a Michelin star. De Juwelier is à la carte only, with a choice of three appetizers (13-18 euros), three in-between courses (18-23 euros), four mains (28-53 euros), cheese, and three desserts (8-13 euros). The dishes are a modern take on classic French bistro cooking, with many dishes including offal (veal brains, pork head, bone marrow, foie gras, oxtail, pig’s ears). Since I did not want to scare off Martijn on his first Michelin dining experience, I stayed away from the more exotic choices like veal brains. There is an extensive wine list, with a lot of choices from Burgundy. The selection of wines by the glass is a bit limited, with no ‘premium’ choices.
We started with a nice glass of champagne, blanc de blancs and thus 100% Chardonnay, aged 30 months on the lees.
At this à la carte even the amuse bouche are à la carte (and have to be paid for). We opted for skewers with artichoke, Dutch cured ham, anchovies, and a mayonnaise inspired by bagna cauda.
The waiter recommended this 2010 Meursault Limozin by Guy Bocard, which was nice although a bit past its prime.
As appetizer we had Irish Mor oysters with a shallot granité and oyster emulsion. The oysters were delicious and creamy and a good pairing with the shallots.
As in between course we had grilled white asparagus with Dutch cured hame and a sage mousseline. The asparagus had just the right amount of char and just the right amount of crunch, and the combination with the sauce worked very well.
From the wines available by the glass I thought that the Amarone would work best with the main course.
The main course was reconstructed oxtail. The meat had been taken off the bone and put back together in the shape of a piece of oxtail, and filled with bone marrow and served with butter lettuce and foamy polenta. The oxtail was truly delicious with a nicely browned flavor, and some bite without being tough. It worked well with the Amarone.
I did not feel like dessert, and opted for cheese instead. There was a choice between 3 cheeses or 5 cheeses. Since they ranged from goat cheese to blue cheese, it would be impossible to pair all of them with a single glass of wine. So I asked whether it would be possible to pick which 3 of the 5 cheeses to have. The waiter first said that usually the kitchen picks the cheeses, but when I insisted he asked the kitchen and it was possible after all.
I would have liked a nice glass of red Burgundy with the cheese, but they only had quite ‘simple’ red Burgundy by the glass that was quite thin (it was nice that I was allowed to taste them before ordering a glass). And so I opted for a glass of Haut-Médoc that was elegant and quite nice to go with the cheese. Martijn did have a dessert, but none of the dessert wines offered by the glass would work with it. With the limited number of desserts on the menu, it should be possible to offer at least one choice of dessert wine for each dessert that is a good pairing.
The food at De Juwelier is very good and certainly worthy of a Michelin star. The prices are very reasonable, especially considering this is in downtown Amsterdam. The wine list by the bottle is fine, but the selection of wines by the glass is a bit limited and the advice about the wine could be improved. We had a very enjoyable evening here.