Weihenstephan and Charcuterie at As

The folks at As found the perfect location for their restaurant. The terrace is right on the edge of Beatrix park, both quiet and somewhat mysterious – you certainly wouldn’t expect a restaurant here. And the building is part of a former church complex which makes it creative and inspiring. Throw in the creatively designed interior, with long, simple yet stylish tables and benches.

I sat down on one of the tables for a quick break and was in for a pleasant surprise: As serves Weihenstephan, a great, smooth, slightly sweet Weiss-bier that fills your glass with a nice cloud of yeast from poured from the bottle.

I had a charcuterie platter with my Weihenstephan – just a great combination for lunch on a terrace. The platter had parma ham, lard, chorizo, salami and little lumps of meat that made me very curious. The waitress, who had explained all cold cuts in great detail, challenged me to try and guess. The flavor was that of very tender, marinated beef. But the consistency was much smoother.

Turned out they were “eendenmaag” (literally “duck stomachs”; please post a comment if you know the correct English word). I had never had them before and must say they are delicious.

The parma ham, usually the star of such a platter, was the least good: cut too think and very salty. The chorizo on the other hand was great. I often find chorizo too fat and overwhelming because of too many spices. The one at As was good and clean. I also very much liked the salami with a subtle anise flavor.

I will definitely be back for dinner – a set menu, made from ingredients found fresh on the market that same morning. Seems that more people have discovered this gem – reservations were recommended.

Google maps: Prinses Irenestraat 19, Amsterdam

Web site: www.restaurantas.nl

“As” in NY Times article “36 Hours in Amsterdam