Amsterdam Restaurant Week 2009 – Still No Reservations

The summer edition of Restaurant Week will hit Amsterdam August 24 to 30, 2009. Reservations open tomorrow at 10am. But be warned, getting a good reservation in 2009 is just as impossible as in previous years.

Restaurant week is a great idea that in Amsterdam suffers from two major flaws: First of all too many average restaurants participate with menus that are not worth the fixed rate of €25,- for a three course dinner. And secondly restaurant week is so popular that it’s hard to get a reservation.

Like all diningcity subscribers I received an email with a link that allows me to make reservations 24 hours before the official start. I tried as soon as I had received the email and was greeted by a site that was largely unresponsive and generated time out errors. When I finally got through, all the good restaurants were already fully booked! And that’s a day before the official opening of reservations.

Michelin star restaurants La Rive and Ron Blaauw were just unavailable as the Brasserie in the Amstel Hotel, Christophe, and Lute in Ouderkerk. I just checked again and 44 out of 155 restaurants are already fully booked.

And while €25,- for a three course dinner is a great deal at the top Amsterdam restaurants, it’s really not worth it for places like cocktail lounge Barça, simple eetcafe De Duvel or average at best Italian l’Incontro. Sounds more like a cheap way to fill these restaurants than a way to make an exquisite cuisine available to everyone for a few days.

I did get a reservation for Oriental 128 which I was curious to try out. Oriental 128 is a high end Chinese on Amstelveenseweg that gets good reviews for its specialty dishes and wine list.

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