Right upon entering, bistrot neuf grabs you with a charming mix of buzz and bottles. There is a very present energy as you enter from busy Haarlemmerstraat, passing by the open kitchen located by the entrance, squeezing past other guests and personnel in the densely furnished dining room. At the same time, there’s a great sense of old fashioned love for food and wine as you find yourself surrounded by endless racks of wine bottles, bare brick walls in earthy colors and the specials of the day written on the blackboard.
bistrot neuf is all about wine: the restaurant works together closely with wine store Chabrol next door, has a substantial list of close to 100 different wines, of which more than 80 are available by the glass, and makes a specific wine suggestion for each dish on the menu. We decided on sharing a bottle and found the waiter very knowledgeable about all wines and comfortable at making non-standard suggestions. We ended up with a surprisingly multi-faceted Côtes du Rhône that required frequent refills.
In true French brasserie spirit, bistrot neuf works with a fixed price choice menu, which is a great deal at € 29,- for a starter, main and dessert. And the menu is classic French too with starters like onion soup and snails Bourgogne style, mains like Boeuf Bourguignon and Cassoulet, and all time favorites Crème brûlée and Mousse au chocolat for dessert. We loved the homemade pâté with cornichons, which was coarse and fresh. The mussels for main were also great, making us slurp up every last bit. The duck was cooked just right but lacking flavor.
Service was a little on and off. Our table wasn’t ready when we got there, but it was quickly arranged. We got great advice for the wine, but had to wait quite a while to get menus. Overall staff seemed competent and friendly but also somewhat hurried and at their limit to keep everything running smoothly.
bistrot neuf has quickly become one of the places to be. It has established itself as one of Amsterdam’s hot spots in less than half a year and getting a reservation has already gotten harder. So go there soon and enjoy the wine and liveliness.
1013 EH Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 400 32 10
Open every day 12pm to 11pm
Public Transport: Tram 1, 2, 5, 13, or 17 to Martelaarsgracht
Price: €35 to €55 per person
A slightly modified version of this article also appeared in the November edition of Amsterdam Magazine – Beyond Windmills, Wooden Shoes and Weed.