When heading for Amsterdam in February, we did the mandatory preparations at home: checking every possible list of best restaurants in town that the Internet holds. Our restaurant of choice was Guts and Glory, a restaurant that opened in 2015 by chefs Guillaume de Beer, Freek van Noortwijk and their business partner Johanneke van Iwaarden. The restaurant has a unique concept of chapters: a menu that changes in every three months and is always based on some location, it is almost like a travel diary of sorts. We were intrigued by the concept of chapters, and it felt that the restaurant was doing something of more experimental cooking. The restaurant is on two floors, a bar-like space downstairs and the more ”restaurant ”-restaurant upstairs, with an industrial roughness in its style.
This chapters cuisine was from Normandy, and we ordered the menu (6 courses). To start with we got garden snails with lemon sauce as the kitchen’s greeting. One got little needles to pry the snail from their snells. They were interesting, to say the least, with a fresh lemony taste.
The actual menu, although perhaps being loyal to the chapter, felt a bit monotonous, with fish, that was grilled to almost resemble sausage. After that was some meat, that felt a bit too similar. The menu lacked some freshness and variation; or, as we ate at the last days of the chapter, the chef’s had become tired of the menu already?
Eating through the fish and the soup and the sauce, we started feeling slightly disappointed. The experimental cooking, we felt, was not that experimental. And the dessert continued on the same path. Oh, it happens all the time: a dessert made from ice cream (salty or made from tea) on a bed of fruit in sauce — why cannot anyone (it seems) make a surprising last dish?
Fridaymouse can unfortunately not recommend a visit to Guts and Glory based on this experience, but we hope the next chapters are better.