The third instalment of our November-fine-dining-food-box-month was a local Amstelveen one: De Jonge Dikkert @ Home.
About the Restaurant
The name De Jonge Dikkert loosely translates to “the young tubby one”, referring to the 17th century windmill in which the restaurant is located for the past 25 years.
Early 2019 Marcel Bonda took over the kitchen to give De Jonge Dikkert a boost from a culinary and gastronomic perspective. He joined from Restaurant Bordeau where he first worked as sous-chef under Richard van Oostbrugge when Restaurant Bordeau had 2 Michelin stars. After Van Oostbrugge left in 2018 to start his own restaurant, 212, Bonda became Executive Sous-chef under Bas van Kranen and they retained 1 Michelin Star for Restaurant Bordeau.
In their most recent edition, Guide Michelin awarded De Jonge Dikkert a Bib Gourmand, just like in its 22nd prior editions. Gault Millau ranks them with 12/20. The restaurant is Membre d’Honneur of Les Jeunes Restaurateurs d’ Europe.
About the Menu
De Jonge Dikkert currently serves a weekly changing take out menu (@ Home 2.0, I guess referring to the second restaurant lock-down in the Netherlands). There is a fixed 4-course menu for €39,50. Pick up at the restaurant is possible on Friday through Sunday. For Fridays and Saturdays, there is also a pickup point at the pop-up wine store of Wijnhandel B.J. de Logie in Badhoevedorp, and home delivery is possible if you live in the larger Randstad area. The delivery charge is €27,50.
The starters and mains always have a vegetarian option, and you can just pick and choose from each of the courses. Consequently, we had a predominantly vegetarian menu, with the only exception being the seasonal Braised Venison with Red Cabbage and Cranberry Sauce that I chose for my main course. Options to expand your menu are homemade bread and butter (€4,50) as well as a cheeseboard (€8), which consists of five cheese, garnishes and bread.
Wine pairings are available as well; usually a choice between 6 rotating wines by the bottle, or 4 of them in sets of 2 bottles, one red and white each. That week the sets were €27,50 and €32,50. I had selected the set that contained an uncommon 2019 Tempranillo Blanco by Nivarius (a white blend of 85% Tempranillo Blanco, 5% Viura, 5% Malvasía, and 5% Maturana Blanca from the Rioja region in Spain). The other bottle was a 2018 Barbera d’Alba (by La Ca’növa; Piemonte, Italy), which turned out to pair nicely with the both the Venison and Brussels Sprouts.
I also ordered the Vuurzee Vonkelbier pairing, a large bottle of multi-award winning gastronomical beer (€19,50) by Dutch brewery De Goede & De Stoute. Made with Champagne yeast and Hungarian Pinot Noir grapes, it turned out to be a very refined, hoppy, yet fruity appetizer. I can highly recommend it, so do pick up a bottle if you ever come across it.
When I went to the restaurant to pickup the food box, I was offered a taste of the 2019 Quarzit Schiefer Riesling by Weingut Franzen – from the steepest slopes of Europe, 65%, in the German Mosel region – which was from the pairing set I didn’t order. A well executed marketing ploy, especially for easily persuaded, fear of missing out foodies like myself, so I took home one bottle of this great Riesling as well. 😏 A good thing that they have all the wines and beer already at the right drinking temperature too.
The food box does contain a lot of plastic containers, but at least most of them are recyclable. Besides the menu card, there is a leaflet with QR codes linking to Youtube videos on the food preparation as well as explanations on the cheeses and wines. There is also a link to the website for the allergens of that week’s menu.
I liked these short videos (between 1 and 2 minutes) as they have good visuals on both the contents, preparation and plating as well as written instructions, which made the preparation of the dishes as simple as it can get. The only kitchen utilities needed were a saucepan for the soup and an oven to bake off the breads and reheat the starter and main dishes. The main courses had written instructions on the leaflet as well. Although you can microwave them in their containers, you really shouldn’t. Just reheat them it in the oven to preserve the foods’ structural integrity.
Good products, ample portions, interesting taste combinations (Bergamot and Brussels Sprouts!) and use of cheese in the dishes. Relative downsides were the lentil soup (which tasted great but was very thick and the brick pastry sheets were rather greasy) and the dessert (looked beautiful, but the amaretti got soggy from the sauce and the candied orange peel was quite chewy and very bitter). Even though not everything was perfect, we were overall very pleased with the food box by De Jonge Dikkert and the wines!