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paulbrussel

De Librije - Zwolle - Holland

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Yesterday Derek Brown announced in Maastricht that another restaurant in the Netherlands got a third Michelin star: De Librije in Zwolle with the young chef Jonnie Boer.

This restaurant belongs to the more modern and creative restaurants of the Netherlands, together with Vermeer in Amsterdam (chef: Pascal Jalhaij) and Oud Sluis (Sergio Herman). The latter have two stars in the Michelin guide.

Beluga in Maastricht (chef: Hans van Wolde) got it's second star; he is a more modern cooking chef on a classic base.

(The other three starred restaurant in the Netherlands is the more classic but personal cooking Cees Helder of Parkheuvel in Rotterdam, who got his third star in 2002.)

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paulbrussel.

I'm in a right quick quandry. I failed to get reservations at De Librije (I got lazy and sat too long) :hmmm:

So, I'm considering the following options:

1. Parkheuvel

2. de Bokkedoorns

3. Vermeer (I think it was demoted to 1 star?)

Any news as of late. I like more modern/nouveau - but I also like to be full after paying a lot of money... so value for price is also a consideration. Just to give you an idea of my tastes:

1. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Oud Sluis.

2. Was really rather unimpressed with Beluga.

Thanks!

U.E.

UPDATE: called De Librije again hoping for a cancellation - to no avail... so I've decided to go to de Bokkedoorns. Will update upon return.

Yesterday Derek Brown announced in Maastricht that another restaurant in the Netherlands got a third Michelin star: De Librije in Zwolle with the young chef Jonnie Boer.

This restaurant belongs to the more modern and creative restaurants of the Netherlands, together with Vermeer in Amsterdam (chef: Pascal Jalhaij) and Oud Sluis (Sergio Herman). The latter have two stars in the Michelin guide.

Beluga in Maastricht (chef: Hans van Wolde) got it's second star; he is a more modern cooking chef on a classic base.

(The other three starred restaurant in the Netherlands is the more classic but personal cooking Cees Helder of Parkheuvel in Rotterdam, who got his third star in 2002.)


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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UPDATE: I finally posted my review of lunch at Oud Sluis.

I really enjoy reading your reviews! EUR 45 for the delights you were served seems amazing value for money. (It almost makes sense for me to fly to The Netherlands for lunch...)

Charley

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EUR 45 for the delights you were served seems amazing value for money.  (It almost makes sense for me to fly to The Netherlands for lunch...)

Charley

One slight edit to this: the coffee and mignardises cost something like 10 Euros extra... but, still a good value all-in-all.

I see you're listed in Austria - if so, GO GO GO to Obauer in Werfen.

U.E.

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Somehow wired that there is not much buzz about De Librije. My recent meal at a gourmet week at Burg Schwarzenstein in the Rheingau/Germany suggests that Jonnie's cusine is truly unique - modern, interesting and regional, much different than Sergio Herman. This is a must for any foodie - bravo, Jonnie and Thérèse Boer!

Full report with pictures here: http://highendfood.wordpress.com/2009/03/1...nie-boer-bravo/

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IFS, I agree, it has been 3-star for years but there are just too few reports on Jonnie Boer's cuisine. It is a bit a detour from Amsterdam, but I am glad I did manage to make a visit as it turned out to be one of my top 10 restaurants ever! The food seems to be quite different from your experience in 2009; a good reason for a revisit:)

There were about 6 or 7 of little surprises before the first course and they were all outstanding!

DL1.jpg

Here are a few highlights:

A fermented red cabbage juice surrounded by a spiralling foie gras garnished with hazelnut milk curd, sea crab meat, and black olive gel.

Seared shrimps with various seeds and nuts sticking out from the pumpkin mousse. These shrimps were almost raw with a soft and moist texture; having them barely cooked is certainly the best way to enjoy such beauties. We were amazed at the quality of these Dutch produce.

DL2.jpg

And the cheese course was extraordinary! With a fair amount of hesitation, I scooped a spoon full with a bit of everything - the thick chorizo cream, a piece of potato, a slice of rabbit kidney, and one of the liquid balls, and let them all interact in my mouth. First came the explosion of this salty Époisses Burgundy cheese; but it was quickly washed away by the deep chorizo cream; then dominated by the soft potato and the crunchy kidney. Sounded bizarre but we all agreed that it was a brilliant cheese course!

Not going to repeat my experience course by course but you can see it all here if you are interested:

http://www.finedinin...e/delibrije.php

Or a quick video here:

We visited Oud Sluis the following day but the experience was disappointing in comparison!

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In 2007, I was traveling alone to visit a few 3-star restaurants in Belgium and Holland such as Hof van Cleve and Oud Sluis. Looking back to those times and my restaurant notes … I just realized that I’ve never returned to that regions for about a decade. My meals at both places above were memorable, but not really sure why I “didn’t bother” to return or try some other places around there. Well, finally I made another return to Netherlands using Amsterdam as my base last year. One of the most important reasons was a visit to arguably the current finest restaurant in that country – De Librije.

 

The access to De Librije was not too complicated; just a short train ride to the small & beautiful town of Zwolle. “The Library’s” current location used to be an old prison building in which the main dining room was located in the ‘jail courtyard’. It was a huge and impressive dining room with very high glass ceilings stood elegantly under the support of black steel structures – plenty of natural lights but the temperature inside was still cooling. There were plenty of big and real plants as well. Given the space and kitchen’s size, De Librije could easily accommodate more people but the owners (Jonnie and Therese Boer) chose to keep it as it is to maintain the quality.

 

As my spouse and I were enjoying our aperitifs and canapes, we could spot the owners right away. Chef Jonnie Boer was even the one who passed the menu to us and explained how the meals would work. Unlike most gastronomy restaurants which require the whole table to order the tasting menu with the same courses, at De Librije, the kitchen was comfortable and welcomed each guest to order different dishes with the aim so that guests could share some dishes. After a few snacks, Therese came and took the order. Then, one by one tables at the main dining room were filled and then the real show began.

 

The degustation menu was impressive. The whole experience was probably even better than the sum of its parts. That being said, there were many remarkable individual dishes nevertheless such as:

 

-In river Perch dish, Jonnie Boer elevated the humble kruudmoes (a combination of buttermilk, bacon, barley etc.) to the gastronomy level. His version was refined and sophisticated yet still faithful to its origin. This perfectly complemented the freshwater Perch which was lovely, tasty and rather firm. It looked complex, but all elements worked harmoniously.

-The monkfish was perfectly cooked and succulent. The dish was carefully balanced by the fermented bell pepper, butter sauce and eggplant. A well-deserved classic dish.

-Strips of dry-aged local beef (luscious and tender) were carefully seared on one-side only, then dusted / seasoned by the ceps powder and middle eastern spices.

-This one was a very interesting dessert as the main ingredient happened to be a duck liver. The litchi with some aromatic vinegar nicely cut through the poached foie gras rich flavor while the apricot seed gave some bitter sweet and nutty flavor to the dish – innovative

 

There were too many to mention all of the dishes we had; please check the link below for more details. Oh, don’t forget to order for at least 1 dish from the restaurant’s classic selection – proven to be ‘safe’ and superb. The wine selection by the glass had many international selection, reasonably priced and matched really well with the dishes. Therese Boer carefully & closely worked with her husband for years to produce this great pairing. Next time, probably I should order the full wine pairing.

 

The hospitality at De Librije was fun, relaxed yet professional. We could see that staffs enjoying their work; they did with ease and smiles. Laughter could easily be seen & heard during the waiters and guests’ interactions. Each table did not really have any assigned maître d’, yet (surprisingly) most staffs pretty much knew what’s going on and the sequence of your meals. Therese and Stefan de Wilde (the manager) did not only observe from a distance, but they lead by example - did hands on and sometimes served the guests themselves including our table.

 

The cooking at De Librije was indeed sublime and exciting. Even more impressive, most of the ingredients were sourced locally; Jonnie Boer has consistently been doing this more nearly 2 decades even though getting overseas luxurious produce couldn’t be any easier nowadays. It’s been a while since I ate at a restaurant for the first time in which the experience for both the food and the service was as amazing as this in Europe especially outside France. There’s no doubt that De Librije was an absolute 3-star establishment in my book.

 

More detailed review: http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.com/2018/05/de-librije-jonnie-boer.html

Meal photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7124357@N03/albums/72157692526036402/with/27496860868/

 

 

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