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Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Merry Christmas to all of you.

A handsome guard waiting for Santa.
A handsome guard waiting for Santa.


I wish you a merry Christmas. This year we do not have a white Christmas but the spirit is great.

04:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Restaurant Christophe generation shift of a star

The very elegant front.
The very elegant front.
Jean-Joel Bonsens the new owner of Restaurant Christophe.
Jean-Joel Bonsens the new owner of Restaurant Christophe.

The re-designed interior. It was very tasteful and classic.
The re-designed interior. It was very tasteful and classic.
The amazing flat dutch oysters I had.
The amazing flat dutch oysters I had.

The lobster tail seemed very good.
The lobster tail seemed very good.
My roasted pheasant.
My roasted pheasant.

A quick tour in the kitchen.
A quick tour in the kitchen.

Restaurant Christophe has been a culinary institution in Amsterdam for nearly 20 years. 16 of those they have had a star in the guide Michelin. However on the 28th they lost it. I visited the day after. It was a sad day. The chef, Jean-Joel, now owner,  who has led the kitchen scratched his head, in the bar. We had a great chat about the star system and wondered why he lost it. He had been in the kitchen the past 15 years. The only reason he could think of was that the owner of the restaurant had changed and this was seem to be a reason for degradation. One can of course understand that management affects the product and service and might like to put his or her stamp. But in this case power gets concentrated to man already in the kitchen. It is widely known in foodie circles that the stars are a big thing. This was the first time I saw what it feels like  to loose it. The benefit I had of this was that it was a quiet night which gave me a chance to talk to the staff, roam around and with good company it became a great evening. One of the lessons I have learned is that it pays of to listen to the staff regarding menu choice. I followed their recommendation and this was easily a 1 star meal, with the oysters being the stars. I also took up their offer to share a pheasant which was a good choice. The service was attentive and very professional. The decoration and lighting re-done in September was very suitable to their food. I would be surprised if they maintain this level of standard that they would not earn back their star for next year.

03:38 PM in Restaurants | Permalink | Comments (4)