[Zwolle] De Librije - 3* Innovative Gastronomy in Netherlands
Our next stop after Copenhagen in Europe was Amsterdam where we stayed in a super posh houseboat for the first time! We spent a few days exploring the city and had some of the best apple pies and Dutch pancakes ever before taking a day trip out to Zwolle to dine at the 3 Michelin star and #38 on World's 50 Best Restaurant De Librije for lunch. The train ride from Amsterdam to Zwolle took a little over an hour and we walked through some beautiful scenery in the city center before arriving at the restaurant inside the Librije Hotel. Located in a monumental former women's prison from the 18th century, De Librije is run by husband and wife team Jonnie and Thérèse Boer and serves modern innovative dishes based on authentic regional ingredients and cutting-edge cooking techniques.
A tasting menu of 5, 6 and 7 courses are available for €175.5, €185 and €192.5 respectively but the way you order here is a little different from just a set tasting menu in that you get to select the ingredients for 4 dishes and the chef will supplement the rest to make the meal a little more exciting and surprising. You can also order a la carte from 8 classic dishes selected from the past 17 years and a vegetarian menu as well. The meal turned out to be amazing with uniquely flavored dishes and it's not to be missed by anyone visiting Netherlands!
We passed through the stylish lounge and were asked if we wanted to grab a drink first but since we were famished, we headed straight into the dining room which is situated in the inner courtyard with a beautiful glass roof.
I loved the huge amount of natural light and trees surrounding us in the main dining room which made me feel like I was dining in a garden.
The unique drinking glass and ceramic bread plate at De Librije.
The chef collaborated with knife manufacturer Ryusen Hamono in Japan to create the ultimate steak knife for De Librije.
Crispy puff with Holland shrimp
Spiced peanut crisp
Cuttlefish with seaweed crisp
Cheek of cod fish with sesame sauce
"May I have your hand please?" The next dish of steak tartare and oyster was assembled right on our hands! It started with a drop of oyster cream, topped with a leaf of lettuce with "Roodbont IJssel beef" tartare, followed by chive mayonnaise and a Pommes souffle, and finished with a slice of oyster and some Ankums blauw (oyster leaves). You can watch how it was assembled here!
The last of our amuse bouche was brioche with bacon.
Amazingly soft butter to go with the delicious grain bread that is made locally.
My first course was "Gagel" with brown crab and foie gras. The crab was smoked in a wooden box at our table so we were enticed by the smokiness beforehand.
Oyster with spruce and tulip
The langoustine with kombucha and "Boemboe" turned out to be one of my favorite dishes of the meal! Served with green bean juice, the langoustine had been marinated in the kombucha for 4 hours and seasoned with Indonesian spices.
Scallop with young sunflower, coconut, sherry and mushroom
Monkfish with fermented peppers and eggplant
River trout with eel, fennel and lemon grass
Kamper lamb with ceps and seaweed
Roe deer with cabbage and "royal sauce Mangalica"
The first of our desserts was a toasted white chocolate with pistachio and blue cheese.
I wasn't so sure that the foie gras with dried apple and celeriac worked for me as a dessert though.
The "Gin & Jonnie" dessert was made with a gin that the chef created by himself.
The coffee ice cream with cardamom arrived in a cute sack while kept cool on ice pack.
"Flavors In and Around the Forest": wild mushrooms with dark chocolate, spruce top caramel with salt, elderflower with white chocolate, and juniper with lemon. We were really impressed with the chocolates as the flavors of nature were infused with the chocolate perfectly!
Our last dish was small avacado with fennel and pistachio.
8011 ZZ Zwolle, Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 38 421 2083
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