Heavenly Rembrandt takes dining to a higher level


From September 21st till October 4th (Rembrandt’s date of death), the Rembrandt Tower Boardroom in Amsterdam is transformed into a pop-up, high-end restaurant called Heavenly Rembrandt. During these two weeks you get to experience a 5-course dinner on the highest level of the Dutch capital. A dinner experience like no other, with breath-taking panoramic views and surrounded by art works from the master himself, as an exclusive preview of the exposition ‘The Naked Truth’ opening in Museum The Rembrandt House in 2016. [continue reading after jump]

Hanna Hachula

photo by Hanna Hachula

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The 5 courses are created by 5 young and talented sous-chefs from renowned Dutch restaurants. Star-chef Wilco Berends oversees the team. All dishes are related to the works of Rembrandt and his pupils. The five sous-chefs are: Danny Biesot from Restaurant de Basiliek, Frank Bakkenes from Vrienden van Jacob, Niels van Dooijeweert from Restaurant het Koetshuis, Otto Genz from Restaurant de Nederlanden and Tommy Janssen from De Burgemeester.

Sous Chefs

photo by Hanna Hachula

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The cold starter by Danny Bissot is an onion cylinder encasing a lobster salad with candied foie gras, green apple compote and a light mousse of cèpes with sautéed potato cubes, accompanied by a Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Greywacke from Marlborough. The contemporary and delicate elements of this dish transport you to the Golden Age and Rembrandt’s wealthy life.

Heavenly Rembrandt

Tommy Janssen is responsible for the first entremets: langoustine with goat milk mousse, cream of Jerusalem artichoke, sliced beef marrow, mirabelle plum, bacon, herring caviar and pumpkin seed with a glass of Riesling Loiserberg. We know that Rembrandt regularly ate herring on white bread. On this rather sober diet, he meticulously and colourfully painted a great number of biblical scenes. This dish, rich in both colour and detail, is a direct reference to Rembrandt’s colourful period.

Heavenly Rembrandt

The second entremets by Niels van Dooijeweert, are two preparations of scallops with tomato carvings, puffed wild rice, lemon verbena and kaffir lime. (personally my favourite) The wine served with this dish is a Tuscan Poggio Argentato. The hues of the wild rice symbolize the interplay of light and darkness that the artist famously portrayed. Rembrandt was a master in the claire-obscure technique.

Heavenly Rembrandt

The main dish is hay-smoked (farmed) rabbit with servings of carrot, crispy leek, raisins and a sauce of rabbit and caraway. This dish is of the hands of Frank Bakkenes. The ‘exotic’ spices first introduced to the Netherlands in the Golden Age by the Dutch West India Company transformed rabbit into a truly festive dish at that time. The elegant aromas and harmonious flavours of this course allude to the sophisticated manner in which Rembrandt always created a perfect balance in his compositions.

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The dessert by Otto Genz is a true piece of art: Pannacotta of eucalyptus with smoked Earl Grey tea crumble, various preparations of Rembrandt apple marinated fennel, tarragon and a Granny Smith sorbet in a chocolate apple. It is served on a limited edition plate, an etching, engraving and drypoint of the 1658 Woman sitting half dressed beside a stove. The dessert wine is a sweet Riesling Spätlese Oestrich-Lenchen.

On the occasions that Rembrandt sought respite from his busy life in Amsterdam he escaped the city to make sketches of nature. The green colours and fine structures in this dessert symbolize the landscapes that Rembrandt skilfully depicted with his stylus. One of his favourite places to capture these depictions of nature was along the Amstel river, opposite the Rembrandt Tower. From here, he drew atmospheric landscapes like ‘De Omval’.

Heavenly Rembrandt

The dining experience is daily and starts at 8.30 p.m. with aperitivos and canapés, followed by a short introduction about the exposition by the conservator. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Price is € 225. This includes the wine, exposition, 5 courses, coffee and € 30 donation to the Rembrandthuis to acquire a new art work. For reservations: www.rtboardroom.nl

#spon – This was a complimentary press event. Nonetheless, I only share products or recommend places I like and are good for my readers.

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