Craft & Draft – For the first round Eric had the Dugges/All In Brewing Pear are you Jonathan? Berliner Weisse (Sweden) and I had the Brouwerij De Vriendschap NDSM Porter (Amsterdam). Since these were 25cl pours, we both opted for a second round, a pink colored Buxton Red Rye Raspberry (England) for Eric and the tasty and strong Redwillow Thoughtless Imp. Stout (England) for me. The selection of beers was quite impressive with several American craft beers represented.
Our friends wanted us to try a smoked meat place, Café de Klos, for dinner so we put our names on the list and headed across the street to grab a beer at their sister bar. We only had to wait 20 minutes or so for a chance to order some tasty dinner. After finishing up our La Chouffe from the bar across the street, we each enjoyed a house tripel, De Manke Monnik (The Lame Monk). Oh, and the meats were delicious too!
Later that evening Eric mentioned a whiskey bar he had found so we headed out to find it. Whiskycafe L&B was an awesome hole-in-the-wall bar with bottles everywhere! Definitely one of the best whiskey bars we’ve experienced, good enough that we returned the next night too. Both nights we went we were able to grab a seat and it never got loud or super-crowded. First visit: Benriach Curiositas (quite tasty nice light smoke, little sugar and sweet), Benriach Septendecim and Benriach Arumaticus Fumosus (both peaty and delicious). Second visit: Caol Ila 17 (1991) for Eric and the GlenDronach Revival 15 for me.
Sunday morning is rather slow in Amsterdam for food, but we weren’t interested in the relatively expensive hotel breakfast. Instead we grabbed two almond croissants at a nearby Le Pain Quotidien that was conveniently open for takeaway.
After our tour of the gardens we walked and trammed to get to Brouwerij ‘t IJ (pronounced Brewery TIE) where we had a nice shaded outdoor spot to enjoy two rounds of the Zatte (tripel) for Eric and the Natte (dubbel) for me with our friends.
Later in the day with a little time before dinner we stopped into one of our favorite little pubs in Amsterdam, Arendsnest, for Dutch beers. I went for the Emelisse dubbel and Eric tried the Folie a Duex saison. Then we split a small pour of the Two Chefs Dirty Katarina imperial stout and enjoyed conversation with the chatty bartenders.
After a quick recharge back at the hotel, we met our friends again for pizza at Restaurant Antonio’s. We took a break from beer and opted for wine with this meal! Our pizzas were well crafted, simple and filling.
We had a few more choices for breakfast this morning, so Eric got us a tasty ham/cheese croissant and an almond croissant from Simon Meijssen bakery this morning. Yum.
After wandering around Utrecht for the day, we made it to back to Amsterdam right around 5:30p, so we stopped in to Restaurant Kartika for an early Indonesian dinner. We didn’t have reservations, but they were able to fit us in (as long as we vacated the table for the 7:15 reservation). Everything was really delicious. The peanut and chili dipping sauces were especially tasty and my lamb curry was falling apart and very flavorful. Eric’s beef rendang also hit the spot. Although not as spicy as the versions we had in Lombok and Bali because of the Dutch palates, the flavors were still fantastic.
We hit one last spot, In de Wildeman, before picking up our luggage and heading to the hotel airport. I had already enjoyed the Dirty Katerina from Two Chefs, so here I opted for their Howling Wolf imperial porter while Eric chose the Girardin Oude Lambik. I liked mine but unfortunately Eric found the lambic to be only mildly sour and a little bitter.
All told we visited a few of our favorites from last time and discovered a wonderful whiskey bar. A good trip for us!