Posts Tagged ‘Almere’

Proeflokaal Bregje

Bregje almereLet me cut to the chase here. Although last night’s dinner company was wonderful, the food at the recently opened Proeflokaal Bregje in Almere left a lot to be desired (plus, came with a complimentary hair in my companion’s plate).
The concept sounded good: two courses for the wallet-friendly price of only €9,50 served between 5PM and 7PM, and a three-course option for €12,50 served from 7PM to 10PM. The menu? Equally appealing. Starters such as Angus steak tartare or prawn croquettes, a simple yet varied choice of mains (duck breast, too — my favorite!), and classic desserts such as tiramisu and crème brûlée. Oh, and cocktails. They even offered four cocktails, including yet another favorite of mine, the Cosmopolitan!
And that’s where all my expectations slowly started to crumble…
But let me rewind. When I walked in, I was warmly greeted by a very amiable gentleman who led me to the table where my friend was waiting. The place was packed and the interior cozy and inviting with rustic touches and a soft, shimmery glow courtesy of the single candles placed on each table. Exactly the kind of restaurant I’d want to whisk hubby off to for a romantic mid-week dinner à deux, I thought.
We ordered a Cosmo, we toasted, we sipped… and my heart sank. After tasting not much more than diluted cranberry juice, I swiftly picked up the drinks menu fearing I had chosen a virgin. Nope. Vodka and triple-sec were clearly listed. One-and-a-half wets of the whistle later, the prawn croquettes arrived, lukewarm and slightly soggy on the outside, but with a lime mayo that made them rather palatable. Luckily, with a few turns of the salt mill, the duck (served in an aromatic orange sauce) was edible. For me anyway, because my friend quickly lost her appetite when she discovered a hair halfway through the meal. By this time, we were wondering whether we should just leave and skip dessert.
We stayed, and the crème brûlée, unfortunately, did not make up for the rest one bit. Where was the vanilla and why skimp on the egg yolks? I suppose I know the answer to that question.
Interestingly enough, before joining my friend for dinner, I met up with a colleague for a glass of wine at another restaurant just a stone’s throw away, where, I should mention, €12,50 will hardly get you a main. It was painfully deserted and quite the contrast with the crowded Proeflokaal Bregje.
Cheap attracts, that’s for sure. Pity for the stylish interior and friendly staff, not to mention for the better, surrounding restaurants…and for us.

Lunch Date Saturday: Woodstone Almere

Woodstone AlmereIn my last post I was still pretty much uncertain as to where we would be headed for our Saturday lunch date. Bel Ami, one of my favorite restaurants, just updated their menu with a mouthwatering selection of autumn inspired dishes such as a seasonal salad with mushrooms and pumpkin, boeuf bourguignon and truffle risotto. I was actually pretty convinced we would end up there, but after a very lazy morning that started off with a huge breakfast of buttermilk waffles, bacon and eggs, it was suddenly 1:30 PM and I was still in my bathrobe.
We decided on Woodstone in Almere (one of their three locations), a place I had been to before, but for some reason hadn’t really warmed up to. Not sure why. Maybe circumstances. Perhaps I was a little under the weather then. Luckily, this time around, I can truly say that the experience (and the restaurant) did not disappoint.
After choosing a table (pretty easy as the place is huge and wasn’t at all busy), we ordered two glasses of their Italian Shiraz, an intensely inky wine full of ripe blackberries, with hints of chocolate and a nice, silky finish.
Woodstone AlmereThe menu is quite ample and offers starters, four varieties of pizzas (with a good selection within each variety), pastas, salads and desserts. There are plenty of healthy choices, too, and should you wish, your pizza base can be made gluten-free. Bonus points for the fact that they predominantly work with organic products. There is also a lunch menu, which consists of sandwiches. It looked interesting enough, but sandwiches never really cut it for me when I go out for a proper lunch.
The choice was quickly made. Hubby went for the ‘Pollo Pepperoni’ (tagliatelle with chunks of chicken and sausage in a spicy sauce of roasted peppers, garlic and basil). I had the ‘Mantello’, new on the menu, and so damn good it hurt. I swooned like Cinderella after each forkful of the ricotta-stuffed ravioli bathed in a truffle-infused velvety sauce with oyster mushrooms and spinach.  With our meal we ordered two other wines, the Negroamaro and the Fortant (enough choices by the glass). Both were quite pleasant.
Woodstone AlmereDessert was ‘Dolcetti’, a tiny sweet treat with a coffee of your choice. Hans went for the cheesecake with forest fruits and I chose the carrot cake. Espresso with both. A perfect way to end a nice Italian lunch at a restaurant we’re glad to have given a second chance.
Woodstone Almere

Eating Out: De Bergerrie

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Love this:

  • Pretty decent wine list, at reasonable prices, and wine by the carafe
  • Friendly service
  • French-style nonchalance, the same you’ll find at a village restaurant in ‘la France profonde’
  • Is this really Almere??
  • Varied menu, with seasonal choices
  • Cozy terrace, perfect for romantic dinners in the summer

This could be better:

  • Portion sizes of some dishes are just too much
  • Some might say that the decor is a little dated; personally, I think it has its charm

Where: De Bergerrie, Grote Markt 42-44, Almere

And the food? Excellent! Love their lunch ‘duo deal’ and the seasonal choices. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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