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A dinner to remember

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

One wouldn't necessarily think an "over-priced" dinner at a Two Michelin Star restaurant would be memorable, but come try the cuddle fish, brown seaweed, peanut, blueberry, goat cheese at Spectrum, and then come and talk to me.

Located in the garden level of the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, the restaurant itself is simple and understated, just as it should be. Who needs a razzle dazzle dining room when the food is the actual star of th evening.

I am no food critic. I like my meat and potatoes with the best of them, but tonight...I am a foodie. The most surprising dish of the evening was the Sardine. Think white asparagus, vanilla, foie gras + rhubarb. A fatty, deliciousness that was the most unexpected menu item. The absolute star of the show was the morel mushroom that accompanied the seasonal venison dish. Served on the side, the single component itself deserves at least one star if not two. It's really that good. Buttery, hearty goodness that rounded the dish and provided the perfect earthy balance to a dish that would stand on its own without.

Add in a wine paring for 7 of the 10 courses after a glass of champagne, and you get an evening that is exactly what you'd expect out of a perfect day in Europe.

My private tour guide Helen, arranged by the hotel concierge, led me around the city for 3 hours and took me to sights and neighborhoods the average tourist isn't likely to venture to. Rembrandt's house, shipyards turned family neighborhoods with petting zoos, a cafe with the most delicious chocolate cookie (think biscotti-dry with a dark chocolate sweetness that pairs perfectly with coffee of the strong Dutch variety), wandering around a city to the tune of 19,000 steps over the 3 hour tour and visits to multiple private courtyards. It was a perfect summer day.

After wandering around the Van Gogh Museum quickly and getting in trouble for taking photos with my camera, even though it was cleared with security before entering, I found my way to a local corner cafe for an afternoon latte. Sitting over the Herengracht canal and soaking in the sun, the latte from Brug34 was a great afternoon distraction. Not done with the afternoon sun, I ventured over to Cafe de Jaren and sat Canalside while sipping an a limoncello spritz, the cousin to the more famous Aperol Spritz that's taken the US by storm.

Like the Dutch, you soak in the sun while you can, and the weather has been absolutely stunning. Blue skies, warm and unforgettable. The sun sets around 10:45p and rises around 5a and allows you to make the most out of your holiday.

Just two weeks ago, rain and cooler temps kept the locals in their warmer clothes accordingly to tour-guide Helen. Seeing about everyone in the city sit beside the canals and enjoying the sunshine while socializing reminds me of summer afternoons while wine tasting in Colorado. Enjoyable, simple, and maybe more about the experience than anything else...

Getting back to dinner, it was rounded out my the most Amsterdam dish possible. The final dessert "Amsterdam Dame Blanche" consists of pure chocolate and weed. It tastes everything like you'd expect. I didn't love it but it was exactly what it should have been and left an absolute memorable impression on a Two Michelin Star dinner.

I'll share photos of the city tomorrow. I have PLENTY to share, but for tonight, soak in a little weed dessert. Go ahead, be jealous...I would be if I was reading from the other side of the pond too.

Not gloating, I promise. Thankful, beyond words for this trek around the globe.

-Cole from Colorado

high on life, not weed...



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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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