A Taste of France in Amsterdam
Are we really in Amsterdam or did we magically end up on a terrace in the heart of France? The menu next to the door of Restaurant Côte Ouest is completely in French and next to me there are two gentleman speaking in the language of love.
It is a warm, sunny day and we choose a table across the restaurant, comfortably in the shadow of the Nieuwe Kerk. While waiting for our drinks, we amuse ourselves with the flow of tourists walking by. Every now and then, some of them glance towards us and curiously stop to study the menu. In my head, I am urging them to come and join us, even before I’ve had the pleasure of having my first sip of wine.
And speaking of wine, a French restaurant isn’t French without a decent wine list (good and not overpriced). Not to worry though, at Côte Ouest they have something for everyone: by the glass, carafe or by the bottle. I choose a carafe of their Cabernet Franc and turn my attention to the menu.
If you are a Francophile (like me) or just happen to love French food, then you’ll notice that choosing will not be the easiest of tasks. For the light eaters or the lunchtime crowd, there are soups, baguettes and traditional croques (warm sandwiches). You may also choose from an assortment of wonderful salads such as the classic Chèvre Chaud with apple, walnuts and raisins or the Salade Confit with tender duck confit, lardons and potatoes.
If you love galettes (savoury French pancakes), you’ve come to the right place. Especially delicious is their Galette Côte Ouest with cheese, bacon, tomato and a beautiful sunny-side-up fried egg. For those who crave a something a little more substantial, try the omelettes and classic French dishes such as Steak Haché, Moules et Frites or the Poisson du Jour.
Should there be room for dessert, make sure you try their crème brûlée. With its full, creamy flavour and perfect combination of a cold custard and a still warm, crunchy layer of caramelized sugar, this is definitely one of the best crème brûlées I’ve had outside of France. And for the young at heart or those longing for a little French nostalgia, they even have Orangina.
kitchen open for lunch: Friday to Sunday from 12:00-14:00 hrs and for dinner: Tuesday to Sunday from 17:30 hrs.
After graduating from Leiden University in 2007, Paola Westbeek decided to follow her heart and begin an exciting career in the world of food. Her company, La Douce Vie, aims to promote real food.
Besides being a food writer and offering cooking lessons in her home, she also conducts culinary tours through the lively city of Amsterdam. In 2010, Paola expanded her business to her beloved France. Join her in beautiful Burgundy for an unforgettable creative/culinary vacation!