Italian Dreaming in Muiden
Elegance combined with a classic touch: beam ceilings painted in a crisp white, artful chandeliers, beautifully worn wooden floors and impeccably dressed tables. The navy blue walls boast two flat screen televisions exhibiting changing images of breathtaking Italian landscapes and tempting dishes. In the background you can hear classic Italian music playing softly. Muiden may be outside, but as soon as you enter Della Nonna, you are in Italy.
We order two glasses of their dry white wine (excellent) and become incredibly hungry as soon as we take a look at the menu. The antpasti section includes classics such as carpaccio, vitello tonato, mozzarella bufala en zuppa di pomodori. There is a varied selection of sandwiches and salads (lunch menu), pizzas that you can order to your liking, a seasonal selection of meat and fish dishes and pastas that unmercifully scream my name. I spot linguini vongole con aglio and tagliatelle carbonara. Lasagna alla bolognese and tagliatelle salmone affumicato. In an ideal world I would order all of them and have a little bit of each, but fortunately, I can control myself. I order the Linguini frutti di mare while my partner Hans goes for the spaghetti della nonna, the restaurant’s trademark dish.
While waiting for our meal, we are offered a small basket of warm olive-cheese bread. We enjoy the bread and our wine while fantasizing about a future trip to Italy: something you are bound to do when visiting this restaurant.
Our daydreams are interrupted when two plates of heavenly smelling pasta are placed before us. My plate is nothing less than a seafood lover’s ultimate dream: shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops! And the flavor! I taste the Mediterranean sea and feel as though I am transported to the center of an Italian piazza. Hans does not seem to be complaining either. His dish consists of a fragrant bolognese sauce, melting slivers of Parmesan and a handful of bright green rucola leaves. There is some serious enjoyment taking place at this table!
Of course we’d like dessert: a caffe con panna, please. Unfortunately, they don’t have this one on the menu, but no problem. That can be arranged. Cream is freshly whipped, two good espressos are prepared and our dessert is ready. According to Hans, this is the ultimate dessert and I can’t help but agree. The strong, aromatic espresso, the perfectly whipped cream and the crunchy cantuccini make this one of the best ways to round off a meal.
What a shame that the weather did not permit us to have our lunch outdoors on the waterside terrace. Reasons enough to return on a sultry summer’s evening and pretend that we are in Italy. La vita è bella!
Herengracht 75, Muiden
Monday through Friday, and Sunday from 12.00 tot 22.00 hrs.
Saturday from 16.00 to 22.00 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!