Here is a new interpretation of our highly successful 10 Best lists: The 10 favorite restaurants of a local chef! In this 2nd edition of Chef’s Favorites we talk to the really young – 26! – chef Tommy den Hartog of Restaurant Johannes (Herengracht, Amsterdam).
A turn off the beaten path to discover where chefs love to eat and why is important because they look at the food on an entirely different way: Tommy has worked at numerous restaurants in Amsterdam and surroundings like at Vinkeles within 5* hotel The Dylan and De Hoefslag in Bosch and Duin. Both Michelin star restaurants.
Guillaume and Freek of Restaurant Daalder are friends of Tommy: “We are around the same age which is young in this world. We have the same mentality and our cuisines resemble. I love eating their food!”. Read the first faves of Guillaume and Freek of Restaurant Daalder here.
Café De Klos is a BBQ steakhouse in the Kerkstraat where Tommy loves to hang out. He treasures his hotspots where this chef can have a great BBQ steak with a jacket potato and a beer with his friends. It’s definitely a boys only spot!
Bord’Eau** is the restaurant of Hotel l’Europe and a favorite of many chefs! Tommy comes here regularly and of course all courses are the really good but the patisserie is very good. Especially their apple dessert is a must try, according to Tommy (see photo).
Envy is one of Tommy’s favorites and he goes here once a month. The chef Michael Wolf comes from the former restaurant Oud Sluis by Sergio Herman and you really notice this in the dishes they serve.
Castell Amsterdam is also a boys only spot but one where you can take your girlfriend as well. This restaurant is famous for its meat, meat and meat. So Tommy always orders the 350 grams prime rib. Then you can eat some salad and potatoes next it. That’s not the case if you take the bigger one (depends on how much you eat of course ;).
Vinkeles is the Michelin star restaurant of 5* hotel The Dylan. Executive chef Dennis Kuipers has been one of Tommy’s mentors and he learned a lot here especially about structure and maintaining quality. It’s where it all started for Tommy, so it has a special spot. In his heart/stomach. He expects that they’ll have a 2nd Michelin star soon!
BTW. Brasserie Occo is also a favorite.
Did you know that Restaurant Johannes has a little sister? It’s Juuls! On the Albert Cuypstraat you’ll find this restaurant that has the same vision and cuisine but is a bit less refined than her bigger brother. Definitely worth a try!
Eetcafé Het College is the Jazz & Blues café of Tommy’s dad in Utrecht. An old brown cafe with killer grilled sandwiches. And when you are in Utrecht, make sure to try the burger of lamb with tzatziki sauce or one of his other culinary burgers. It’s delicious!
The Westergasterras in Amsterdam West has a huge terrace and is one of Tommy’s favorite all year round but especially in summer. It’s in his neighbourhood and therefore a welcome spot to hang out with friends. Preferably in the sun!
Which restaurant recommendation of Tommy would you like to visit after reading this? Let us know in the comments!