I thought I knew where to go for the “True Italian Taste” in Amsterdam but there are places I have not got to. Until I discovered more “Authentic Italian Tables” through a walking-tasting organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam’s appetite for Italian food is inexhaustible. To find the “True Italian Taste”, I do know where I would go first. Or so I thought. Until I walked the walking-tasting organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. The five selected local Amsterdam restaurants, all of which bear the “Ospitalita’ Italiana” quality mark issued by the Italian government, proved to be true Authentic Italian Tables well worth seeking out.
In search of Amsterdam’s “True Italian Taste”, we tasted Roman supplì and organic courgette lasagna (with three different types of Italian cheese – Parmegiano, Caciocavallo and Ricotto) at Segugio in the Utrechtsestraat. All complimented by a glass of Castelli de Jesi Verdicchio Riserva. By the way, to eat “buonissimo” go to Segugio, recommended by my Italian friends.
When Venetians want a bite, they head to their favorite bacaro for “cicchetti”. Cicchetti, which is pronounced “chi-KET-tee, is the Venetian version of tapas. We walked to Al Bacaro in the Vijzelstraat for “cicchetti” made of cod and baby octopus, and Bacaro’s interpretation of a potato, rice and mussels snack from southern Puglia. The Piccola Nera grapes in the accompanying glass of light red wine are grown along the Adriatic coast, but are mainly found in the small Carso DOC on the border of Italy and Slovenia.
We continued our Italian journey with 2 small, but perfectly made, pizzas on the tricolore terrace of Eatmosfera opposite the well-known Van Dobben croquettes dining room on the Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat. The “col fondo”, slightly bubbly wine from Casa Belfri tastes refreshing, with lots of fruity, citrus notes. Col Fondo translates in Italian as ‘from the bottom’, which means that the wine has not been filtered, sediment or dead yeast cells can be found in the bottle.
I know where I prefer to go. Start at Koningsplein in Amsterdam and turn right. Then walk past the Sint Franciscus Xaveriuskerk with its two spires via the Singel to the Beulingsstraat. At number 7 you will find a very charming Italian restaurant Pianeta Terra.
“We cook with local, sustainable ingredients, grown by small producers, eat what is fresh is our slogan,” says chef Fabio Antonini. He is co-owner of the restaurant Pianeta Terra, which he has run for over twenty years with his wife and sommelier Laura Martini. We eat Solina wheat and turnip tortellini stuffed with buffalo ricotta, organic 24-month-old parmesan and pistachios. The dish is framed by a 100% Catarratto wine, Longarico Nostrale 2019 from Alcamo, Sicily.
We close the Authentic Italian Table walking tasting with dolce, or sweets, at Quattro Gatti with no less than three Dolci and a sweet wine Piasa Raschei 2017. It was all a bit too sweet for my personal taste, but others clearly enjoyed it.
All restaurants are worth a visit when you are in Amsterdam. Tutti A Tavola!