FRIS – A very special neighbourhood restaurant

Last night my husband exceeded himself in discovering and booking our monthly date-night at Fris restaurant (http://www.restaurantfris.nl/). Several hours were spent basking in the evening sunshine, while being served plates of aesthetically-pleasing gustatory delights – by very competent staff.
During the winter months, the restaurant has a 65 person capacity. In warmer weather the terrace can accommodate another 20-25 guests. The interior space seems to be designed to promote a sense of spacious tranquility – through the use of light wood, white table dressings, lighting and the goldfish prints.
On this particular Wednesday evening, we selected the 2-person arrangement for €99, entitling us to a three course menu, with a welcome glass of cava, a matching bottle of wine, a large bottle of sparkling or still water, and coffee or tea. This selection was limited to two choices per course – detailed on a separate menu card.

FOOD
Entrees:
Tomato + mozzarella + green beans + basil : the description gives little hint to how amazing this entrée dish is. Semi sundried cherry tomatoes, green beans shaved thread tied into bundles, tomato cream and marinated mozzarella. Delicious and beautiful.
Veal tartare + green asparagus + turnip: a succulent mound of tartare that dissolved in the mouth, artistically decorated with asparagus and turnip. Wonderful combination in taste and presentation.

Mains:
Haddock + lobster bisque + pesto risotto: again a beautifully presented plate. Fish cooked perfectly, risotto, vegetables and bisque combined smoothly.

Dessert:
Lemon Meringue + almond ice cream: Sumptuous. Meringue not the typical stiff white fluff but creamer consistency that complimented the lemon base.
Cheese Platter + celeriac compote: four thin slices of very different cheeses usually served. The compote was an unusual surprise that worked well with the cheese.

Extras:
A large, crispy flat slice of pita bread standing up, waiting to be snapped and eaten. Warm delicious ciabatta bread (white and brown) served with butter. Coffee/tea served with complimentary home-made chocolates, coconut macaroon, and pineapple pannacotta.
The meal began with a glass of cava – and continued with a lovely bottle of Italian white wine.

OVERALL: a very special experience. The food was beautifully delicious. The service was professional, knowledgeable, well-paced – and warm. The restaurant interior is simply elegant. Highly recommended.

mains coffee

Woodstone Pizza – filling the gap

Located in the Raaks with neighbours, Jopen Kerk (local brewery and drinking haven), Pathe Cinema and Albert Heijn supermarket, Woodstone is part of a small chain on pizza restaurants also found in Almere and Hoofdorp.
After avoiding this restaurant for the past two years because it seemed like a shopping centre eatery (due to its location) I finally took the plunge and joined three girlfriends at Woodstone on a Wednesday evening. The restaurant was almost full, yet we managed to get a table without a reservation.

FOOD

Woodstone boasts an extensive menu offering typical Italian pizza, pasta and salad dishes. In addition, the menu caters to current dietary trends. For example the Forza pizza comes topped with goji berries, avocado, chickpeas, cranberries, greek yogurt, caramelized onions, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.

With female restraint, we opted to share two bread-dipping boards as entrée. Fresh, varied bread bits, oil-vinegar, a greenish aioli (looked more like mayo-guacamole) and sea salt. The menu description also advertised truffle – but this seemed to be missing. Simple and fine.

For mains, we all opted for pizza. The three ladies in tighter jeans ordered calorie-arme (less cals) pizza. This reduction in calories is achieved by cutting out the centre of the pizza and filling the hole with a green salad mix. Hence my Frascati pizza topped with about six prawns, mushrooms, onions, olives and a light sprinkling of mozzarella cheese – was indeed a lighter pizza option, although not admittedly not as tasty as the real thing. Pizza base and sauce acceptable – but the overall taste of the pizza was plain and needed some spicy encouragement.

Also ordered was the Chiavari pizza – again a lighter version pizza, topped with chicken, capsicum, jalapeno peppers, mozzarella cheese constructed around a green salad. Satisfied customer.

The last member of our group ordered il Carnivore – a meat lovers pizza with pepperoni, pancetta, chicken and a mix of spicy and bbq sauces. Full-bodied and caloried pizza option. Comment: tasty but not spicy enough.

With one glass of red wine, four small bottles and one large bottle of sparkling water – the total bill came to just under €80.

Service: fast, efficient and professional.

Atmosphere: Busy, buzzing bistro, not really conducive to dining with small children.

Overall: Woodstone is a good option for a local eating venue. Menu is extensive and has something available to meet the majority of eating tastes – including gluten free, calorie-restricting and vegetarian diets. It won’t blow you away – but a meal at Woodstone will satisfy a hungry stomach.  http://www.woodstonepizza.nl/

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