Coming across a ridiculously cheap 3 course meal arrangement on SocialDeal for De Ark – I decided that it was time to try this inner-city institution loved by Haarlem’s inner city dwellers. The deal incorporated an unlimited choice from the extensive menu for only €16.75. Definitely too good to pass up.
The restaurant is situated in a tiny street close to the Frans Hals Museum. From outside it appears limited to the bar and a few tables, yet the restaurant spans three rooms over the top two floors of the building. It is old style – think lots of wood and large dubious paintings.
Onion Soup – a thicker and sweeter version of this french classic served in small ceramic bowl.
Scampis – six prawns cooked in a garlic cream sauce, served with bread. Tasty and rich in flavour.
Mains: both main meals were served with salad, french fries and sauces.
Spare Ribs- a choice of plain or spicy. Three substantial racks marinated in a sambal sauce to produce a spicy, but tasty ping. Moorish – as ribs tend to be.
Tarte Tatin – served warm with vanilla ice-cream. Delicious mix of apple, cinnamon and melting ice-cream.
Cheese Plate: three Dutch cheeses on offer, served with fig bread, basilico sauce, and berry confit. Lovely way to end the meal.
Overall: “Gezellig”. Service was friendly and suitable for a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant. Food was satisfying and of an acceptable standard – so much so that we are planning to revisit with a larger group. Total cost: €33.50 for 2x 3 course meals + €19.95 for a bottle of Spanish temparillo + free drinking water.