It’s been like introducing Mike to a slick, fashionable little sister I didn’t know I had. I wanted to be just like her. We’d been vintage shopping day and night, literally till the soles of our shoes ripped off. And after all the shopping, and coffee houses, and bicycles, there is the afternoon of High Wine at the Dylan.
The Dylan is a 5 star Boutique Hotel in Amsterdam- a gorgeous property, situated in a great location- near the 9 Streets that have some of Amsterdam’s most famous vintage shopping- and as soon as we stepped inside I knew we’d have an afternoon to remember. The Dylan is also home to the Michelin Star awarded Restaurant Vinkeles and Brasserie OCCO.
High Wine is a play on High Tea- the idea being that from 3pm to 6pm, the High Wine experience features 4 different wines and 4 amuse style bites to eat. Now if you’re not getting the fancy lingo, amuse bouche stands for little hors d’œuvre that the Chef usually brings out, sometimes with a wine paring, before the meal.
The High Wine experience was something we wanted to taste for ourselves and especially since there are 4 different tastings a year depending on the season. Just so happens that on the day we were there, we bumped into the fab Lola & friends, who I was excited to meet! What are the odds of multiple bloggers in the same place at the same time? Ok maybe higher than I thought, but I know we all loved sampling the creative dishes we were served!
First up was the Pata Negra ham with Galia melon, pumpkin seeds & red port vinaigrette. You don’t have to ever twist my arm to try any kind of meat and the combination of the salty ham, the crunchy pumpkin seeds, and the melon made our mouths very happy right from the start. This was served with a Flor de Crasto from Portugal.
Next was our favorite of the day- Sauteed filet of Halibut with pearl barley, lime leaves & pumpkin with a creamy curry sauce. We hadn’t seen lime leaves since Australia and I though that was an creative combination. The explanation of the wines was really interesting as the servers had clearly learned the dishes and wines well and were able to tell us all sorts of details about each one. This dish was paired with a Scheurebe Kalkstein ‘trocken’ from Germany.
In between dishes, Mike and I chatted, admired the decor and surroundings, and we were so happy to be nice and warm when it started raining and we got this next course, which I admit was our least favorite- due to the fact it just didn’t really taste like too much.
This is the farmhouse chicken breast with artichoke, red onion, crispy potatoes, mustard seeds, and smoked lemon sauce. I say there was just too much going on and the flavors didn’t really seem to go together. That said, the artichoke was cooked to perfection and as a person who doesn’t really like artichoke, I ate it and liked it. This was served with a Pinot Noir from New Zealand which was excellent.
Now for the exciting finale-dessert! I am such a sucker for bread pudding- remember the time I worked in Australia for a year as a Chef? We made lots of bread pudding. This creation was a bread and butter pudding with dried fruits and vanilla sauce with fresh raspberries. DROOL. I loved how they caramelized the top so it was nice and crispy and the wine that was served- a Xyris Frizzante from Italy, fizzed with yummy bubbles and was just sweet enough that it complemented the dessert so well, I almost asked for another portion. And I am super picky when it comes to food, being a Chef myself.
If you’re in Amsterdam and looking to do something special, treat yourself and your traveling guests to High Wine at the Dylan. I think we overstayed our visit by a bit as we were so entranced by the food and the good company it was almost dark when we left! Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to stay the night in one of the ultra luxurious rooms but perhaps in the future when we make our return to Amsterdam. Next year. And for sure we look forward to seeing the next menu for High Wine upon our return to the city of bicycles and fabulous food!
You can also drool at some more food photos at the Dylan Amsterdam Facebook Page.
Note: We did partner with The Dylan Amsterdam so we were guests of the High Wine Experience but as you know and have read all opinions are our own!