Monday, April 15, 2013

First Spring Weekend

Finally! We had a taste of spring here in the Netherlands. I was beginning to think we were in for an eternal winter! Last week the weatherman was already predicting temperatures of about 15 to 20C, and although it could have been sunnier, it was such a welcome change from all that cold! 
Of course, I made the best of it. Nice food, good company, lots of outdoor time, a little gardening and a Pastis or two. Perfect!
On Saturday we decided to try out a new restaurant here in our city. La Maison (Almere) serves brasserie-style fare and offers a three-course menu (you can choose from 7 starters, 7 mains and 7 desserts) for only € 22, 95. The wine list is not big, nor does it aim to impress, yet it certainly satisfies. We enjoyed a smooth, velvety Rioja (Velo Tinto Joven) -- and bonus points -- it was served in beautiful glasses. 
If you love the brand Rivièra Maison (as I do) you'll be feasting your eyes here as most of the decor includes some of their signature pieces. What a wonderful idea to use the brand's gorgeous furniture and clean, crisp look! 
But back to the food! Besides dinner, La Maison serves breakfast, high tea and lunch. We were there around midday, so lunch it was! Hans had a club sandwich with bacon, chicken, lots of greens and a side of chips (a must with any club sandwich) and I had the warm goat cheese salad with spinach, croutons, pine nuts and crunchy bacon. Both dishes were so simple, but so good! The restaurant only works with fresh products, so no crappy bottled salad dressing here.
After lunch, we drove to Oldenhof in Hilversum for some new wine glasses. As an avid wine drinker, I believe glasses are very important. I have a glass for my white wine, a glass for my Burgundies and a glass for my Bordeaux. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I broke one of my Bordeaux glasses last week. I was rather sad, until I suddenly remembered Riedel! I found out about the Austrian wine glasses after a press dinner a few months ago. We were invited to try some wonderful wines at Het Eigendom in Rotterdam (you can read about that here) and they told us all about Riedel. The lead crystal glasses come in grape-specific variations so that the character of the wine really shines through. Maximum enjoyment is what we're talking about here. Even Robert Parker called them "the finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes." And according to Time Magazine "this Austrian clan of master glassmakers has done more to enhance the oenophile's pleasure than almost any winemaking dynasty." Lucky me because as of Saturday I am the proud owner of two beautiful Riedel glasses! 
Just like the wine glasses, the rest of the weekend provided maximum enjoyment. I even got around to making two batches of canelés! 
Here's to more great weekends! Hope yours was fab too!

No comments: