THE MIDTOWN GRILL | Amsterdam

I had a beautiful hunk of steak last night though I’m not sure if it was worth it.

We were in the Leidseplein area in the center last night for a reunion and pre-birthday dinner – a double celebration that’s quite rare these days. After the usual period of extended absence, Teko and his friends finally scheduled a get together and since I got dragged along I was given the honor and responsibility of choosing the venue. Given the differing taste levels and importance of the gathering it was a tough balance to find a place that was just the right amount of subdued but exciting, delicious, and a bit above special, and so ended up with a restaurant that labeled itself the best steakhouse in Amsterdam. When the menu choices and price range were approved, a table for 4 was quickly and easily booked online, done just like that.

When we arrived last night as the first guests through the door I saw a place that reminded me how I felt when we went to the Dstrikt steakhouse in Vienna, and same as then, not in a good way. Hotel restaurants tend to be dragged down compared to standalone ones and in many instances unevenly. In this case however, being part of the Marriott seems to have rubbed off starting from the furnishings that looked the same as what they had in the lifeless lobby to the generic feeling that comes with most American hotel brands. We sat down to a round table suited for an uneven party of five that made our even party of four a bit disconnected though it did provide us with generous space to a comfortable, friendly dinner ahead. The starter of Maryland crab cakes gave me nostalgia for similar meals in actual Maryland and the lean Dutch rib eye was memorable and very possibly the best steak I’ve had in these parts. Until I found out what the total cost was I had no complaints whatsoever but suffice to say, drinks of even the non-alcoholic kind, even during a school night, still do add up. That’s where they get you. After three hours and much gossip, I and the three others were much wiser and inevitably older, and we called it a night, promising to meet up again soon. If I find myself in the mood I may just ask Teko to go back there sometime though if I am as wise as I pretend to be it may have to wait for another rare occasion. Or maybe never.

 

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