Thursday, March 11

Dutch restaurant names

The Gourmet's Guide to Europe (1911) provides a wealth of information for anyone who wants to research the history of restaurant business in the Old World. Particularly, some names of great restaurants (many no longer operational) can provide some ideas if you are trying to come up with a suitable name for your own establishment. There are even some decor ideas for a themed restaurant. I am posting a few excepts from this book, regarding Dutch restaurants.

There are several restaurants in the Hague which deserve mention. One is Twee Steeden in the Buitenhof. This is a new building Buitenhof next door to the Hotel Deux Villes, or Twee Steeden, a comfortable hotel with a garden. The building of the restaurant is of buff stone with a good deal of carving and gilding on the front and balconies of wrought iron. The walls of the
restaurant's big room on the ground floor are crushed strawberry in colour, and the upholstery is of greenish grey. There are other rooms on the first floor.

Another is the Cafe Royal in the Vijverberg, an establishment which has its large room on the ground floor. The restaurant is comparatively airy, and the cookery French, and my Vijverberg Dutch friends tell me "fairly good."

The most distinctive of the Hague restaurants calls itself simply
The Restaurant, though it made its name and its fame as Van der Fiji's. It is in the centre of the town, and its three windows look out on to the dusty little triangle of the Plaats and the tower where the brothers De Witt were torn to pieces by the populace. The walls of the dining-room are panelled with blue silk, and during the week of my visit to the Hague, when I both dined and lunched several times at the restaurant, I was always received by a very fat maitre d'Hotel, who bowed in a dignified manner by letting his first chin drop into his second and third ones. The cuisine is French, and it has a cellar of excellent wines. Of the hotels which contain restaurants, the Hotel des Indes and Hotel Vieux Doelen have a reputation for good cookery. The former was in olden times the town house of the Lange Voorhoot Barons van Brienen. In winter many people of Dutch society, coming to the capital from the country for the season, take apartments there, and during that period of the year the restaurant is often filled by very brilliant gatherings.

Here are some other Dutch restaurants mentioned in the book:

Van Laar
Amstel Room

Cafe Riche
Plaats Royal

Cafe-Restaurant Fritschy