This self-declared ‘relaxed’ gastrobar can’t quite escape its fancy-pants past – the lasting memory is still one of quenelles, foams and minuscule portions
“Oh, you British, always crying about Europe. It’s time to grow up,” my Greek friend said as we dined on Sophialaan, Amsterdam. The woman has no truck with my moist-eyed lament for the beloved bloc and the financial joys of the Eurozone.
Fittingly, we’re eating in Ron Gastrobar, where the owner also turned his back on an important institution. Ron Blaauw closed his fancy, two-Michelin-starred, eponymously titled restaurant in 2013, then reinvented it as a more relaxed and groovy affair. Ron is all about fun these days. Think gastropub, but in a wine bar. It’s a gastrobar! The website shows him chipping about on his moped, stubble-strewn and crumpled-looking, like an unrested Peter Hook. This is not a man pinned down by formality. Just eat your crisp veal brain with jerusalem artichoke and hang loose. Or your cream of cod liver with sea vegetables. Or kale gnocchi with smoked oyster. Yes, I know none of these sounds remotely chilled out.
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