Photography by Xavier Girard Lachaîne
Before I could reach the old side of Amsterdam, I saw Gebr. Hartering. There was no sign outside, just a couple chalkboards. I entered and a tall red haired guy greeted me.
Niek and Paul Hartering opened Gebr. Hartering (Hartering Bros) a year-and-a-half ago, serving up a mix of Dutch and French food from local and seasonal ingredients. A small but great a la carte menu is offered between 6:30 and 8:00, however it’s the feast, with the table d’hôte concept where you can choose between three or seven courses. Paul has always been a cook but Niek had studied art before his brother convinced him to jump. And with no regrets, Niek is a restaurateur now, and a good one too.
I was hungry and so it was seven courses. Wine pairings? Why not. The first step of this adventurous nose-to-tail / local/ Dutch / French / maybe Italian experience was a charcuterie plate - ham, anise salami and a gloriously melty foie gras on toast, alongside a sparkling rosé from South of France.
Gernard crudo with chili, cucumber salsa, and spring onions came next. Simple, effective and fresh. Meanwhile, Niek was pouring great wine from a considered list he had gathered from across France and Italy.
After the fish, a tasty pig’s head terrine - head cheese style - with an assembly of pickles, turnip leaves and a mustard sauce.
We were almost done when brother number two arrived with what can only be described as a fatty, venison monster for two. A venison Quadruple Down. The whole ribsteak served on half of the bone with the runny marrow, topped with a grilled deer’s heart and homemade venison blood sausage. The steak was almost blue, with a hint of lemon and rosemary, sided by a garlic mayonaise for that fat on fat on fat.
I was feeling heavy, hammered by the vapors of alcohol and impending heart palpitations… ready to roll. That was until the crème brûlée came out with the bill.
by Xavier Girard Lachaîne