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de Pecherie Haarlem en Zee

Hip as Amsterdam is, a visit to the city of Haarlem can also be great fun, and is only a half hour away by train. Haarlem is a relaxing place to explore Holland's history. Visitors to Haarlem are offered a glimpse of the culture and fine living associated with centuries of prosperous Dutch seafaring traders who toured the globe.

De Pecherie Haarlem en Zee is an accurate reflection of the passion for fresh seafood by the owners of this and de Haarlemse Proeverij next door. Both places offer freshness and outstanding service. Next door is a sushi restaurant and catering company, here is “de Pecherie” or seafood restaurant.

The dining room is decorated in a style reminiscent of Brittany, and it’s seafaring villages. Chunks of thick rope, brass lamps, statues of seafarers and other nautical items decorate the place and make it cozy. The tables along the walls have wicker seats like the ones used on the beaches in olden days – for the Victorians to hide from the sun in, and used as a windbreaker as well. They are a comfortable touch, and add an aura of privacy to each table.

We spent some time perusing the menu, and enjoyed the attention of our waitress Sabine, as we had arrived early and there were no other customers. (By the time we were finished with our meal two hours later, the place was filled with happy diners.)

On the menu there is a three-course menu du jour, and a more extensive four-course menu for the hearty. I chose the latter, my friend chose the three-course menu. Each had several choices for each course, including dessert.

To drink, we ordered a bottle of Riesling (Sipp-Mack), which was a nice thing to have with all the seafood we ordered! Freshly baked bread and Dutch butter arrived, and our fine dining experience in Haarlem was under way!

As I chose the four-course menu, I had a wonderful salad as a starter. Prepared with Dutch and large shrimps in a French dressing, it was delightful, light and tasty.

The soup course arrived after a suitable wait; obviously everything you order is prepared from scratch, when you order it, for true freshness. My friend chose the Lobster Bisque, made with cognac, large shrimps, roux, chives and crème fraiche. Bretagne soup was what I had ordered, and it was amazing. Chunks of three different fishes were swimming in a tomato broth with tarragon and a touch of saffron. The mussels were quite fresh, very clean and tender, melting in my mouth as I savored the soup. More fresh bread arrived with the soup, and we decided we were in heaven.

After what seemed like a long wait, but a pleasant one, our main courses arrived. Three filets of Butterfish adorned a platter filled with roasted new potatoes and snowpeas, and a light soy sauce was my friend's main plate. I ordered the fresh tuna, and asked for it to be cooked completely, not just seared outside and raw in the middle as is so trendy these days… I just don’t like raw fish. Anyway, that accounted for the delay in our main course, but it was a worthy wait. The tuna was flaky, moist, fresh and delicious, atop the platter full of tiny roasted new potatoes and bok choy, with the same light soy sauce as my friend’s. We both agreed, delicious!

We also wondered how they could possibly top that with any dessert. Well, the tiramisu ordered for my companion was great, and I had a small cheese plate with some camembert, oude Amsterdam, blue and brie. What a way to finish a meal with all the trimmings and fine service!

The half bottle of Riesling was f34.50, the three-course menu du jour was f57.50 and the four-course extravaganza was f77.50 – reasonably priced for the quality of food and the outstanding service.

Hip as Amsterdam may be, it’s really worth it to explore some of the other fine Dutch cities and towns. You might be truly amazed! And have fun! So get out there and explore Holland.

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences visiting the Netherlands, and designed this website so you can interact with us and all the other visitors by posting messages, stories and reviews. By sharing your experiences you can help make the Hip Guides grow, and offer more for your fellow travelers to research as they plan their next visit.

More Info: Open daily from noon until midnight, Sundays from 5 pm until midnight.

Address: Oude Groenmarkt 10
City: Haarlem
Postcode: 2011
Phone: 023
Added: September 18th 2001
Reviewer: Martin Trip
Hits: 4388

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