Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vandaag 09-04-2010

Location: 103 2nd Ave.
Time: 4pm
People: RB and myself

Feelings: We took advantage of JT and AvD's complimentary five star babysitting service and headed out for a late Dutch brunch in East Village. At first it made me wonder about a Dutch restaurant buried in a row of Japanese restaurants, but Japanese people do have a fondness for Dutch culture. From about 1639 to 1854, Japan practiced isolationism and banned all contacts with foreign countries except the trades with the Chinese and Dutch. For this reason, we have some influences from Dutch culture, and there is even "Dutch Village" in Nagasaki.

Regardless of the cultural influence, it is exciting to see an eclectic Northern European restaurant in the St. Marks area. The area is overpopulated with tourists and college students, and we could use a tasteful, spacious and serene restaurant such as Vandaag. The staff was extremely attentive and courteous, and the minimalist yet calculated decor made us feel relaxed and intimate.

Since Vandaag is also a bar, they have an extensive selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and of course aquavit. Their bartender really knew how to pour beer: RB's beer was at the perfect temperature and had a beautiful half inch head of which we could see every perfectly circular bubble lining the top of the glass.

We started off with Bread Basket ($6), which I strongly encourage you to order. You may wonder why you would pay for a bread basket, but this is well worth it. The lentil spread was smooth, and the nuttiness really brought out the tasty flavor of bread. The crackers were ever so soft and gentle and melted in my mouth.

My Red Russian Kale ($8, with green strawberries, sweet onions, and caraway) had the harmonious flavor of sweet, tangy and bitterness. The crunchiness and bitterness of kale with tangy and soft strawberries was indeed excellent.

RB's Chilled Leg of Lamb ($11, with pepper relish, turnip, marjoram) was refreshing and delicious. The lamb was tender, and the sweet relish, which was slightly spicy but mostly sweet, added an extra dimension to the dish.

They may not have authentic Dutch cuisine here, but their spin on the cuisine is inspiring. Creative menu, clean and beautifully decorated space, pleasant service and beer served to perfection-- you can have all this at Vandaag.


JT said...

Glad we could facilitate such a delicious and relaxing experience- let us know when you would like to do it again!

JT said...

Glad that we could facilitate such a tasty and relaxing experience for you- let us know when you would like to do it again!

Yosh. O said...

Thank you JT!!