In December 2022, restaurant 212 reopened after being closed for about 9 months due to a fire in the basement. Fortunately, they were able to open again a few weeks before Christmas.
We went to dinner at 212 on Christmas Eve 2022; one of the restaurants of Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot. The restaurant was open for about 3 weeks. The interior has undergone a transformation.
A 7-course surprise menu is served. This menu is specially made for Christmas and New Year. It contains some of the chef’s classic dishes and a new one.
Champagne and amuse-bouche
We want to start the evening with a glass of champagne. The champagne cart arrives and we can choose between a Champagne of 100% Chardonnay or a sparkling wine from Germany. We opt for a Champagne.
The champagne is a 2011 vintage champagne from Jean Velut. The Champagne is a bit more acidic than expected, but wonderfully fresh.
On the table is a large branch. So-called winter leaves are laid on this branch. The leaves are made from Jerusalem artichoke and are provided with lemon drops. Very tasty with champagne.
A stem wrapped in cheese, black truffle, black pepper and orange is served. Delicious. We first wondered whether we should lick the ‘filling’ off or whether we could eat the stick, because the cracker looked like a nice round stick. Good find.
Crab claws are served filled with a mousse of North Sea crab, jalapeño pepper and avocado. The mousse is on the top, pieces of crab on the bottom. All very tasty.
Then something delicious comes on the table, we won’t forget this soon. A ravioli with shiitake and umeboshi. Richard indicates that the ravioli should be eaten in one bite because the shiitake and umeboshi are liquid. On top of the ravioli, a piece of foie gras. Wow!
The champagne remains well balanced. The glass is almost empty, the sommelier sees that and the champagne is quickly topped up. Perfect.
After that comes the last amuse-bouche. A Baba au rhum meets lobster bisque, the cake is not marinated in rum, but in lobster bisque. Filled with lobster, lardo charred with charcoal and topped with caviar. How delicious is this. I want more……..
Potato in the form of bone marrow. One filled with veal tartare and classically prepared. Another filled with herring salad and topped with a generous amount of Imperial caviar. After all, it is Christmas Eve.
As wine we get a German Riesling from Schäfer-Fröhlich from 2017. A nice combination with veal and with the herring and caviar.
Cake made of pike with a sauce of leek and hay from the bbq is served. Very special to eat fish cake, the structure is very good and taste even better. A lovely dish.
The wine is a classic, a Bouzeron 2020 from Maison Gautheron d’Anost. Bouzeron comes from Burgundy and is made from Aligoté grape. The wine gives a nice balance with the charcoal taste.
Langoustine cooked in duck fat, sprinkled with coffee and shaved bonito. The langoustine is perfectly cooked and the coffee flavor makes it unique. At the table, large slices of bonito are shaved over the langoustine. Again very tasty, we are enjoying it.
A South African Chenin blanc from Reenen Borman from 2021 is served with this. The tropical fruit is very good to smell.
Sole filled with duxelle and sprinkled with white truffle, served with a beurre blanc sauce with yuzu. The combination of the mushroom duxelle with the sole is magnificent, the truffle gives an extra dimension and the sauce ensures that the whole taste is slightly sour.
A Meursault Les Clous from 2020 is served with this. This combination is less understandable. The wine is too young and is slightly acidic. It has to bring a balance to the yuzu, but she can’t. The wine cellar was put in order after the fire (all wines had to be destroyed), so not many older wines are directly in stock, but this one could have been a little older.
The main dish is anjou pigeon, stuffed with olive under the skin. A piece of pigeon breast lies on the plate with a paw. In addition, a toast with kidneys and liver is served. The pigeon is perfect from cuisson. Nice medium/ red. A beautiful piece of meat and a beautiful way of presenting, we can see what we eat again. We also saw this at Sorn (**)
The red wine is a 2016 Brunello di Montalcino. A nice wine with the pigeon. Very good combination.
In an earlier report on 212 I already mentioned that the cheese card is one of the best that restaurants have, this is still one of the better ones.Nederland.
I took 5 different cheeses, an Old Alkmaar cheese, a buffalo milk cheese, 2 blue cheeses. The flavors are very good. Very thin fig bread was served with it and jams made by the chef’s mother-in-law.
A cone of chocolate with roquefort came, this is a nice combination. I’m going to try to make some of this myself sometime.
The first dessert is salted honey ice cream. The ice cream tastes like honey. The sauce that comes with the ice cream is slightly salty. A honeycomb of caramel lies over the ice.
A sparkling wine is served with this, a Jurançon from Montesquiou. A fun and good combination.
The last dessert is a new dessert, sponge cake with kriek and red pepper. A sugar-blown ball is served, which is broken up by the waiter with a spoon full of ice cream. A nice find. We ourselves found this dessert a little less, the flavors were good, but compared to the whole evening they were not special anymore. Maybe we were full…..
The last wine is a Beerenauslese Zweigelt from 2020. A nice wine with this dish.
Interior and Service
The restaurant has undergone a makeover after the fire. The bar seats have been replaced by tables on a long bench. There is a bench on the outside walls that has a zigzag movement so that everyone is sitting on the exact same bench without you realizing it. Everyone has a view of the kitchen.
The tables are designed for 212, at the front a large open space where the glassware for the table is and 2 cutlery drawers where the cutlery for the table is stored. Nice!. The cheese trolley fits exactly over the height of the table and the champagne trolley fits nicely on the table. The interior has been thought through. We think the ambiance has improved.
Dark curtains, wooden ceiling and many beautiful lamps create a nice atmosphere.
Despite the fact that the number of covers has almost halved (there are still 16 covers), the workforce has grown. The service is good. We see that people still have to get used to each other, but that will certainly work out. We were pampered by our hostess.