To mark the end of a month of vegetarianism (no meat or fish) we went to Marits Huiskamerrestaurant with one of our lovely neighbours. With "huiskamer" meaning "room of a house", this is a style of restaurant that I've seen in many corners of Amsterdam's old suburbs whereby people open up their homes and host guests on certain evenings. For Marit, it's every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, when she opens up the ground floor of her (beautiful, period property) home and welcomes knowledgeable local residents in Amsterdam's Oosterpark area for a seasonal menu of vegetarian food. With no meat and no fish in sight, we were treated to a choice of three starters (I ate sweet potato and coconut milk soup, my companions ate perfectly parcelled jerusalem artichoke ravioli), a fascinating selection of pastry and potato treats as a main with salad side dishes and finally there was a choice from a trio of deserts; somehow I squeezed in a slice of lemon and pistachio cake. I think the measure of a good vegetarian restaurant for a meat-eater is not noticing when you don't notice that meat is missing. I not only didn't notice, but I can't wait to go back and be oblivious once more.If you're vegetarian, and plan on being in Amsterdam one Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening in the near future and you don't mind a little cycle over into the east of Amsterdam, then make a reservation. Because you will have to reserve a table... this place is a very popular best kept secret. Oh and it's also home to the best behaved poodle I've met; she was such a sweet dog who kept herself to herself in the corner of the room until our desert plates were cleared, at which point she decided it was time to pop over and say hello, which I'm glad she did.
Frances M. Thompson
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