There are many types of highs in Amsterdam, but I would argue, none as good as ‘High Wine’ at the Dylan Hotel. This is the Dylan’s take on afternoon tea – substituting the tea for wine and the cakes and sandwiches for mini meals. A brilliant idea for those who want something light at the end of the day.
What made this experience so special were the beautiful surroundings. The courtyard of the Dylan feels very private, hidden by four, ivy coated walls and filled with a sense of calm. It’s the perfect place to relax after a busy day wandering around Amsterdam.
We were expertly attended to by the in house sommelier, whose knowledge of the four wines he served us was excellent. Every wine that was served came with an explanation of its history and background, region, and why it was so well suited to the particular dish we happened to be eating. Each dish was small; enough for a lovely flavour experience, but not so much that we ended up feeling uncomfortably full. Around us, the tinkle of cutlery against china, and glass against table tops suggested that others were also tucking into some delicious snacks and chilled wine.
We started with a dried ‘Cecina de Leon’ beef with Cavaillon melon, pumpkin seeds and a red port vinaigrette. This was served with Weingut Bernhard Eifel Mosel 2011; a delicate and pale white wine that complemented the sweet and salty flavours of our food.
Next came a sautéed fillet of plaice with a fennel and radish salad, French fries and tartar sauce. The plaice was expertly cooked, with a crisp, flavoursome outside and juicy, flaky texture on the inside. Milly isn’t a huge fan of fish, so at the last minute, they prepared her a beautiful tiny cut of steak, seared on the outside and wonderfully pink in the middle. Again, the amount of food was just right, although on first impression the one french fry looked a little lonely on the plate, any more and it would have been overwhelming. With this dish we were served Petra Unger Kremstal Tradition weinguter Gruner Veldliner Oberfeld 2010; another lovely white wine, this time with a little more depth to it to complement the slightly richer amuse we were eating.
A roasted chicken breast with carrots, turnip and smoked mussel and brown bread sauce followed the plaice. The chicken was juicy and the vegetables had a good crunch to them. It was a lovely, flavoursome dish. With it, we drank a Spanish red – El Mago 2010 Garnacha Terra Alta (Cataluna). It was light in colour, without that punchy, deep flavour that lots of reds deliver, which ensured that the food wasn’t overwhelmed by the wine.
The last dish that we ate in this gastronomic frenzy was a beautifully delicate dessert consisting of poached aprictos, champagne, goji berries, yoghurt and Greek basil. A sweet and sour pudding experience served with Weingut Tschida Neusiedlersee Samling Auslese – a sweet dessert wine.
Overall, High Wine at the Dylan was a lovely experience and the perfect way to wind down after a long, hot day in the city.
More information here.
Written by a Thoroughly Modern Miss, Jessica Hill.