Let me preface this by saying I’m not a foodie, and I am frightfully inept when it comes to wine knowledge, but two Tuesday nights ago I had the good fortune to be invited to tag along with T for what turned into quite the fine dining experience at a restaurant called d’ Vijff Vliegen, or The Five Flies.
So how does someone like me dress up for such an experience?
Restaurant d’ Vijff Vliegen on Spuistraat: it turned out I’d been past there on my own earlier in the day and had wondered at the quirky flies on the sign. What sort of place might lie behind that door? On the way in we passed by what appeared to be a large metal bird cage contained five large metal flies, and beyond that … gold leather wallpaper, Delft tiles, 17th century glassware, actual etchings by Rembrandt, a shelf of old guestbooks …
There were ten of us altogether, and so we were shown to an alcove with a round table just large enough for all of us to sit comfortably, but small enough to facilitate conversation back and forth and across between all parties, which is surely what happened in the course of the evening.
And here’s where I’ll embarrass myself with my lack of better descriptors for the wines: they started us off with a sparkling red wine as an apertif before passing around a basket of bread. We went on to enjoy something like six courses, a different wine with each course.
The staff came by to introduce each wine and each course, describing the ingredients and how it was cooked. Unfortunately, I could only pick out bits of his narration. All I can say is everything was artfully arranged and each wine pairing was brilliant. I think my favorite dish was the fillet of fish, but the red wine paired with the beef: perfection.
By the end of the meal I think everyone was feeling the wine a little bit, and I fear our table was quite loud, all of us feeding a slow but steady crescendo through and beyond time when coats were being put on again, but what rich deliciousness, and what fortunate company to keep, I won’t be forgetting that dinner anytime soon!