Saturday, 30 May 2009

Restaurant Review: Da Pino

At the end of last year a new Italian wine shop opened near us. This filled the Lovely Husband with unequivocable joy. He loves his wine, and has quickly bonded with the owner of the new establishment. One Saturday, some weeks ago, while the Lovely Husband was indulging his wine purchasing hobby, I got talking to the owner about Italian restaurants as they supply many of the top restaurants in the Netherlands. His recommendation was Da Pino on Overtoom and I had been waiting for a suitable occasion to try it out.

Just such an occasion presented itself yesterday when the Lovely Husband signed a new contract at work. A small celebration was definitely in order.

We strolled in the late evening sunshine up the Schinkel Canal to Overtoom (keeping our heads down as we passed the gym - pre-indulgence guilt, don't you know). There were no free tables outside so we took a table inside which was slightly warm for a summer evening but still quite pleasant and meant that we got to make friends with the house dog, Tartufo.

Da Pino had a lot to live up to, it came highly recommended and I already have a favourite Italian restaurant in Amsterdam (also local, La Favola). Having lived in Italy my standards for Italian food are very high.

I started with Swordfish Carpaccio, heavily flavoured with a good quality balsamic dressing. Before moving onto a pasta dish of perfectly made fresh ravioli filled with roasted aubergine and scamorza (Italian smoked cheese), which had been scattered with confit roma tomatoes and fresh parmesan. At the recommendation of our very knowledgable waiter I segued neatly to baked sea bass fillets which had been prepared en papillote with shellfish and more of the confit tomatoes served with rosemary roasted potatoes and a large side salad, both of which I barely touched, for shame. Desserts, while they looked lovely on the chalkboard, were not even an option after that and we gratefully paid the bill before rolling ourselves home.

La Favola, you have a worthy contendor for my affections.


  1. Oooo! I've passed that on the way to the gym (ok....a number of weeks ago....) so happy to hear a review!

  2. They also do food, so I am definitely planning a return visit to try it out.