More and more, I’m leaving Utrecht to go on culinary discovery trips in the province. I took a trip to Bilthoven upon being invited by Brasserie Le Nord, to enjoy a tasting of the lunch menu. A restaurant with a classic French kitchen, hidden in a wooded area. You have to make a bit of an effort to get to the restaurant, but it’s definitely worth the trouble.
From the busy, tourist-y Amsterdam to picturesque Bilthoven? This was a case of ‘we’re going to do things totally differently’! The chef decided about a year ago that it was time for something new, and so he and his wife traded in Amsterdam for Bilthoven. Where he opened his own restaurant, Brasserie Le Nord, in an authentic farmhouse from 1885.
We take our seats at a table for two, beside the kitchen. It feels a bit like private dining! The chef hands us the menu and tells us all about the restaurant’s French classics and signature dishes. We’re free to make our own picks, but after a quick look at the menu, which makes it very difficult to make a choice, we decide to let the chef surprise us.
‘French classics in a modern way’
That’s the theme of the four-course lunch that the chef, owner Gregory, has come up with for us. We begin with a basket of bread with deliciously soft butter and fried broad beans. We patiently wait for the first course. This is pizza with tuna; the creaminess of the ricotta cream and the spiciness of the wasabi are in balance, and the melon balls ensure a fresh bite. To go with it, we get a glass of pinot grigio. Next, we’re surprised with a steak tartar made the Italian way. The dishes aren’t just really delicious, but they’re also beautiful!
For the main course, beef sirloin is served, which has been slowly cooking for 8 hours in a press. It’s exquisite! The Syrah Grenache that is poured for us is the perfect match. We couldn’t have thought of a better finisher than the Dame Blanche in a hip new style. Yeah, you’ll make us very happy with some warm chocolate!
We enjoyed our afternoon at Brasserie Le Nord. I’ll definitely go back because I still want to taste the Poulet Fermier Français, and preferably on the terrace, as it’s wonderful if it isn’t raining. A nice detail is that all dishes were decorated with a little vegetable tuft or a beautiful edible flower. Yeah, the eye is treated too! And let’s be honest, beautiful dishes taste better.
Menu & prices:
You can visit Brasserie Le Nord for lunch, high tea, and dinner. You can dine à la cart, but also choose a surprise menu from the chef for 35,- (three courses).
Soestdijkseweg Noord 492, 3723 HM, Bilthoven
Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday, 11.30 – 22.00