The headlines speak of a new restaurant concept in Utrecht. A restaurant with vegetables in the lead role. And at the same time a flower shop that serves vegetables. That got our attention, and so we took a look and we talked to owner Lars. The various headings may create some confusion for readers, but the well thought-out concept is quite clear.
Le Jardin, is a new gem on the Maria. It is a restaurant with a French cuisine. Special: the main ingredient are vegetables. Meat, poultry, and seafood play a subordinate role in the dishes. You can also opt for an all-vegetarian variation of your dish. The concept: groentenomie. A term coined by the owner.
The art of good food and drinks with vegetables as a starting point.
Le Jardin grows a number of ingredients, in a greenhouse, at the back of the restaurant. In addition, the kitchen will cook with locally grown vegetables as much as possible. Chef Jasper will also work with City gardener Kevin Mckulkin of ‘De Kas Eet en Kweekplek‘. A man with a huge passion for vegetables, whom is not a bad chef himself. Kevin will take cake of the greenhouses at Le Jardin, so that is a perfect match.
Not only the food has a different approach, but also the restaurant. The Le Jardin wants to offer its guests an experience. At the front of the restaurant you have a view of the kitchen and a free-standing bar. This gives a casual and free atmosphere. At the back of the restaurant you will find the greenhouse. Guests sit along side the greenhouses, which grow herbs, fruit and vegetables. You can pick your own main ingredient of your chosen dessert. Fun to do! Ooh, in the flower shop next to the restaurant you can also buy beautiful plants and you will find a small selection of flowers. Handy for when you need a rose for someone to recognize you by. In 2016 the Boutique Bed & Breakfast, above the restaurant, will open but more on that in due course.
As a carnivore, I have learned to appreciate vegetables in recent years. Many find vegetables boring and tasteless. But nothing could be further from the truth. Creativity is needed when creating wonderful tasty dishes in which the main ingredient is a vegetable. This I’m going to experience myself at Le Jardin, and of course you will see the complete report of the evening.
But let’s start practicing people, because ‘groentenomie’ should be top of mind with every Utrechter. And with the people outside our city limits. Would be nice to have the term added to the (Dikke van Dalen) dictionary. Right?
To book a table see the webstite – Le Jardin.
Address: Mariaplaats 42
Food photography by Eric Kleinberg of EBK Photography