De Librije

Tartara di capesante con baccelli e prosciutto
Jonnie & Thérèse Boer
Country: Holland
City: 8011 TW Zwolle
Address: Broerenkerkplein, 13
(+31) 038 4232329
Closed: Sunday and Monday all day, Tuesdays and Saturdays midday, from January 19th to February 27th, form July 30th to August 21st and from December 27th to January 9th
Price: 120/200 €
Tasting menu:: 85, 100 & 145 €

Jonnie and Thérèse Boer’s restaurant has a look that matches the Dolce&Gabbana style, and that says a lot. Elegance, sophistication, ornateness, originality… a very distinguished cuisine and space with an enormous amount of personality. Even the service, very young, beautiful, confident and, curiously enough, with the professionalism that one would expect from a 10/10 restaurant. The cuisine here has gone through a dizzying evolution recently. If one were to look back, there is only one way to describe the qualitative leap forward: astonishing. If the style of the house was always more daring than groundbreaking, now these attributes are equal, gaining in creative depth and moderation in dazzling formulas. Imaginative maturity coupled with perfection in practice. Behind each dish one appreciates the titanic mental and physical effort. The work they do delivers the professional generosity of that of a person who has ascended to Mount Olympia and met with the Gods. Jonnie and Thérèse Boer stand among the greatest in the culinary world. And they have achieved this because they have preserved their personality, a personality in development, and because they have always blindly believed in themselves. They keep valiantly, even daringly, to their ideals, and they feel they are in a state of gastronomic grace. Their dishes convey happiness. The guest perceives his and her security. A security that allows them to irradiate an almost childlike illusion… even if the intelligence is that of someone who has learned much from life. They approach each construction like a challenge to the guest, proposing unprecedented pathways. Non-conformism sustained by intelligence, class, refinement… eternal values that the Boers make their own. They have given depth to the style initiated last year, with five articulations presented in two spaces, to be eaten in two times. The scallops carpaccio and grilled medallions with green beans, Pata Negra Spanish cured ham and tomato juice bring together two very different recipes using what are basically the same ingredients: exquisite and very intellectualized. The lobster with a fascinating “omelet” of beef kidneys… and the cooking water from potatoes that adds a natural, light and stylized touch to the potato puree, demonstrates with unquestionable wisdom and even to unsuspected extremes the planning and work that goes into the dish. In this case it is offered in the same plate, on two levels, one in plain view and the other hidden, both marvelous proposals. The articulation style is confirmed with the cod: filet, cheek and jaw, conceived as a salad (with sliced asparagus, soufflé potatoes impregnated with vegetable powder and vinegar, and an egg yolk covered with a basil sphere) over a broth of dry sausage. Their version of king crab with mussels is doctoral. On one hand, a brilliant new way of displaying aspic: a bed of carrot jelly where, along with the cited shellfish they add razor clams, cockles, green beans and miniature carrots; and on the other, accompanied by a white butter perfumed with lemon geranium leaves. The oysters wrapped in foie gras, surrounded by an oloroso port wine jelly constituting the cold part of a proposal whose hot part presents the oysters with a fennel-perfumed foie gras cream. The appetizers and desserts show a strong dedication to avant-garde art. There is no good reason in the world to miss the crisps of ginger, apricot and cheese with mustard; the beet toast with beet jelly, sprouts, flowers and cardamom; the lemon macaroon with eggplant and smoked sole roe; the cherry gazpacho with three pepper and bacon spheres and the sweet peanut crocante filled with horseradish… all of them provide brilliant contrasts in virtuosic symphony. Ah! And don’t forget the asparagus with sea anemone, served in an eggshell painted black, upside down, without the contents falling out: real gastronomic magic. The same goes for the dessert, bursting with magical sensations. The rhubarb with strawberries and lemon verbena is superb. Even more exciting was the lychee shot with passion fruit and coffee. And a daring, impeccable and unprecedented gem, the Epoisse cheese spheres over potato water emulsified with olive oil, dates and aniseed air. But the classics shouldn’t make us forget about other specialties of the house. In short, the Boers are crossing through a peak moment in their career.