(18 / 20) A fortress of French fine dining left happily unscathed by widely shared but very silly review from a critic who should have known better. There are certainly things that one can find to criticise about Le Cinq, but the food is good, often great, and to my mind it gets the balance mostly right between respecting classic tradition and embracing modern techniques. The wonderful service here is the real star; It is attentive, warm and sincere, and that as much as anything else will bring us back.
(19 / 20) L’Arpège is the dining expression of Proust’s Madeleine moment. But it is also the manifestation of a memory that most of us never even had to start with – that of the taste of real food, cooked perfectly. It is the truest, most sincere demonstration of love in any food that I’ve come across at a fine dining restaurant.
(16.75 / 20) A relatively uninspiring menu in an extraordinarily over-the-top setting. The food is perfectly good, but overall lacks personality, and is disappointing for a two star – especially one that was once hoped to be Amsterdam’s first restaurant with 3 macarons. The vegetarian offering was simply not good enough, and we were left with the distinct feeling that the exorbitant cost of dinner went more towards the glamourous lighting and the luxurious carpet than what was actually on the plate. In fairness on previous visits it has been better, but Ciel Bleu needs to move with the times to keep up with the other top restaurants in town – and that will mean transforming more than just its dining room.
(18/ 20) Exquisite flavours delivered with an extraordinary subtleness which really sets it apart from the more vibrant delivery of the other top restaurants in town. Strong Dutch influence over a quintessentially French cuisine, with lots from the sea, that has now also found a more successful balance with its light Japanese -inspired flavour combinations. Slicker, more professional, and generally friendly service. An undeniably impressive restaurant, but one which for me somehow still manages to lack a touch of charisma.
(16 / 20) Neighbourhood restaurant serving up very punchy Michelin quality dishes at a sensible price point. Attentive, friendly service and an enjoyable dining space, as long as no one is sitting at the table next to you.
(17.75 / 20) Consistently delicious, beautifully constructed, and approachable cooking with a truly standout pastry section. When you want to relax in a beautiful, friendly setting, eat very well indeed, plus be quite certain that’s exactly what will happen, every single time you go… accept no substitute.
(16.25 / 20) A non-Michelin fine dining spot that really works. This is an excellent restaurant with an elegant bistro setting, serving up delicious, deceptively simple food which can often go toe-to-toe with (some of) the 1 stars in town. And all that at a very sensible price point.
(15.75 / 20) Putting the other tedious neo-bistros to shame. This is what casual fine dining should be like; Unfussy food with great attention to detail, delivered in an authentically crampt, albeit joyful, dining room.
(18.5 / 20) Innovative and supremely delicious food with world-class service. An already outstanding restaurant which has recently found a whole new gear.
(17.5 / 20) Very satisfying, well presented food in a truly stunning location. Certainly not the most innovative cooking we’ve ever experienced, but very enjoyable nevertheless.