For the non-Dutch, Dutch cuisine can be quite the mystery. It’s not like anyone is rushing to open a Dutch restaurant in any metropolis outside the country. I admit, I barely knew of Dutch food having lived an hour away from the border in Brussels, except the herring parties that Dutch expats hosted around the city (note: make Dutch friends, have them invite you to the herring parties and King’s Day celebrations, you’ll thank me later). If you find yourself in the Kingdom of Orange and looking for an authentic dining experience, Hotel New York in Rotterdam is a great snapshot of Dutch dining.
For many Rotterdamers (my Dutchman included) the iconic Hotel New York is a source of pride of a city that was destroyed during World War II and reinvented as one of the modern architecture pioneers in Northern Europe. In the midst of avant garde structures, Hotel New York clings to the magic of the past, it was the head office of Holland-America line, at the time not a cruise liner but a regular ship service between Rotterdam and New York. A hundred years later, the hotel and restaurant still preserves that distinct nautical theme.
Hotel New York still remains as a functioning hotel, part of the Dutch hotel brand WestCord , which has a portfolio of unique boutique hotels throughout the country (I previously posted about SS Rotterdam). However, the restaurant is quite popular with locals and travelers alike. I’ve been there several times and highly recommend it for a Dutch experience.
Dining at Rotterdam’s Hotel New York Restaurant:
The Scene: Especially on the weekend the restaurant at Hotel New York can be crowded. I recommend to make reservations or be prepared to wait. There, you see a mix of people: large group of friends, families, and occasional tourists. The dining room is grand with large glass chandeliers intertwined with their classic nautical theme.
The Food: I’ll give it to the Dutch, they have great seafood. The cold waters of the North Sea give way to great oysters, mussels, and herring. As a seafood lover, I enjoy to dive into a platter of oysters to start the meal. They are usually sourced from the north part of the country with a nice briny finish. If you love seafood, order the Hotel New York platter with all the highlights of the raw bar. End the meal with their extensive selection of desserts (we love the lemon cake).
When in Rotterdam, schedule a meal at the Hotel New York restaurant for a snapshot of Dutch culture and cuisine. Walk off the calories with a stroll along the promenade and take in the view of the Erasmus Bridge, a key identifier of Rotterdam, and the modern skyline of the city. Local Tip: you can arrive by water taxi, the ‘taxi stand’ is right next to the hotel. Makes the nautical experience complete. Info: http://www.
Hotel New York, Koninginnenhoofd 1, 3072 AD Rotterdam, Netherlands www.hotelnewyork.com/restaurant
More about Rotterdam dining: The Markthal experience.