REVIEW | Restaurant 273 in Utrecht

July 2021. A week after my Eindhoven escapade featuring the DAF Museum and a night at Hotel Mariënhage, I travelled to Utrecht for a culinary weekend with Steve. At that time, the Netherlands were very liberal concerning coronavirus countermeasures. That was both concerning and liberating at the time. 

Sparkling wine

What do you do near the end of a weekend away, on the last day? Get up, check out of the hotel and go home? Perhaps visit something but there’s always this itch of “when do we go home?”. 

So when Michaël, a colleague, suggested we should have lunch at Restaurant 273, named after its address: Oudegracht 273 in Utrecht. Apparently it opened just a week prior to our visit. 

Presentation

What does 273 say about its concept? “The kitchen team led by chef and owner Tommy den Hartog ensure an unforgettable culinary experience. Tommy den Hartog often uses international flavours and modern cooking techniques in his cooking style. These cooking techniques are combined by its classic base. In this way, all creative flavor combinations are perfectly balanced.”

“The restaurant is divided into different settings. For the enthusiast of these things, for example, tables are covered with linen in the restaurant area. There is a Chef’s Table with a great view of the open kitchen, covered with a beautiful white marble top and generous high bar chairs. There are high tables opposite the kitchen that bring together the best of both worlds.”

“At the Chef’s Table of Restaurant 273 you can enjoy the gastronomic 8-course chef’s menu. Culinary enjoyment with a look in the kitchen. To complete your experience, it is also possible to order a matching wine arrangement. Of course you can also choose a nice bottle of wine from our extensive wine list.”

By the way: the website and menu is / were in Dutch only. I quite liked that. Not everything should be international. I’m sure staff will help you in English. Perhaps they have English menus. 

Menu.

Setting and atmosphere

Restaurant 273 is small. The colour palette is fresh, with copper, some red, lots of green and white. 

We chose to sit at a ‘normal’ table. Chef’s Table looks fun, but I don’t like to sit on a high chair. 

Staff is friendly, accessible and has this right amount of tongue in cheek humor. Not the sassy arrogant kind, but the playful kind. 

Of course, you can eat à la carte. The waitress advised to then take four dishes, as the portions are ‘midsized’ between starter and main. 

But in a restaurant with Michelin-star ambitions, you should choose a set menu. The formula is diverse. You can go for the full eight courses, plus amuse-bouches.  Or you can go for six or four. Again plus amuses

We were conservative: we chose the four-course menu, with wine pairing. 

So our menu was:

  1. The ceviche of sea bass.
  2. The risotto with truffles.
  3. The lamb with double shelled peas.
  4. Tartlet of raspberry, rose, pistachio and white vinegar. 

Steve can’t handle cheese so he had sweetbread with artichoke, mushroom, orange and cloves instead of risotto. And I added the cheese plate. The cheese plate could have been more original and more regional, but 273 sees itself as a French restaurant. 

The wine pairing was spot on. I don’t remember which wines we drank, but together with the sparkling riesling from the Palatinate (Pfalz) in Germany, we ere very happy with the wine selection. 

Looking back, the ceviche and the risotto were most memorable. On their own, the dishes weren’t revolutionary but simply very well executed. Chef Den Hartog found the sweet spot between skill, tradition, craft and innovation. 

Fine dining indeed. 

More hotels in the Netherlands

Previously on this escapade

Previously in Utrecht

8 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Looks amazing and delicious! Thanks for share Timothy.
    Have a wonderful time!
    Elvira

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Timothy says:

      Thank you Elvira.

      It was wonderful indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. elvira797mx says:

        You are welcome, that´s great Timothy!

        Liked by 2 people

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