Restaurant De Zwaan is a Michelin star restaurant in Etten-Leur. I’ve been there twice now and I really recommend it if you’re looking for a special dinner with a relaxed atmosphere.
Etten-Leur is a small municipality close to Breda in my home-province Brabant. Restaurant De Zwaan has opened up there over 60 years ago by Ad Peijnenburg. When Ad passed away in 1991 his son Ronald Peijnenburg took over. In 1994 De Zwaan received his Michelin Star and they have been rewarded it every year since then.
Click here for a list of all Michelin Star restaurants in Brabant.
Ronald is born above the restaurant and besides that he also has a hospitailty education, you can see that it’s in his blood. Hospitality is in Ronald’s genes and he will make you feel welcome from the moment you set foot in Restaurant De Zwaan. He’s funny but also very knowledgeable. A great combination in my opinion as Michelin star restaurants can sometimes lack a relaxed atmosphere.
The first time I visited Restaurant De Zwaan was with Chefs on Tour, an unique yearly event in which the chefs of 3 Michelin star restaurants in the region work together to create a six course meal for their guests. They host it in each of the 3 restaurants one evening a year. I went to the one hosted by De Zwaan. It was my first experience with the restaurant housed in a monumental building that also houses an impressive art collection. The basis of this collection was made by grandfather Johan, further extended by Ad and now in the hands of Ronald and his brothers and sisters. Ronald can tell you great stories about each painting in the restaurant.
Speaking of art; the toilets are also worth a visit! Ronald always gives a design student carte-blanche to create something for the toilets. At the moments that I was there it was a projection of people watching you. Man were watching in the ladies room, and women in the mens room. It’s funny to see that even projections can make people feel uncomfortable and it’ll certainly give you something to talk about with your company.
The chefs at Restaurant de Zwaan, lead by Carlo Chantrel, know how to make all the classics but they aren’t afraid to be progressive. They work with many regional, seasonal and organic products. The asparagus, strawberries and cheeses for example come from farms in the area. There are always also good vegetarian options on the menu of De Zwaan. Pictured you see their dim sum from turnip filled with apple.