The other day I spend the night at the oldest hotel in The Netherlands: Hotel de Draak in Bergen op Zoom. The restaurant of the hotel is called Restaurant Hemingway. It’s named after the writer Ernest Hemingway who was known for appreciating good meals and wines. And good meals is what you can get at Restaurant Hemingway. That isn’t only my opinion, they’ve been rewarded by both Bib Gourmand as Gault & Millau.
Just like at Hotel de Draak, you can feel the history at Restaurant Hemingway as you’re dining in an 18th century decor.
Although the location adds a special touch to your dining experience; the true reason why you should book a table at Restaurant Hemingway is the food. Chef de cuisines Edwin Vermeulen and Chef Ibolya Kokke and their team prepare the most delicious and beautiful dishes for you.
Restaurant Hemingway is one of the restaurants that is part of Dutch Cuisine. This organization promotes the Dutch food-culture and gastronomy. It fits Restaurant Hemingway as they use many seasonal and local products in their dishes. They use asparagus from the region and the mushrooms are cultivated only 150 meters away from the restaurant. On the menu you can find the Dutch Cuisine stamp behind several dishes, this means that they’re made with seasonal and local products. Cooking with local products makes the menu more sustainable; so it’s better for our planet as well!
These amuse-bouches were not on the menu by the way, but a really nice start of the dinner. The madeleines with pistou (pesto without pine nuts) and the nouri with fried samphire were my favorites. Nouri and samphire are both sea vegetables, click here to read why they’re healthy and sustainable.
At Hemingway you can go for a menu or order a-la-carte. I went for a 4 course surprise menu and the kitchen staff made 4 lovely vegetarian dishes for me. The starter was this beet carpaccio with goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and mustard. Doesn’t it look like a painting? It tasted as good as it looks. I can sometimes find the taste of beets a bit predominant, but as they are very thinly sliced and the toppings are high in flavor too, it’s a perfect combination!
Can you guess what this is? It’s green pea soup! A classical Dutch dish, but at Hemingway it’s served in a very original way. You get a glass bowl with leek, mint and goats yoghurt. And the chef pours the green pea soup in the bowl at your table.
Look at how pretty the vegetarian main course is at Restaurant Hemingway! It’s ‘carrot jerky’. They prepared carrot in several different ways. It’s served with lentils, sweet potato, apricot, cumquat and (the only non-orange ingredient) saffron sauce. It was lovely to taste all the different textures of this beautiful dish.
The dessert at Hemingway was truly spectacular. We got a dragon egg on our plate! The egg had the colors of spring (white, green, yellow and a bit of orange). It turned out that the egg was made of chocolate and that when you cracked it open, a beautiful dessert appeared. The dessert alone is enough reason to book your table at Restaurant Hemingway in Bergen op Zoom!
And you might want to book your hotel room in Hotel de Draak together with your dinner reservation.