4850 in Amsterdam, Netherlands is a minimalist avenue for unique quality. Expect Nordic precision mixed with Dutch leisure.
Rise Rating: 80%
The Obsidian Rise diagram above provides a visual for the rating explained in writing, below. From left to right—
Story (2/3): It was over two years ago when I first heard that Amsterdam’s cult coffee spot, Scandinavian Embassy, would be opening a restaurant. So when I sat down with a friend recently and learned that it had been open for awhile, I both couldn’t wait to go, and also couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of it yet. 4850 extends the Nordic attention to purity and excellence of its affiliated eatery, adding candlelight to daylight, and tannins after caffeine. Owner and sommelier Daniel Schein now appears to be leading the restaurant into local acclaim, for its seats are always full, and its attributes already published in the pages of ‘Shortlist Amsterdam’ for 2018. However, as much as minimalism has its strong suits, much about the locale still feels like a secret, and adding some information regarding 4850 online or at least in person would serve to add more flavor to its pursuits.
Sustainability (3/3): As at Scandinavian Embassy, 4850 seems to utilize a Swedish approach to consumption. Dishes are no larger than necessary; the menu is no longer than can be delivered on well. At night, the establishment turns its cashier desk into a prep counter/ open kitchen and its lounge area into extra seating for dinner guests. Beyond this, the restaurant’s more traditional furniture has either been sourced from previously used sources, or has been handmade. Thus, waste in general is low and the environment feels mindful. And lastly, while 4850 makes a point of educating its clients on its fully natural wine selection, it also makes sure to source produce locally and to offer several vegetarian options.
Experience (2/3): Overall, the foundation of 4850 feels strong. That is, never mind that it was once difficult to find contact information for the restaurant online, or that there may, as on one occasion, be a leak in the restaurant that causes a bit of disruption. The ambience is warm and friendly, wait staff does its best to be attentive, and Schein himself can be found greeting, supervising, or enjoying the atmosphere at most hours of the day. What’s more, the care given to the small space and dishes nicely balances the relaxed vibes of the kitchen and staff. Somehow it seems that, no matter the problem or delay, all is well and one will immensely enjoy what is to be served.
Cuisine (3/3): No matter the brevity of 4850’s brunch and dinner menus: whatever you select will be excellent. At one day-time seating, the ‘Wentelteefje french toast, blueberry, cranberry, yoghurt’ showcased the most sumptuous mixture of textures (read: crunchy crusts with flavor-soaked centers) and tastes (sweet and sour/ full and acidic) that one could hope for on a cozy weekend afternoon. Pairing it with the carefully sourced ‘April Coffee Costa Rica Volcan Azul’ pour-over was perfect, as was the artful flat white that came out while waiting.
After dark, plates are more refined and creative but just as top-notch. The ‘Beef tartar, cauliflower, yeast mayo’ looks vegetarian and tastes rich enough to be dessert. Meanwhile, the ‘Corvina, kale, beurre blanc’ also disguises the light, buttery white fish with a topping of crispy greens whose attributes are so delicate and delicious that I might have instead listed the dish as ‘Kale, beurre blanc, corvina.’ To finish, the ‘Chocolate, kaki, chestnut’ proved that doing things right doesn’t have to be complicated, as all it took was a large dollop of chestnut cream to make a small base of chocolate cake and a single slice of persimmon to be one of the best things one has tasted all season. And, accompanying these dishes by special Champagnes and dessert wines made the concise meal feel simultaneously moderate and luxurious.
Diversity (2/3): A seating at 4850 is fairly representative of the modern Amsterdam food experience, which can often be passion-driven, creative and eclectic in a variety of ways. Here, Swedish Schein is accompanied by mostly Dutch staff of varying origins, both male and female. His menu offerings decorate “usual” dishes with strange ingredients, or deviate from tradition with only specialty coffees and natural wines. Room for growth in the Diversity department could come from an extension of its current operation, with a slightly greater variety to choose from at dinner time, including more of those delectable desserts.
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