Edit ModuleShow Tags

Too Early Review—Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul


Published:

How do you feel about mussels and broth served in a paper tray? Where do you stand on sour beer in glittering goblets? The answer to those two questions will likely determine your final opinion of St. Paul’s newest bar and place that also serves food, the Amsterdam.

I don’t say restaurant, I say place that serves food, because, in my book, if everything you serve comes in little paper trays, it’s not entirely a restaurant. Call me the Queen of England. But also call me the next time you want to meet for unusual Dutch and Belgian beers in downtown St. Paul, because I sort of love this new bar, paper trays notwithstanding.

Here’s why. It’s dark, close to pitch dark, lit romantically with tall, flickering taper-candles dripping antiquely into cast-iron skillets. Never seen that before! The beer list is extraordinary, filled with rare Belgian-style, Dutch, and Belgian ales. I tried a Canadian Unibroue Trois Pistoles which had the funkiest, and most delightful, taste of fir-needles to it, and came in a beautiful coupe-like shallow goblet. My date tried the Rodenbach Original, an intensely tangy beer with a scent like old oaks and rye bread. It was served in a curvy footed goblet; we looked at one another in the candlelight and felt very much like we were in Europe, and not St. Paul.

Then we tried everything on the menu. I liked the Amsterdam frites (though in my opinion they’re nowhere near as good as the ones in Amsterdam), and I liked the mussels in their zesty vermouth and tomato broth (though I worried the whole time that the broth would leak out of the nested stack of four paper trays. Eat faster!). But I actually loved the “broodjes,” the little Dutch sandwiches. There are 17 of them currently on offer, priced from $3.50 to $4.75. Each is served in the center of a good, fresh, slightly sweet fluffy bread bun about the size of a tennis ball, and each is made with a modest amount of filling. But the simple combination of good bread and a little something else that’s good, it’s strangely great. I felt very positive about the sausage patty broodje—just a little bit of perky sausage was paired beautifully with the bread. I heartily endorse the melty-cheese broodje, and also recommend the plain hamburger broodje. A couple of these beside an order of the frites and a fancy beer makes for a very deluxe rock-and-roll night—which is fitting, because the Amsterdam is mainly a rock club.

So, if you’re looking for a very casual dinner in St. Paul, check it out! If there’s a band you like playing here, rejoice! But if you need to entertain the Queen of England, or anyone who’s a stickler for plates, you have been given fair warning. Oh, and I tried the “pot brownie” too, so-called because it is infused with sage, just as the brownies of Amsterdam are infused with a different herb. It was perfectly nice, but next time I’ll put my pennies toward another interesting beer. I think the Queen would approve.

Amsterdam Bar and Hall
6 W. 6th St., St. Paul
651-222-3990
amsterdambarandhall.com
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Vietnamese Marinated and Caramel Glazed Back Ribs Recipe

Bring the sweet and tangy taste of Asian cooking to your backyard grill

Bourbon, French fries, Pride, and Fried Chicken

Three must-eat dishes for this week

Maybe the city's most underrated restaurant, Heyday tries to figure out tipping

A 15-percent service fee supposedly takes care of tipping—but does it go to the server?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Recent TC Taste Posts

Vietnamese Marinated and Caramel Glazed Back Ribs Recipe

Bring the sweet and tangy taste of Asian cooking to your backyard grill

Bourbon, French fries, Pride, and Fried Chicken

Three must-eat dishes for this week

Maybe the city's most underrated restaurant, Heyday tries to figure out tipping

A 15-percent service fee supposedly takes care of tipping—but does it go to the server?

French fries, chocolate chip cookies, and a new twist on the iced latte

Three Twin Cities treats from the Lynhall, Sandcastle, and Meritage

Celebrating Father's Day

This Father's Day, let's treat our dads to some special treats

Linguine in Creamy Basil-Avocado Sauce with Seared Scallops Recipe

The creamy richness of avocados makes for a perfect pasta sauce in this homemade restaurant-quality meal
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bites that guarantee that old summer feeling

Ice cream, coffee, and brandy—just because they make us happy

Angel Food Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Driscoll's Angel Food Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Napa and Kale Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing and Sriracha Cashews Recipe

Whether you want to fit back into last summer’s shorts or are looking for a healthy salad idea, toss up this easy recipe that mixes in filling nuts with antioxidant-rich kale and a kick of spice

The Near-Death Experience of the Owner of Jake O'Connor's and McKinney Roe

From trouble golfing in Ireland to emergency heart surgery, Dermot Cowley is alive and recovering—but plans for a new restaurant are now on hold

Meet the Joy Makers

Meet the Joy Makers

Rum and Molasses Marinated Beef Kebabs with Grilled Cantaloupe Recipe

Get fired up for a taste of the tropics in sizzling grilled kebabs
Edit ModuleShow Tags

4 Restaurants, Nearly $850,000 in Park Board Money

How much do Sea Salt, Sandcastle, Tin Fish, and Bread & Pickle make for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board?

Consider the Humble Raspberry

Consider the Humble Raspberry

Fancy Fresh: 3 Things to Eat This Week

A morel tasting menu, a trendy foie gras egg creation, a worthy cinnamon roll—for your long-weekend staycation
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags