Pianeta Terra: We decided to go check it out. And we certainly didn’t regret it.
For a whole 22 years, we completely overlooked it, but when we heard that the Amsterdam restaurant Pianeta Terra had been included in the top 50 of the best Italian restaurants in the world (outside of Italy), we decided to go check it out. And we certainly didn’t regret it.
It is often said that what comes from afar is delicious. In the case of Pianeta Terra, we would like to reverse that statement: the biggest surprises can be found close by. And in this case, it has a dual meaning. Firstly, the Quote editorial team was located for years on Koningsplein in Amsterdam, completely unaware that just around the corner, there was a culinary gem that only opened its grand doors in the evening. Moreover, this restaurant has been included in the top 50 of the world’s best Italian restaurants, as recognized by the prestigious DOC-label Prosecco.
However, the latter should be taken with a grain of salt because although owners Fabio Antonini, Laura Martini, and Raul Mini are thoroughly Italian and prepare and serve their dishes with Italian soul, the emphasis is primarily on slow food and organic cuisine. And this brings us to the other aspect of “close by” because the ingredients used come from the Netherlands and are sourced from small-scale organic farmers, fishermen, and suppliers. Think of fish and shellfish from Goede Vissers, meat from Buitengewoon Varken, and a company with the amusing name “De Keuken van het Ongewenste Dier” (The Kitchen of the Unwanted Animal). A fun fact: only the oils, wines, and cheeses come from Italy.
Summit of Freshness
But how can you truly experience all of this without sitting at the table? A cheerful amuse-bouche awakens our appetite: pumpkin-mascarpone flan with woodruff and pangritata, a breadcrumb topping also known as “poor man’s Parmesan.” Flavorful and beautifully presented. The chef’s menu (with options ranging from three to seven courses) starts with a meaty “Wilde Waddenzee-oyster” accompanied by Dutch shrimp, wasabi emulsion, sea banana, samphire, and herring caviar. This is the summit of freshness; it’s how an oyster should be. The next dish features pork as the star: slow-cooked pork jowl, crispy pork rind, red onion, bimi, fermented plums, and barbecue sauce. Well-prepared and well-seasoned. Then we encounter the only truly Italian dish during our visit: fusilli with moscardini (baby octopuses) and a rich black garlic cream. Very tasty. Raised eyebrows
Our favorite dish from the menu is the wild sea bass with baby carrots, sea fennel, wild fennel, tapioca seaweed crackers, and dashi beurre blanc. The fish is perfectly seared, and the accompanying components create a beautiful combination of salty, fresh, earthy, and savory flavors. Without a doubt, a fantastic dish. It’s worth noting that the fish was killed using the ikejime method. While it may sound harshly Japanese, it is actually a quick and painless process that enhances the flavor! We are also quite impressed by the following course, although it initially raises our eyebrows. Have you ever eaten crow? No, of course not. However, Pianeta Terra serves crow breast with pointed cabbage, gratinated figs, celeriac cream, marigold flowers, balsamic, and crow jus. Our findings on this extraordinary dish: a surprising gamey taste. It’s unique and very original. Finally, a dessert where everything revolves around honey. Specifically, honey from the Jordaan neighborhood! It appears in the namelaka (mousse), honeycomb, and tuile. There’s also a matcha cake, crème anglaise, and sea buckthorn syrup.
If only we had known… Well, at least we now know about the existence of Pianeta Terra. And so do you.
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