Expat Essentials

Angela Daley: Little Nuenen suddenly has a stellar restaurant scene

DETAIL FROM 'CAFÉ TERRACE AT NIGHT' BY FORMER NUENEN RESIDENT VINCENT VAN GOGH

Attention Eindhoven-region expats! Need a break from the local Italian or Greek? Then it’s time to hop in your car (or grab your bike, for the more ingeburgered of you) and make your way on a culinary pilgrimage to Nuenen, a cozy little town on the northeast edge of Eindhoven.

Though our traditional claim-to-fame is “official van Gogh village,” two new restaurants are launching us into a place with a restaurant scene – words I never thought I’d write about our humble little hamlet.

THE YELLOW RABBIT

First up is Nuenen’s newest addition, The Yellow Rabbit. Newly opened on 1 November and neatly nestled beside our lovely green park, the menu offers a variety of Asian dishes, from Chinese dim sum to sushi to traditional Indonesian saté. And before you dismiss it as “yet another Dutch Chinese food joint” (which is always confusing since those menus are always packed with Indonesian dishes) you should know that this one is different.

The Yellow Rabbit is the creation of Peter van den Luitgaarden, the long-time manager of Eindhoven’s posh De Blauwe Lotus, housed in Eindhoven’s PSV stadium.

After several failed attempts at getting a spot for dinner in the continuously packed restaurant, my OH and I finally got in to sample a few choice dishes including Peking duck, spicy tuna sushi, Japanese gyoza and beef tenderloin “sashimi.” Everything was delicious, lovingly presented and served by a friendly waiter who immediately switched to English when he heard me talking to my husband. Of course, everyone else in the restaurant probably also heard me since I’m definitely one of those loud Americans.

PHOTO BY ANGELA DALEY

PARKSTREET BBQ & GRIL

The other new-ish kid on the block is Parkstreet BBQ & Grill, located on (you guessed it) the Parkstraat, around the corner and a minute walk away from The Yellow Rabbit. In addition to being loud, I’m also completely happy to fulfill that other cliché perpetuated by every Dutchie I’ve ever met – the chubby American who loves nothing more than a good hamburger. (I’m working on the chubby.)

So believe me when I say that I’m giddy with glee that THE BEST BURGER I’VE EVER HAD outside of the USA is a mere five-minute bike ride from my house. Maybe those capital letters seem a bit too shouty but, by golly, I stand behind them.

Chef-owner Jan Pieter Danoos is obsessively passionate about good food, and his unbridled enthusiasm shows up in every detail of his menu. As a veteran of (too) many restaurant jobs and a stickler for using
fresh ingredients in my own cooking, I’m fairly OCD (okay, okay, really OCD) about minimizing the amount of processed food I eat and feed to my family – especially when I’m paying restaurant prices. So I was immediately won over by Parkstreet’s homemade croutons in my salad, fresh tomato soup – my daughter’s favorite and harder to find in a restaurant than you’d expect – and hand-cut sweet potato French fries.

Add to that fall-off-the-bone ribs, perfect steaks and high-end burger toppings such as duck liver shavings (I know, right?!) and you’ve got a seriously happy eater willing to spend lots of her money in this restaurant.

Ummmmm… not that I’d know anything about that, of course.

DE LINDEHOF

And I would be utterly remiss in touting my town as a must-do dining destination without reminding you of the granddaddy of them all, our two-Michelin-star masterpiece, De Lindehof.

In 1995, owner and head chef Soenil Bahadoer bought the then one-star restaurant located in a particularly historic spot of Nuenen, steps away from the modest Protestant church where Vincent van Gogh’s father served as pastor more than a century ago.

In 2015, Bahadoer’s prodigious talents, hard work and top-notch team earned him a second star. Last year, I was lucky enough to enjoy my birthday dinner there when our cryptocurrency was doing well and it was an amazing experience. (This year, I’ll be having McDonald’s. But that’s another story .…)

To sum it up, if you’re a carnivore looking to sink your teeth into the best meat around, an Asian fusion foodie or you were smart enough to buy loads of Bitcoin (damn you!), consider a visit to Nuenen. The food’s good, the parking’s easy and we’ve got at least one friendly (albeit loud) American around who will happily speak English with you.

THE DEETS

• The Yellow Rabbit

Park 75, Nuenen (about three miles northwest of Eindhoven’s centrum.)

Reservations 040 – 303 37 92

You can also make reservations online here.

Hours

Tuesday: 17:30 – 22:00
Weds. – Fri.: 12:00 – 14:00 and 17:30 – 22:00
Saturday: 18:00 – 22:00
Closed on Sunday and Monday

Price range: Affordable

Sushi ranges from 1.50 euros per piece to 16 euros for the sampler plate that includes maki, California roll and spicy tuna roll.

Mixed sashimi is 16 euros.

Dim sum is 7.50 euros to 10 euros.

Peking Duck is 16.50 euros

You can see the full menu here.

• Parkstreet BBQ & Grill

Parkstreet 25A, Nuenen

Reservations 040 7440270

You can order online here

Hours

Weds. – Sun.: 17:00 – 21:30

Mon. & Tue.: Closed

Price range: Affordable

Appetizers average 5.50 euros and include soup and salads

Burgers start at 8 euros

Steaks start at 14 euros

Grilled salmon is 15.95 euros

• De Lindehof

Beekstraat 1, Nuenen

Reservations 040 283 7336

You can make online reservations here.

Hours

Lunch from noon until 14:00 Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday

Dinner from 18:30 until 21:30 Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Price range: Expensive

You can do a Menu Toque Blanc, a wine pairing and tasting menu, and that’s 195.50 euros per person. Caviar is 62.50 euros extra in case you’re wondering.

You can order á la carte, and the signature dish is European lobster with apple, curry & mango chutney.

The lunch menu is 47.50 per person and includes two daily changing courses, coffee and homemade friandises (bonbon).

You can see the full menu here.

About the author:

Pennsylvania native Angela Daley contracted an incurable case of wanderlust at the tender age of 15 when she visited Europe on a school trip. Since then, she’s spent brief stints in Germany, England and Scotland. (And no, she couldn’t understand what they were saying either.)

In 2005, she met a Dutchman on a street in Shanghai and the rest is herstory; long, complicated and best told over a large glass of Pinot Noir.

She writes for money and pleasure.

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