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Stereo (B)eat - Payable, Delicious and Special

by Robin Termote in Nightlife & Reports , 14 januari 2008

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Stereo (B)eat is situated along the 1.7 kilometer long and rather barren road connecting the city centre with the inner Western suburb. Personally I don’t like the Overtoom, because it takes an eternity to drive from A to B and if you’re on a bike it’s a miracle if you survive.

You hardly notice Stereo (B)eat from the outside but when you enter you immediately realize that this is not your standard eating-place. The little worker’s house from 1729 only has a mere 50 m2 and has the atmosphere of an intimate restaurant.

The creative interior is hard to label but most definitely distinctive. A lot of black with comfortable couches in bright baroque prints and plenty of cushions. LCD screens on the walls with calm images of aquariums with fish. South American Catholic statuettes of Jesus and the Virgin Mary add a camp touch to it all. We soon find out that they were not meant to be just camp as the chef and co owner Jacinto turns out a devote Ecuador Catholic, who’s convinced the images will deter people with dishonest intentions to enter his business... Multifunctional kitsch indeed! The relaxed lounge and modern jazz music is playing in the background at exactly the right volume: easy to talk to your company without your neighbors being able to listen in.

Jim (33), the other owner, pleasantly shows us to our table and takes our coats. The rosé we order is delicious and soon we are presented with an amuse of toasted bread with eggplant paste. The menu looks tiny but still offers 6 different appetizers, 8 main dishes and 3 deserts. It might be limited for a restaurant but remember, this is a café / restaurant. One tends to forget this fact as the service and atmosphere are excellent. It sports some interesting choices, also unusual in this category of dining spots.

What do you think of crocodile carpaccio for example? Grilled marline or kangaroo steak? This is going to be difficult to choose from! The prizes are very reasonable: from 4, - for the soup of the day (pumpkin today) to 9, - for the dish of our choice (poached salmon on a salad of apple and turnip with crawfish marinated in Grand Marnier). This treat was served swiftly and was excellent in taste, volume and presentation.

We’re asked how long we’d like to wait for the next course to arrive, what a great service! Some people will have a meeting or obligation afterwards and will want to be served a.s.a.p., others, like us, have ample time to enjoy dinner. It’s amazing that no other place in the city shows such consideration. You don’t have to worry about filling your glass either, it’s topped up before you get half way. We quickly order some water because it’s very likely we will leave the place rather tipsy. The water arrives with mint and lime.

Our second course was the lightly smoked beef carpaccio on a bed of rocket with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and a subtle dressing of basil and coriander. Surprising? ....No! Good? ....Very! Everything is clearly freshly made. We are enjoying ourselves thoroughly and are getting curious about our main dish. We both fell for the marline served with a dill sauce and baked potato.

Chef Jacinto’s originality is evident in this choice as well. Marline is relatively hard to get, most people opt for swordfish instead. With 23, - it is the most expensive dish on the menu though still reasonable for such a delicacy. The presentation is simple but the taste is exquisite and that’s what counts here. A beautiful slice of firm white meat, more like soft veal than fish. Absolutely scrumptious. Unfortunately we can’t report on the quality of the deserts... We were simply stuffed!

Owner Jim finds out we’re from Gay News so he joins our table and offers us another coffee with a Cognac on the house. Our very friendly host explains that “SB” wants to stand for both good food at a reasonable price and a good atmosphere that’s also trendy.

The kitchen is open till after midnight and in the weekends chef Jacinto sometimes switches from pans and plates to records and gets the people going as if it were a nightclub. “Well we have a license till 4am so when it’s cooking, we keep going! I think we’re on to something so we’re already on the lookout for a larger venue. More and more people come to visit us. Our customers are very varied, really everybody comes here. From students looking for reasonable cheap food, to trendy people who want to eat something interesting in an interesting ambiance.”

Indeed, I’d seen many a friend of Dorothy come by that night. Well, the fact that both the chef as well as the owner and part of the personnel are gay could have something to do with that. We can safely say this is a gay-minded business and I can’t see why it wouldn’t turn into a very successful one.

Jim insists we stay on for a wee bit longer so that he can make us a new cocktail! All in all I can tell you that the Overtoom ain’t all that gloomy when you walk out the door of Stereo (B)eat... If you could call that walking (watch out for the trams!)

Stereo (B)eat is at 417 Overtoom (2nd tram stop from Leidseplein)

Tel 020-779 12 68

End conclusion

*Atmosphere / interior: 8
*Service: 9
*Food (price / quality): 9
*Location: 7,5
*Gay friendly: 9,5

Special offer for Gay News readers:

*A three course surprise menu for 20 only, including cocktail of choice.
*A free bottle of house wine (when ordering a 3-course meal a la carte)

(Valid till the 31st of December) or show the voucher



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