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Vinomio - Amsterdam Restaurant Review

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The Bottom Line

When I moved to Amsterdam I quickly learned that nothing is ever free here. So when I heard about the complimentary evening nibbles at Vinomio, I gathered some friends to join me in investigating the rumor! Indeed, we enjoyed a delicious assortment of homemade herbed foccaccia and cheesy puff pastry with our house-label red wine. And as it turns out, the Italian staff know a thing or two about good service, something all too hard to find in Amsterdam. (Read below for the full review.)

Pros

  • Homemade breads and pastas.
  • Complimentary aperitivos with wine in evenings.
  • Reasonably priced Italian house-label wines.
  • Friendly service.
  • Canal-side terrace in fair weather.

Cons

  • Open kitchen on top floor can be noisy.

Description

  • Address: Keizersgracht 465, Amsterdam
    Phone: +31 (0)20 675 0707

  • Kitchen open:
    Wed - Sun 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
    Closed Mondays and Tuesdays; hours may be extended on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Location: Central Canal Belt, just off busy Leidsestraat.

  • Tram lines: 1, 2 or 5 to Keizersgracht stop.

  • Attire/Scene: Casual.

Guide Review - Vinomio - Amsterdam Restaurant Review

Vinomio ("my wine" in Italian) began its aim to give Amsterdammers "a real Italian experience" in a cavernous space on the edge of De Pijp neighborhood, a spot that few tourists would ever find. In late February 2009, the wine and coffee bar moved to a much more quaint location on the Keizersgracht, where patrons can enjoy a rustic atmosphere on the cozy basement level or canal views from the airy upstairs section.

I visited not long after the new opening, which meant the walls were still a bit bare and the staff was still getting used to the transition. But the servers' smiles and explanation of the unique business model warmed things up. We ordered a bottle of the house-label sparkling rosé (€ 22) to celebrate the engagement of friends, an occasion that warranted special treatment from the owner. He replenished our complimentary aperitivos (daily from 5 to 10 p.m.) after they quickly disappeared, the second time with a pile of cured ham. I'm assuming the evening snacks are cut pieces of the home-baked servings that aren't sold during the day, when the cafe is more of a coffee bar.

We didn't have a chance to try one of the nightly pasta options, scribbled in Italian on a humble chalkboard. The choices include several types of pasta with everything from beautifully simple sauces (garlic, olive oil and lemon) to more robust ones like amatriciana (pancetta, garlic, onions and red pepper flakes). All the dishes are about € 10.

While they will continue to iron out wrinkles and will likely have to explain the coffee bar/wine bar concept to their Dutch patrons, Vinomio brings an authentic Italian warmth to an often cool and gray city. Look for the Vespa scooter seat "chairs" on the terrace in summer, then order a red, white, rosé or bubbly and enjoy la dolce vita Amsterdam-style.
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