Just about anywhere in the world, some of the very best restaurants are also the very least affordable, and the Netherlands is no exception. But Restaurant Week, an initiative of restaurant review site DiningCity, aims to make the 1,000 best restaurants in the Netherlands substantially more accessible - if just for one week at a time, in March and in September.
One thousand upscale restaurants across the country participate in the semi-annual Restaurant Week - upwards of 150 in Amsterdam alone - and dozens of cuisines are represented. Each restaurant prepares a three-course, prix fixe "surprise" dinner menu, which it offers at the discounted price of € 27.50 per person; set lunches are also available for € 22.50 (drinks not included in either price). Michelin-starred restaurants do tack on an extra € 10 per star, but even then, the dinner bill scarcely approaches its usual extreme.
The event has become a phenomenon in the Netherlands, and the most desirable restaurants fill up quickly, so diners should book their seats as soon as possible once Restaurant Week reservations open. Be sure to list any dietary requirements on the reservation form, as these can often be honored.