A good match full of top wines in a charm store

Parlotte is such a wine restaurant that looks like today’s people like. A beautiful bar that would not look out of place in Paris, a beautiful Art Deco lamp and round marble tables. And then the business is also located in the heart of the Jordaan, you would almost be afraid that it will become the setting for a cheerful thirties film à la Hartenstraat.

For the time being, this is not the case, Parlotte has only been open for a few months after it had to close immediately at the start due to the national covid measures. Nevertheless, sommelier Margot Los, Marjolein Peltzer and chef Maarten Pinxteren kept their spirits up and pulled the ship afloat. Parlotte is rock solid, or to say it in ship’s language: it is firmly on course.

The stars of this charming establishment are, in addition to the skilled, sympathetic sommelier-hosts, above all the wines. When studying the wine list that spans several pages, we almost fall out of our chairs. What a choice, all those wonderful wineries! Intimidated by so much beauty, we immediately hand over the wine choice to the ladies, who excite us with panache and enthusiasm and pleasen with their selection. We are already on the alert from glass one: German Riesling from Emrich-Schönleber (7.-) from the fine wine region of Nahe, and a biodynamic, Alsatian blend with, among other things, gewürztraminer from winery Deiss (8.50). We have a small snack with it: shells with garlic, allspice and coriander (9,-), both salty and spicy, with good sourdough bread with butter (3.50).

Stress of choice cannot be the problem with the menu, unlike with the wine list: you can choose from a three- or four-course menu (39,- or 47,-) with a single excursion (vegetarian or meat/fish). It is clear that Parlotte focuses on wine, wine and more wine. One of the starters is not a wine lover at all: tomatoes with baked ricotta and a tomato vinaigrette, but the riper Riesling from Wagner-Stempel (11.50) works wonderfully with it. That has everything to do with the acids; the ripening ensures that it does not become an accumulation of acids in the end, but the two balance each other. The terrine of rabbit with artichoke, carrots, chervil and tarragon vinaigrette is accompanied by a Sablet Blanc, a sturdy wine from the Vaucluse, another very good match, because such a strong white Rhône wine goes well with the pronounced taste of terrine.

We like to drink red with the main courses. That may sound a bit crazy, because we eat fish, but we like it and that you should always drink white with fish is not hard science in any case. Our sommelier understands this and comes up with two exciting wines: a bit of raw cabernet franc, well chilled of course (Domaine des Roches Neuves 2017, 8.50), and a pinot noir from Épineuil, the northern Burgundy, a guarantee for strong acidity. Bingo, because the monkfish comes as a chunk, firm but not chewy, with lentils, mushrooms and cavolo nero and the sauce is made from the fish skeleton, a kind of bisque; all in all, a solid, earthy dish that tolerates red wine well.

We slide happily into the finale: baked prune with crème suisse, lemon thyme and salted almond crumble, to which a glass of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (9,-) is added, together a feast of the sourness of the plum, the umami of the cream and the sweetness of the muscat wine. The other takes a simple, excellent plate of Kef matured cheese.

Let’s play open card: we pay sixty euros for seven glasses of wine, that’s an average of almost nine euros per glass. Parlotte is not the occasion for a nice ‘wine’ drink with some snacks: wine is here serious business for serious enthusiasts. Which does not mean that we leave the building with a smile from ear to ear.

Reviewer and journalist Rock Possel tests a restaurant in and around Amsterdam every week.