Bunker to Bistro in 4 seconds flat

A few months ago, my friend Mirte took me to the magical city of Maastricht (remember our adventure?). After exploring every last charming cobblestoned alley, we reluctantly stepped on the train back to Utrecht, heavy-laden with boxes of granny-era china, silverware, and crystal we had scored in second-hand shops. All this wonderful booty sat untouched until last week, when we transformed the Bunker into a Bistro.

The foccaccia dough hung out all cozy by the only radiator in the house, while we scuttled off to the organic farmer’s market and bought too many beautiful fennel bulbs.

bistro prep

Our menu was inspired by flavours from warmer regions, so pomegranates, pistachios, rose water and pink peppercorns were among the A-listers populating the party.

Alongside a brothy, turmeric-tinged lentil soup, we served a black olive & Himalayan salt foccaccia with dipping bowls of good olive oil and dukkah, a fragrant blend of finely-blitzed toasted nuts and spices.
foccaccia

Then there was a roasted paprika filled with wild rice- and walnut-speckled orzo and topped with a luscious soft feta; a shaved fennel, blood orange and olive salad; and a roasted sweet potato, parsnip and garlic puree.

plating

The pomegranate Eton Mess was devoured so quickly that no photos of the rosewater meringues exist.

january bistro

To finish a very fine evening, we sipped thimbles of Bonne’s homemade Beech Noyeau. It doesn’t get more local than this — he picked the beech leaves from the park a stone’s throw from the Bunker!

beukenlikeur

 We had such a roaring good time that we’re already planning next month’s menu…here’s a clue!

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