I have complained extensively about the lack of quality neighborhood Italians in Amsterdam. And I would certainly not have suspected them in de Pijp with its focus on trendy concept restaurants with a short lifespan. But I have just been proven wrong again! Fa. Pekelhaaring joins l’Ozio, an artsy Italian with a rural Piedmontese menu, and Renato’s, one of the top pizzerias in Amsterdam, as the third quality neighborhood Italian in de Pijp!

To add to the confusion, the name “Pekelhaaring” is rather misleading, suggesting pickled herring rather than rural Italian cuisine. A quick look at the menu reassured us that we were in for a broad and non-standard selection of Italian dishes. There are sandwiches, salads and deep-fried snacks of which we liked the arancini – small deep-fried saffron balls with a pepper mayonnaise. We almost missed out on them since the deep fryer was broken the day we went. But the chef managed to produce fantastic arancini anyway using some combination of shallow frying pan and determination.

Menu at Fa. Pekelhaaring

Menu at Fa. Pekelhaaring

The focus of the menu at Pekelhaaring is antipasti, pasta and grilled meat. The antipasti are standard choices like Parma ham and vitello tonato, presented nicely in a glass showcase. The pasta variations are more daring. We liked the ravioli with haricots and ricotta. The gnocchi with salted cod also sounded interesting. All pasta is available in small and large portions – ideal for lunch also. The mains off the grill include rib-eye, mackerel, and an enormous hamburger made of tasty meat and cooked just right.

The design is clean and modern and creates some sort of über-dimensional living room atmosphere – stylish and welcoming at the same time by way of a rather idiosyncratic combination of styles. The dining room feels spacious with its open kitchen and is very light because of the large windows on the entire Van Woustraat side.

restaurant-pekelhaaring-amsterdam-kitchenrestaurant-pekelhaaring-amsterdam-dining-room

Johannes van Dam awarded Fa. Pekelhaaring a well-deserved 9 out of 10 (Dutch), praising the quality ingredients and great team work of the two brothers that run it.

I find Fa. Pekelhaaring a perfect all-day long destination. You can enjoy sandwiches, salads or a small plate of pasta for lunch, have a multi-course dinner or enjoy a cappuccino or some snacks any time in between. They advertise free wireless on their site, although I have not tried it.