Dining in Amsterdam: Bussia

Bussia is one of my favorite restaurants in Amsterdam. It is a true Italian ristorante where you eat antipasto, primo, secondo, dolce instead of pizza. Everything is made from scratch from fresh ingredients and they have a nice selection of Italian wines. The service is as professional as it is friendly. Last night we took a friend there for her birthday, since I knew she would enjoy this. And she did, as did we! Although you can also eat à la carte, the main attraction of Bussia is the six-course daily menu (antipasto, pasta, risotto, fish, meat, dolce) that you can reduce to four or five courses by limiting to one primo and/or one secondo. They offer matching wines, or there is a wine list. There is some outside seating in summer.

The photos have been taken with my iPhone.

Amuse: cold tomato and nectarine soup with parmigiano cheese foam and a crostino. Very good flavor and contrast in structures. The prosecco we had as an aperitif was good.

Carpaccio of sockeye salmon and daikon with jumbo shrimp tempura, olive tempura, wild rice, and a salad of sockeye salmon, carrot and celeriac. Very nice taste and textures and adequate pairing with a soave from Suavia. 8/10

Fresh tagliatelle with a ragù of rabbit and pomegranate. Outstanding pasta dish with very tender flavorful rabbit and a fresh touch from the pomegranate and celery. We first got a red wine with this, a petit rouge from Valle d’Aosta called Enfer. Although this is a good wine and relatively light for a red, we still thought it was too strong for the rabbit. This was resolved immediately by replacing it with a white. 9/10

Pesto risotto with grilled eggplant and roasted cherry tomato. The cherry tomato was served cold, which made it match very well with the risotto and eggplant. A warm tomato would have been too strong (both sweet and sour). The wine we got with this was an outstanding manzoni from Veneto. Manzoni bianco grapes are a cross between pinot bianco and riesling, named after the guy who created this crossbreed. The wine is very aromatic and floral and paired well with the dish. 8/10

Butter-fried ray with couscous, salmon roe, mango chutney and zucchini stuffed with yogurt. The ray was very flavorful and cooked just right, very juicy and flaky, and paired well with the other stuff on the plate. The wine was a very good falanghina from Molise, made in barrels rather than steel tanks like most falanghina, and thus more round. The pairing with the ray was out of this world, and more than adequate with the (difficult) mango-curry chutney. 9/10

Strip steak (entrecote) with gorgonzola-crumble and summer vegetables. The beef was cooked perfectly medium-rare throughout, juicy and flavorful. Adequate pairing with a 2008 Barolo Parussi. Although it is true that this young barolo is remarkably drinkable due to Parussi’s different way of wine making, it was still a bit on the young side. 8/10

A tarte with summer berries and black currant ice cream. Good taste and textures, and good pairing with a late-harvest verduzzo from Friuli. 8/10

Our dinner at Bussia was again a pleasure. The new Italian sommelier knows a lot about the wines he serves and is a good addition to the team. The food (9/10) and wine (8/10) were outstanding as ever, especially considering that this place doesn’t even have a single star. Prices are reasonable and the service is very friendly and professional (9/10). Can’t wait for our next visit!

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