De Librije

Zwolle, Netherlands


Charismatic couple who beat the drum for modern Dutch food in former prison

What makes it stand out: The menu at this influential Dutch restaurant is tailored to suit individual diners' specific tastes. Guests pick four dishes from different colour-coded sections before further plates are added to create a bespoke five-, six- or seven-course menu for each person.

What else? Jonnie and Thérèse Boer have helped shape modern Dutch cuisine over a 20-year career, combining fabulous local food with cutting-edge techniques and idiosyncratic ideas

Typical dishes: Start with a beef tartare and oyster canapé assembled directly on the back of your hand, followed by a dainty dish of foie gras, brown crab and red cabbage. Dry-aged dairy beef is then seared on hot rocks at the table and served with smoked eel and braised lemon.

What of the dining space: Located in an 18th century former prison, the main dining area is in the courtyard, covered by an impressive glass and steel roof.

Did you know? The Boers are passionate campaigners against food waste, highlighting the issue at their biennial Chefs Revolution festival by serving burgers and hotdogs with meat that would normally have been discarded.

De Librije

On the pass

  • Jonnie Boer

Pastry chef

Style of food

  • Modern, local, seasonal cuisine

Standout dish

  • Langoustine in kombucha