Restaurant review: Denovo in Breda

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So, I promised you I would discuss my birthday dinner at winebar Denovo in this post.A promise is a promise so here you go: a step by step review of what we liked and (perhaps) did not like!

Last Friday was my birthday, on which I basically spent the whole day cooking. When the boyfriend came home however, it was time to start celebrating! I chose Denovo, because it looked rather interesting (even though the menu on the website didn’t show that many items… Maybe a mistake?) and, to be honest, because it was within walking distance from our home. This restaurant can be found on the outer circle of Breda’s city centre.

Wine bar “Denovo” in Breda

We went there for dinner at Friday the 12th of February around 19.30 and left around 22.30. We were with two people in total.

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Appetizers

First Impression of Denovo

When we arrived I was a bit afraid at first, because the restaurant seemed so empty. This usually is not a good sign… Turned out all the guests were seated in the backside of the restaurant and it was already quite full.

The interior is stylish but warm, many wine bottles to be reviewed everywhere (surprise, surprise) and the overall ambiance is welcoming. Nice music, not too loud: it allows the guests to chat without having to scream like you sometimes encounter in places like these.

The menu is way more extensive than shown on the website. There is a small a la carte menu, but the main attraction is the “Shared Dining”. This we found rather similar to the concept of Spanish tapas, where you choose many smaller dishes to combine into one meal. However, the style and cuisine of the dishes were from all over the world: it ranged from typical Dutch to sushi and Mediterranean.

When we were seated we were welcomed by our waiter, who helped me pick out a bottle of wine. He told us about the shared dining “surprise menu” and we decided to go for this instantly. When he brought us the bottle he displayed great knowledge: “… from Argentina, something something and it goes well with fish and goats cheese.” Yes. I made the slightest sound of approval when he mentioned the goats cheese and he picked it up: without asking he told us he’d have the chefs add something with goats cheese to our menu. Yay me! Seriously, he won so many points with that one. I have great appreciation of servers who go the extra mile.

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Carpaccio – the goats cheese – tomato soup

Staff

One thing I personally like when eating in a restaurant is to have one main person at the table. Denovo really understood this: there was that one waiter who would look after us and a waitress who brought us our dishes.

The waitress responsible for serving the food seemed a little distracted, which probably was because she was mainly focussing on the earpiece which allowed her to communicate with the kitchen (I’ve never seen that before!). She was not overly friendly, more professional. We once asked her what dressing was served with our salad and she promised she’d go and ask the kitchen but she never came back to us. Bit of a shame: too distracted in my opinion.

However, the waiter who looked after us and the tables around us really understood his job. He was professional and seemed to have all the knowledge, but also displayed some sort of informal behaviour that suits us really well. We felt so welcome! I’ve often seen waiters that wear their emotions on their sleeve, and by this are stressing out others because they were stressed themselves. This guy seemed cool as a cucumber, which felt very reassuring.

People don’t go out for dinner because they don’t have any food themselves, they search for a great experience. And this is often provided by good waiting staff.

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Uhoh, my brain. I believe it was mushroom with potato crisp – fish…? – simple salad with great dressing

The food: Shared dining

Finally it was time for the main part of the evening. The food! We spent around 3 hours in the restaurant, and there was a lot of time in between courses. This was not disturbing to us as we spent all our time talking, but it would be wise to let the staff know in advance if you’re in a hurry.

We went for the surprise menu so we had no idea what was coming. We were told it was a combination of new dishes as well as some from the existing menu. It started off with appetizers (see pictures down below), which were basically 3 different toppings on pieces of toast or Doritos. Inventive! After that we received a meat and cheese platter with some olives.

I won’t be listing all the dishes as there were 7 courses and each course had 3 components, but one of my personal favourites was definitely the goats cheese, which was wrapped in salty ham, placed on top of baked apples and topped with honey and walnuts… I was so happy this was included in our menu!

We received various well presented plates with either meat, fish or vegetables. We loved every single one! Some of the dishes may seem rather simple but there was always something to take it to the next level. Even though the dishes seemed small we were completely full at the end of it. Full but happy.

For dessert we received this Grand Dessert brought to us by the chef himself, which consisted of many sweet treats. Ice cream, brownie, cookies… You name it, it was there. Lucky for me there was no real fruit part except for some strawberries, I usually am not a fan of fruit desserts. Perfect ending, as dessert is so important to me… Mrs Sweettooth, haha!

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Delicious meats and potato wedges

Conclusion

I was really happy I chose for Denovo for my birthday dinner. Exquisite food, awesome waiters and a really nice, young vibe in general. Now, let’s wrap up with some grades:

First impression: 8

Staff: 9

Food: 8

Which leaves them with a stunning 8,33!

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I’m afraid the wine got to me at this point, I seriously have no idea. Some sort of spring roll cut in half and cheese something with asparagus I believe.

Well, that’s it for today. I sure hope I get to do another review soon as that means I must’ve gone somewhere for lunch or dinner. See you tomorrow,

Vivian

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Grand Dessert.

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