I’ve visited Maastricht more times than I can count on one hand now and have explored almost all of its entire restaurant scene, but there has always been one that has always escaped me. Harry’s of Maastricht. Having frequently walked past the restaurant located in one of the prettiest parts of Maastricht, I’d for some reason always expected it to be a little stuffy and catering solely for business dinners and lunches – but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
In fact, Harry’s was full of friends catching up, families with well-behaved children and couples enjoying a romantic meal together. The atmosphere is so relaxed, you never feel rushed, service is (mostly) impeccable and the food is effortlessly good. We were also lucky enough to be eating here during Maastricht Carnaval and sipped on a glass of chilled Champagne while watching the Prince wave us past the windows. It was either that or gazing into the open kitchen, which can also provide lots of fun.
Keeping costs down for our long weekend away, we opted for the Harry’s lunch menu priced at a very reasonable 34.50 euro for three delectable courses, with each course given two options to choose from. We started with a classic, steak tartare. Gorgeous shreds of quality beef, mixed with pickles, spices and topped with an egg for mixing. I rather enjoyed the fried bread with it too, it soaked up the moisture mixture perfectly and added an extra richness to it all.
The food here isn’t at all fussy, but you can still expect rich and decadent dishes given a modern finish to them. While my dining companions fish course was an absolute stunner, the real winner (luckily) was my plate full of slow cooked beef cheeks, drizzled in a rich and meaty jus, chopped hazelnuts, bacon lardons and a silky smooth mash underneath. Not to mention a few of the best vegetables in the world, Brussels sprouts of course. A real taste of Winter.
By far my favourite element of the entire meal had to be dessert. If you know me well, you’ll know it’s my favourite part of any dining experience and it didn’t disappoint here at Harry’s. A white chocolate cheesecake of sorts, featuring lots of the creamy cheesy topping and crumble hidden underneath. The whole dessert had been completely deconstructed. There was even lashings of berry sauce, moulds of blackberry sorbet, fresh blackberries, chocolate buttons and chunks of speculoos. I’d come back just for this alone.
Not wanting to leave, we prolonged our stay for just a few moments longer and watched the Carnaval parade thin out in the streets and the coloured flags wave passed the windows. All while nibbling on some almond Florentine style squares which had a lovely chewy texture to them.
After all these years of visiting Maastricht, I’m so glad I finally got to experience Harry’s and more importantly proving how wrong I judged what this place was really about – the food! It’s not one bit stuffy and the food isn’t fussy. Instead it’s a family affair. With a kitchen full of passion and food which isn’t simple, but neither is it overly complicated. My first stop when in Maastricht next – Harry’s, of course.