Da Pietro | Elburg (NL)

A pleasurable dinner with attractive dishes with a vibe of an Italian trattoria.
This kitchen certainly has potential!

Elburg is a beautiful and picturesque little town right in the heart of The Netherlands. The old center used to be a fortified city in the Middle Ages. The remains of that, like the city walls, are still very visible. In one of the cobblestone streets in the old center we find restaurant Da Pietro Restaurante Italiano.

Da Pietro was opened bij Pietro and Hetty d’Andrea in 1994 as a pizzeria. Over the years they evolved to a Restaurante Italiano, earning themselves quite a reputation. In 2018 Pietro and Hetty sold the restaurant to start a new concept in Zwolle: d’Andrea’s aperitivo e cucina.

New owner Martin Zwart worked at Da Pietro before as a host, which he continues to be in his own place as well as the sommelier. Starting his hospitality career as a pot washer in a grand cafe in the nearby city of Kampen, Martin has a long list of experiences. But during his internship at the Waldorf Astoria in Rome, the dream of starting his own restaurant began. Six year later, his dream became reality. Together with Chef Arjan Pullen, who also previously worked for Pietro d’Andrea, Martin wants to continue the legacy of Da Pietro. Not only by keeping the name of the restaurant, but also it’s philosophy. Cooking Italian dishes with love and creativity and bring joy to their guests.

Da Pietro is open from Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and on Saturday also for lunch. You can order from the à la carte menu (3 courses at €42,50 or 4 courses at €52,50) or you can let the chef decide and go for Menu Gastronomico (4 courses at €46,00, 5 courses at €56,00 or 6 courses at €66,00).

I was invited by my best friend and wine-buddy Carin. We went for dinner last Tuesday and had the 4-course Menu Gastronomico.


First to arrive were two amuses. A cold soup of watermelon with aceto balsamico. And orchiette pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, black olive and a foam of potato and lemon. Couldn’t taste aceto balsamico in the watermelon and the pasta was a bit bland. Nice enough, but didn’t rock my boat.

Bread & Butter

Seeded sourdough bread from a local baker, served with whipped butter and butter with fennel. And of course a nice Italian olive oil on the side as you should expect in a place like this.

Tuna Tartare

The antipasti course was a tuna tartare, seasoned with a zesty and salty finish, basil cream, crispy quinoa and a salt-cured egg yolk. Not only a pretty picture on the plate, but also an astonishingly delicious dish. Love the flavour palet, enhancing the beautiful sashimi tuna. Cute mini tomatoes for presentation only, but the borage cress played it’s part well, with notes of salt, oyster and cucumber. A great dish like an Italian summer by the seaside!

Loin of Veal with Potato Salad

Next was a cold salad of loin of veal with patato, artichoke and truffle with taggiasca olive and a 12-year old aceto balsamico. Thin slices of, well seasoned, grilled loin of veal, nice and pink like roast beef. The artichoke, truffle and olive were struggling to get their taste above the potato. The aceto balsamico was the star of the dish. Serve this potato salad to me for lunch and I would be happy, but it was a bit underwhelming after the exquisite tuna dish.


For mains I was served duck breast with a blood orange sauce, red chicory braised in orange juice, sweetcorn, broccoli, green asparagus and sweet potato puree. Lovely duck. Domestic, so not gamey, but still very tasty. Nicely pink with the fat rendered. The blood orange sauce was a bit thin, but the taste was great and perfect with the duck. The broccoli and mini corn were a bit to al dente for me, but I really enjoyed the dish.

Fillet of Beef

As Carin doesn’t eat duck, she had the fillet of beef. Served with a veal jus, parsnip puree, beech mushroom (or shimeji) and crispy coppa di parma. Also on the plate some tomato and Veronica Romanesco, sometimes called “broccoflower”, as it’s a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. Taste wise this was an excellent dish, with the different elements and garnishes working together to present a comforting environment for the beef, topped with a scrumptious veal jus. Unfortunately the beef was tough and didn’t have the texture you expect from a fillet. It was more like a poor quality steak that hadn’t been rested. A pity. And when mentioned to the maitre d’, the only response was that he would talk to his supplier about it…. A missed opportunity I say.

Sweet Amuse

Another amuse arrived as a pre-dessert. Elderflower ice cream with vanilla cookie crumbs and freeze dried strawberries. Refreshing and delicious. Maybe better to serve it separate per person, when you’re not serving it to a couple. But a lovely palate cleanser.

Cherry & Pistachio

Dessert was nicely presented. Cherry panna cotta, cherry sorbet, mousse of pistachio and pistachio sponge cake. The cherry panna cotta had a strange consistency, more like a cake than a panna cotta, but I liked the taste. Smooth cherry sorbet and I especially loved the pistachio sponge and mousse. Great combination. The dried cherry on there was worth mentioning too! Tasty dessert!


With our coffees came the sweets! Presented in a pandoras box with lots of little drawers. Four different sweets to choose from. Naturally I wanted to try all of them!


Chocolate truffle with marzipan, a scrumptious amaretto cookie, Piemonte nuts cake and a cantuccini biscuit. A lovely array of Italian classics.

I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant and was impressed by the lovely interior. A vibe of an Italian trattoria with music by Luciano Pavarotti in the background. The service is informal and matches the bistro feel.

Overall a pleasurable dinner with attractive dishes and the menu is good value for money. But I feel it could have been so much better. This kitchen certainly has potential as showcased by the delightful tune tartare and the cooking of the duck breast. Other dishes just need a bit more attention or tweaking to make them stand out more. The beef fillet obviously was the let down this evening, which was a real shame. It shows that everything starts with quality of ingredients. Fortunately it didn’t overshadow the enjoyment of the other dishes or the experience all together.

So we say arrivederci, until we meet again!