Restaurant 273 | Utrecht (NL)

A true gastronomic experience, with dishes of divine quality.
Curious to see where the culinary road of this establishment will lead!

Everyone who has been to Utrecht (the 4th largest city of The Netherlands) knows de Oudegracht (The Old Canal). Running right through the old city center, this 2 km long canal used to be the artery of the city in the Middle Ages. It basically still is, with lots of shops and nice places to eat and drink alongside. Just outside the old center, at number 273, we find Restaurant 273, booked by Joanne as my birthday surprise.

The restaurant is long and narrow as is typical for de Oudegracht. Designed by the Chef and his partner Gyöngyi Peijnenburg, the interior is modern. A copper bar in the front with a build-in wine cooler, with white marble. The long green velvet eating sofa runs all the way to the open kitchen in the back of the restaurant. Two high tables with a view on the kitchen and a Chef’s table for four at the white marble bar if you really want to get up close to the action. Copper details and a rough stucco with copper wall complete the contemporary look.

It’s hard to believe, but since 2013, when restaurant Karel V lost its star, there have been no Michelin stars in the whole city of Utrecht. Local lad Tommy den Hartog wants to break that 10 year star-less streak and set his task to raise the culinary level of his home town.

Opened in June 2021 (almost 9 months later than first planned because of Covid), Restaurant 273 is the first own restaurant of Chef-Patron Tommy den Hartog. The 33 year old worked as a Chef at Amsterdam’ restaurants Moon and Johannes. Before that, he was sous-chef at The Dylan and at Dennis Kuipers’ Michelin starred Vinkeles * in Amsterdam amongst others.

Restaurant 273 is open for dinner on Thursday to Sunday and also for lunch on Sundays. To start with, the menu offers Osentra caviar, Pata Negra or Spéciaes Geay oysters, which come in three different ways. The à la carte menu offer 3 Appetizers (which are actually starters), 3 Intermediates, 3 Mains and 3 Desserts (at €12,50 to €21,50). The Chef’s Menu is served in 4 courses at €55, 6 courses at €75 or 8 courses at €95. If you wish cheese instead of dessert there is a supplement of €5. For lunch you can order a 3 course menu at €45.

We had dinner two weeks ago on a Sunday and went all the way with the 8-course Chef’s Menu.


To start we were served a trio of amuses. Tuna tartare with wasabi in a cone and nori on top. Joanne had curry flavoured carrot instead of the tuna. A bitterbal of pork neck with hoisin and crispy skin. And tomato marinated in basil with vanilla thyme and much more. Joyfull mouth pleasers! The tomato was juicy and morish, but the highlight was the bitterbal. A bowl of those please!

Pearl of Margarita Cocktail

A pearl, presented in a beautiful copper-plated oyster shell, filled with Margarita cocktail. It burst in the mouth, with the fresh, salt and sweetness of the cocktail cleansing the palet at the start of the dinner. Beautiful, clever and delicious!


Housebaked bread with a nice artisan look to it.

Olive Oil

The Spanish olive oil they served is their own brand, made from Picual olives. A bit bitter to my taste. It’s also for sale in the restaurant, together with some other merchandise, like coffee beans and a 273 hoodie.

Bread & Butter

Next to the olive oil, the bread is served with a farmer’s butter, made from the cream with is scooped off the fresh milk.

Grey Mullet “Ceviche”

My first dish was a ceviche of grey mullet with tiger milk, coconut milk and kaffir lime, soybeans, puffed corn, coriander and pink pepper. Love the kaffir lime coming through in this beautiful marriage of acids and coconut. So refreshing yet interesting.

By the way, tiger milk has nothing to do with tigers. It’s mixture of lime juice, onion rings, chilli peppers, salt and pepper, traditionally used in ceviche.


As Joanne doesn’t eat cold fish, so she had the beetroot instead of the ceviche. Another excellent dish! A rose of beetroot sitting on a tartare of black olive, bathing in a pool of horseradish, yoghurt and tarragon. Bold, serious and powerful. A gorgeous pairing of clean flavours.

Steak Tartare

The next serving was a steak tartare of dairy cattle with sambai, onion oli and shiso purper. Love the flavour palette with clever textures of crispy onion. The steak is quite finely cut, giving it a mouthfeel of a carpaccio almost. A quality dish with Asian influences gently running through it. Delicate, yet bold, deliciousness!


My next course was cod, beautifully cooked at 48 degrees. Beurre blanc, salmon roe and highly decadent osetra caviar bursting in the mouth like popping candy, and fingerlime to add gently freshness and crunch. All flavours blazing in this superb bowl of comfort. Fresh and delicious!


For Joanne the sweetbread, lightly battered and perfectly fried. Poivrade artichoke from Italy, accompanied with a crème of the artichoke with some cream and potato to add some firmness. Orange powder made from dried orange peel. Raw mushroom for a bit of nuttiness and a sauce of orange and cloves for an Asian touch. An absolute joy to eat!


Under the Parmesan foam hides a creamy risotto made from acquerello carnaroli, the Rolls Royce amongst risotto rice. Just a tad al dente as you want it. Subtle truffle oil with finely grated summer truffle. Grated cured egg yolk bringing some saltiness together with the Parmesan. Humble ingredients with summer truffle decadence. Simply delicious and immaculately balanced A grand dish!


Next was the seabass with smoken Oosterschelde eel, celeriac and poultry gravy. Love the combination of the seabass and smoked eel adding fish complexity. That crackly crispened skin on the seabass, without overcooking the fish, shows skill. Crunchy celeriac bits adding interesting texture enhanced by a sumptuously soft blanket of foam of the eel. The poultry gravy was quite reduced adding lots of saltiness. Maybe too much actuallly slightly overpowering the seabass. Other than that a great dish.


The meat course was lamb with garden peas, caper leaf, sea lavender and argan oil. The lamb fat was beautifully rendered, while keeping the meat pink. So good! Interesting sauce with lots of different notes. Nothing overpowering. Like the subtle mint flavour, which may be the argan oil. A Moroccan oil made from argan nuts, also used in cosmetic products as it’s supposed to be good for your skin and hair. Anyway, another utterly delicious dish!


The first dessert was passionfruit, mango, white chocolate and basil. A mango cremeux surrounded with passionfruit and basil oil. Fresh mango with mango and passionfruit sorbet. A snappy tuile branch on top with little basil leaves. Sharp passionfruit balanced out by creamy mango. Excellent and sassy dessert. Sexy and punchy!

Tartelette “Romanoff”

And finally tartelette Romanoff with strawberry, lime, mascarpone and vodka. A crumbly shortbread casing filled with a fascinating mixture of lime, vodka and mascapone with a tanginess that works exquisitely with the sweet ness of the Dutch strawberries. Well executed balance of flavours of this refreshing, gentle sweet, fruitiness!

Service is excellent, modern and informal, yet following the fine dining etiquettes to the tee, matching the high standards of the kitchen. 

A glorious dinner that has shown the capabilities of Chef Tommy den Hartog and his team, with dishes of divine quality. Blown away by the ceviche and the cod, not nullifying any of the other dishes. A true gastronomic experience!

And so we leave Restaurant 273 totally satisfied, curious to see where the culinary road of this establishment will lead. I expect great things to come and will be following the proceedings closely. We most certainly will be back!