‘t Nonnetje ** | Harderwijk (NL)

No smoke and mirrors, but down to earth dishes with a culinary class.
The two Michelin stars are deserved and in line with the total experience.

’t Nonnetje (the little nun) is a restaurant full of atmosphere with a nice intimate character situated on a historical square named the Vischmarkt in the old centre of Harderwijk (NL). Since 1998, the owner and maître d’ of ‘t Nonnetje has been Robert-Jan Nijland and since 2006 the kitchen is run by head chef Michel van der Kroft. Van der Kroft received his training mainly in Dutch (Michelin-starred) kitchens, including celebrated Amsterdam restaurants Le Garage and De Kersentuin and he also spent a brief period working in Switzerland.
‘t Nonnetje was awarded with a second Michelin star in 2015.

We had lunch on a Friday last week. When we sat down we found some nice bronze art on the table next to the walnut butter.

Bronze art – Walnut butter

The restaurant offers an à la carte menu and there’s a tasting menu, including a vegetarian option (2 courses €35, 3 courses €45, 4 courses €57.50, 5 courses €70, 6 courses €80, 7 courses €90). We chose the 7-course tasting menu.

Biscuit with Azores’ cows milk cheese

With our aperitif we were served a delicious amuse-bouche: a biscuit with cows milk cheese from the Azores, with a cream of Oude Beemster cheese (an old Dutch cheese), sweet-and-sour kohlrabi and roasted hemp seed.

Gillardeau oyster with Jerusalem artichoke and foie gras

Next was a poached Gillardeau oyster with a cream, smoked peels and crunch of Jerusalem artichoke, melting foie gras on top and a deep flavoured bouillon. There was a lot going on on the oyster shell, but all the elements were well-executed and the flavours all worked together.

White cabbage roll with red cabbage sorbet

And another amuse-bouche of a white cabbage roll filled with it’s leaf veins, red cabbage compote and red cabbage sorbet, with a cardamom and tarragon vinaigrette. Great showcase of a tasty flavoursome vegetarian dish.

Terrine de campagne of rabbit and foie gras

Terrine de campagne of rabbit and foie gras, mousse of root vegetables and turnip. Paté of another level. The rabbit and the foie in harmony but still each playing their part. A happy flavour marriage. The root vegetable mousse enhanced the dish nicely.

Red mullet with beurre noisette, Trompette de la mort and pine nuts

Visually maybe not the best looking dish, but the taste was good. Perfect cuisson of the red mullet. The beurre noisette together with the earthy flavour of the Trompette de la mort mushrooms worked really well with the fish. Not sure about the pine nuts though.

Casserole pan

And then we got the casserole on the table!

Veal sucade (Blade steak) with crackling bits

When the lid was lifted it revealed slow cooked veal blade steak (sucade in Dutch) in a beautiful jus with little crackling bits (or kaatjes as they call them in Dutch).

Veal sucade (Blade steak) with crackling bits

We were supposed to put the blade steak on our plates ourselves. Plates with some beetroot, potato and carrot. Really tender, melt in the mouth, blade steak with a nice gravy. Who doesn’t like that. You wouldn’t expect it in a two Michelin star restaurant maybe, but I like it!

Pheasant hen with Calvados jus

Pan-fried pheasant hen with a bitterbal of it’s leg, chicory with Parmaham, potato-cream with Epoisses cheese, apple and a Calvados jus. The pheasant excellently paired with the silky cheesy mash potato, the salty Parmaham and the rich Calvados jus.

Foie gras

Foie gras three ways: pan-fried foie gras, a bombe of foie gras mousse with sweet wine jelly and a ganache of foie gras with hazelnut crumble. and some pear syrup. Extravagance in it’s top form of course. Looks a simple dish, but shows craftsmanship of the chef.

Chocolate mousse in passionfruit jelly and citrus

Chocolate mousse in passionfruit jelly and citrus, sea buckthorn sorbet, blackberry and blackberry granité. Picture perfect presentation. Refreshing and fruity, harmonious flavour combination. Lovely dessert.

Heavenly mud

Then we got a wooden spoon with chocolate mousse. Heavenly mud they called it. Who doesn’t like to lick the spoon? Naughty but nice!

Pasteis de Nata

The chef’s wife is Portuguese, so this is his improved version of this classic Portuguese pastry: Pasteis de Nata. Scrumptious!


Some nice treats at the end. Chocolate truffle, panna cotta with bayleaf and bread and butter pudding.

There is much that was commendable in this meal. Many dishes displayed a fine classical basis and revealed the hand of a chef who is an excellent craftsman. There was a lot of complexity too, but all well executed.
I like the mixture of classic dishes and more innovative ones, as well as the presentation of the dishes. No experimental stuff with smoke and mirrors, just down to earth with a culinary class.
The relaxed but attentive staff and the informal atmosphere in the restaurant give a pleasant feeling while enjoying the delicious flavour combinations..
The two Michelin stars are deserved and in line with the total experience.