By Valerie Vinyard
The Dutch Eatery and Refuge has found a new haven.
About a month ago, the restaurant moved from its University Boulevard location near UA into the former Pita Jungle location in Williams Centre on Broadway Boulevard and Craycroft Road.
“It’s been extremely positive,” says general manager Collyn Glaspie, 28.
“We’re getting a lot of people from the surrounding neighborhoods who are excited there’s a nonchain restaurant.”
The Dutch serves modern European cuisine and offers brunch and dinner Monday to Saturday.
Chef-owner Marcus van Winden kept many of the original location’s menu items and introduced new dishes, including some with an unusual twist.
“They can expect to see some dishes they recognize but with a European modern twist,” Glaspie says.
Take the quail Wellington ($28), where the bird is wrapped in puff pastry with mushroom duxelle, boursin and proscuitto. Made to order, the dish is served with green beans and demi-glace.
“The quail was so, so good,” says Lisa Sussenberg, a 26-year-old retail worker who enjoyed the dish on a recent Friday.
“I’ve never had quail that way. It was memorable and a little decadent.”
One of Glaspie’s favorite entrees is the dry-aged pork chop stamppot ($32), which is served with potatoes smashed with sauerkraut, caramelized apples and whole grain mustard.
Other dishes have roots in Indonesia, which is purposeful, Glaspie said.
“We want to be able to offer a wide variety of dishes,” he says. “The (Indonesian dishes) offer a difference from the meat-heavy and bread-heavy dishes that are traditionally European.”
Nasi goreng ($22) is an Indonesian fried rice dish with ham, shallots, garlic and sambal, a sunny side up egg and kecap manis, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. The entree comes with atjar tjampoer, a mixed pickled vegetable dish, peanut sauce and krupuk (cracker).
Glaspie described the decor as “warm masculine industrial,” which lends a cozy feel to the 4,000-square-foot restaurant.
They kept the giant wall mirror, the metal pipes hanging from the ceiling and some of the lighting, and brought in new tables and chairs, and resurfaced the bar.
A couple of walk-up windows. The Dutch’s capacity is 180 for inside and out, including the bar.
Van Winden, 42, owns The Dutch with his wife, 38-year-old Nicole. The two met while working on a cruise ship.
“Marcus and I met while we were both working on Holland America Cruise Line, where he was the fine dining chef and I was assistant cruise director,” she says. “We love the hospitality industry and have had the pleasure of working in inns and hotels around the country before finally settling down in my hometown of Tucson to open The Dutch in 2017.”
Nicole van Winden notes that her Netherlands-born husband uses his extensive experience to offer a variety of dishes.
“Chef Marcus is from the Netherlands but has worked in French and Mediterranean kitchens,” she said.
“So while you will find classic Dutch dishes, like patat oorlog (war fries), we are also excited to serve items such as homemade hollandaise on our lobster benedict, duck a l’orange tacos, escargot and steak tartar.”
The duck l’orange tacos ($18) are slow-braised duck, brussels slaw, pickled red onion and cotija cheese on corn tortillas. The tacos, like several offerings, are gluten free.
Fish and chips fans will want to order the Kibbeling ($16), a beer-battered cod with traditional Dutch seasoning. The dish comes with tartar sauce, coleslaw and fries.
During the 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour, all bar snacks and bottles of wine are half-priced, with $5 well drinks and draft beers.
Snacks include patat oorlog ($8; $4 happy hour), which are reminiscent of poutine. A healthy serving of hand-cut fries topped with a peanut sauce, mayonnaise and onion and in a metal cone.
A traditional Dutch drinking snack is the bitterballen ($9; $4.50 for happy hour). Six fried balls are served with a side of mustard. The creamy filling might put off some people, but after you dip the crunchy ball into the hearty mustard, the snack has a flavor reminiscent of beef stew.
We especially liked the lumpia ($7; $3.50 for happy hour), which is a type of spring roll commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. The three crispy rolls are made of thin crepe-like pastry skin that envelop ground chicken and vegetables. Dip the rolls into the sweet accompanying chili sauce.
A fun cocktail menu ($10-$14) offers punny takes of restaurant lingo. The Yes, Chef ($14) is a blend of High West rye, luxardo, amaro and sweet vermouth, and Corner ($10), which is “dealer’s choice” that “tastes like you don’t know what’s coming around the corner but you hope for the best.”
During a recent sold-out wild game and beer dinner ($68), van Winden showcased his culinary range with such dishes as duck three ways; frog legs; rabbit; bison short rib; and a cherry clafoutis dessert to end the feast. Each of the five courses was paired with a Dragoon beer.
Van Winden plans to offer regular wine and beer dinners. The next one will be an old world wine dinner with the neighboring George Wine Shop on Saturday, May 7. It will be a five-course meal featuring dishes from around Europe, each paired with a hand-selected old world wine.
Nightly dinner specials offer even more options for diners. Wednesdays are “Woensdag, Gehaktdag,” or “Grind Day” ($16), which features a dish made of ground meat.
A chef’s table (advance reservations required) is located along a bar table facing the open kitchen. Parties of two to 10 have a personally curated five- ($110 per person) to seven-course ($145 per person) tasting menu with an optional wine pairing for $65 per person.
And don’t worry: Those who crave mimosas still can get their bottomless fix until 3 p.m. ($17 with entree purchase; $25 without; 1 cent refills).
Dutch Eatery and Refuge
5340 E. Broadway Boulevard
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Wednesdays
10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays