As the days are drawing in and evenings are getting longer (& cosier), there's pretty much nothing we'd like more than to nestle up at an intimate little wine bar with a few friends and while away an evening. There are quite a few spots in Amsterdam that'd fit the bill for this, but there's one place in particular that's calling our names louder than ever: Bar Parry. The wine list is thoughtful & full of gems, the food is insanely delicious and the people watching is, well, you'll just have to see for yourself when things open up again.
To satisfy our craving, we had a little chat with Bar Parry's mastermind, Alain Parry. Keep reading to find out everything you're dying to know.
gloobles; Hi Alain! Happy November! Could you start at the beginning? Tell us about the journey to opening Bar Parry.
Alain: The dream of opening a small, cosy bar has been there for years. Not only because the restaurant is too small to have a bar inside but also because we missed a place like this in Amsterdam. We were extremely lucky that a spot opened up across our home, just around the corner from the restaurant. It’s the best view we could wish for.
gloobles: We certainly wouldn't mind that view. We know you also run one of our very favourite restaurants, Balthazar’s Keuken. How is running Bar Parry different?
Alain: Bar Parry is a bar with lots of wine & a small menu. You’re welcome for everything you wish for - an aperitif, different wines by the glass with a small snack - but also for a beer, a bottle of wine & several dishes or just our lovely chocolate mousse.
- gloobles: Oh my god that chocolate mousse is insane! When did you first fall in love with wine? What did you like about it?
Alain: Well, what’s not to like about it? The excitement of opening a bottle & not knowing for sure how it will be & develop is always fun. We’ve been working with De Wijnwinkel for more than 25 years now, & they keep surprising and spoiling us with the most beautiful & interesting wines. It’s a never-ending love story.
- gloobles: A match made in heaven. How do you source your wines? What do you look for in a wine?
Alain: We work exclusively with De Wijnwinkel (Runstraat 23). In the bar, we serve more than 85 wines by the bottle, & our open wines changes once our twice a week.
gloobles: So there's pretty much always something new to try. How wonderful! Do you have different wines at Bar Parry than at Balthazar’s Keuken?
Alain: The selection we have at Bar Parry is bigger than we have at the restaurant, not only by the bottle but also by the glass. At Balthazar’s Keuken the open wines are paired with the menu & change every three weeks. At the bar, we open different bottles by the glass 1-2 times a week.
- gloobles: Got it. Do you have a favourite dish on your menu?
Alain: We can’t choose between our mushroom beignets served with crème fraiche & preserved lemons. Or our olive oil cake with a blue cheese, Lady’s Blue.
- gloobles: Oh, yes. That's a pretty impossible decision indeed. Is there anything you’d like to add to the menu that you haven’t yet?
Alain: As soon as it is possible, we’d love to visit our second hometown Sòller again & bring back the sobrasadas made by our local butcher.
gloobles: We would love that too. Fingers crossed! If you’re not drinking or dining at Bar Parry or Balthazar’s Keuken, where do you like to go in Amsterdam?
Alain: Bouchon du Centre is still one of our favourites. The owner is the chef, the waitress & the sommelier, & she serves the real traditional Lyonnaise food.
gloobles: And are there any other restaurants in Amsterdam that have great wine in your opinion?
- gloobles: Do you have a favourite wine bar somewhere else in the world?
Alain: La Pioche, Tokyo.
gloobles; Alright, last one. If you could share any bottle of wine with anyone in the world at Bar Parry, which wine would you choose & who would be your drinking companion?
Alain: We always enjoy a night drinking wine with Peter Renalda (former owner of the Wijnwinkel) & Olle Swets (current owner of the Wijnwinkel). Not only because of their great companionship but also for all the stories & knowledge about the wine, winemakers & cellars we are working with. We would let them choose the wine, as they always pick something unexpected accompanied by a good story about its origin.