A restaurant in Amsterdam is now serving meals in private greenhouses, and 2 guests say it's the 'most comfortable dining experience' they've had since lockdown

Josemar Perez and Kelsey Barnes enjoyed a four-course meal from a private greenhouse.@thedamfoodie/Instagram
  • Mediamatic ETEN gained recent popularity for its "serres séparées," or separate greenhouses, where diners enjoy a four-course meal while social distancing.
  • Two diners shared their experience with Insider, and both said it exceeded their expectations.
  • The waiters at Mediamatic ETEN never stepped into their greenhouse and served food on a wooden board to avoid contact with guests.
  • One diner told Insider that it was the most comfortable dining experience she's had since eating out again.

Before Amsterdam went into lockdown, Josemar Perez would dine out a few times each week.

She'd look for places with delicious food, a cozy ambiance, and a place that paid attention to detail.

When Amsterdam went into lockdown, those details fell into her own hands. She cooked dinners at home, lit candles, and set the table.Advertisement

"It's important to make it special, even if it's in your own home," Perez told Insider. "But doing that all the time can get tiring."

Now that restaurants in Amsterdam have reopened, Perez had the chance to dine out for the first time in months.

She was one of the lucky few to grab a reservation at Mediamatic ETEN, a plant-based restaurant on Amsterdam's waterfront.
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"It was the ideal situation for a post-COVID meal," Perez said.

After months of home cooked meals, @ubereats deliveries, dirty dishes to wash by hand and the pajama uniform - a mini greenhouse plant-based dinner for two felt like an absolute dream!! Got dressed up, caught up with @kelseyybarnes & tasted some delicious flavors that I most definitely could not whip up myself. Highly recommend this lovely dinner experience if you can manage snagging a res! And if not @mediamatic_ is a lovely spot to grab a wine or cocktail at by the water. Would love it if it was a permanent series @mediamatic_eten . . . . . #thedamfoodie #postquarantinemeal #postquarantinebucketlist #plantbased #plantbasedmeals #mediamatic #greenhousedining #quarantinecuisine #livingineurope #quarantinelife #europeeeeeeeats #foodiesofinstagram #amsterdamfood #greenhousedinner #livinginamsterdam #lifeasanexpat #locallymade #wheretofindme #locallygrown #expatliving #expatlife #eeeeeats #mediamaticeten #eatlocal #passionpassport #discover_europe_

A post shared by The Dam Foodie (@thedamfoodie) on Jun 16, 2020 at 8:52am PDT

In March, Mediamatic ETEN announced that it would be converting some of its old greenhouses into separate dining rooms for guests. Called "serres séparées," or separate greenhouses, the glass structures seat up to four guests and overlook the waterfront. Advertisement

Perez and her friend, Kelsey Barnes, enjoyed the sunset and a four-course meal from their glass greenhouse on June 13.

The vegan meal was brought to Perez and Barnes on wooden boards. Perez said the waiters made an effort to never step inside the greenhouse.

The waiters served food on a wooden board to minimize contact.@thedamfoodie/Instagram
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Barnes added that small gestures, like holding your glass outside of the greenhouse for a refill or serving your food on the wooden board, helped her feel safe throughout the evening.

"It allowed me to relax a little bit more," she said.

The restaurant could finally reopen after being closed for months.Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

'It's your first experience back in the real world,' one diner told Insider

Perez made the reservation at the end of March and waited nearly two and a half months to dine at Mediamatic ETEN.Advertisement

She said it was worth the wait, and that she had never seen anything like this before. She was also thrilled to not have to worry about the dishes.

"In Amsterdam, I don't have a dishwasher," Perez, originally from Fort Worth, Texas, said.

Barnes told Insider "the idea that you could get out of the house and do something new" was exciting, but that "there was definitely a layer of anxiety."Advertisement

Barnes said she had gone out to a few restaurants before dining at Mediamatic ETEN, but that the greenhouses were the safest she's felt since dining out in public again.

"That was my most comfortable dining experience," she said.
Mediamatic ETEN specializes in locally ground, plant-based food.@thedamfoodie/Instagram
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The four-course dinner cost €55, or about $62 per person

Their dinner included courses ranging from an amuse-bouche to paccheri pasta with saffron and seaweed to a rhubarb brownie dessert.

Perez described the food as "a little bit experimental," "super fresh," and "packed with flavor."

Perez and Barnes also had wine and beer pairings with their dinner, which cost an extra 25, or about $28. Advertisement

The food served at Mediamatic ETEN is locally grown, and the changing menu is based on what fruits and vegetables are in season.

"That's a really nice aspect to it," Barnes said. "Especially after COVID and having the ability to support local businesses."

The tiny greenhouses are designed for two guests.@thedamfoodie/Instagram
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The friends said it was a nice change to 'escape'

"There were times when I forgot we were in the middle of a pandemic," Perez said.

Perez and Barnes dined through sunset and enjoyed the food and ambiance. When the greenhouse felt quiet, Perez pulled out her phone and played Leon Bridges to set the mood.

They finished the meal with a brownie served with rhubarb, potato, and strawberry.Advertisement

"I'm really glad that I was able to have this experience — this really intimate, really peaceful, and comfortable dinner — amidst all of the chaos that's happening in the world," Barnes said.

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