Distinguished Dutch Duo Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot Open a New Restaurant on Curaçao

29 Aug 2019
2 min read
Taking their culinary talents from city to shore, the Michelin-starred chefs of renowned restaurant 212 in Amsterdam have opened their newest dining offering on the island of Curaçao, restaurant ‘020’, located on a captivating 16th-century estate. 

Named after Amsterdam’s area code, restaurant 020 takes inspiration from the duo’s Michelin-starred restaurant 212 in the Dutch capital. The pair’s new seaside restaurant provides the kitchen team, interactive bar set-up and culinary qualities, while the island takes care of the rest. With its breath-taking ocean view, light dishes and relaxed à la carte menu, 020 is the cool, younger brother of 212.

Richard van Oostenbrugge explains his and Thomas Groot’s joint vision for their new restaurant: “With 020, we bring our restaurant from Amsterdam to Curaçao. The same vibe, the same quality, but then translated to its gorgeous, new tropical location.” 

Although the last one and a half years have been a wild ride for Richard and Thomas, with the pair saying farewell to two-starred Bord’Eau and then opening 212 in Amsterdam and Table 65 in Singapore, they have no intention of slowing down yet, especially with their new restaurant opening its doors on Curaçao.

Restaurant 020’s setting is sublime: a colonial mansion with a backdrop of the bright blue ocean horizon, caressed by a soft seaside breeze. Pronounced as ‘nultwintig’ in Dutch, the 16th-century estate is located on Penstreet, a popular restaurant area overlooking the Caribbean Sea in Curaçao’s capital city, Willemstad. Nestled behind and old tamarind tree, the impressive estate was garnered with an olive-green exterior and a brand-new interior by the Dutch design agency, Concrete, for its new chapter as a restaurant 020.

The new venue may be miles away from big brother 212, but this didn’t stop it from being 020’s biggest inspiration. Just like 212, the 020 countertops are made of stainless steel, and for every guest, a handmade cutlery tray slides out of the oak wood bar. The walls are also decorated with the artwork of street artist, Sliks, in continuation of the Amsterdam spot’s style.

Warm rays of sunshine peek through the white wooden shutters, reflecting against the white interior and making the space feel bright and modern, while French doors lead guests to the beach lined with palm trees, sun loungers and an infinity pool. In a couple of months, the beach bar will open, allowing guests to sunbathe and sip cocktails all day. Until then, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

With 212, Van Oostenbrugge and Groot rid high-end food of all avoidable etiquettes. Fewer rules, more adventure. On Curaçao, they push it even further. The new restaurant translates its tropical location in a relaxed à la carte menu with light dishes, summery cocktails and a price tag just as friendly as the island’s inhabitants.

The culinary duo’s ingenious creativity and refined French techniques also found their way to the island, along with some old favorites, such as the iconic apple dessert from Bord’Eau making a return appearance. The ceviche with passionfruit, coconut and lime has also made an effortless move from 212’s menu to that of 020.

The rest of the food follows the flow of the tropics, explains Groot: “A different place needs different products. The warm weather asks for light dishes loaded with veggies.” These lighter dishes come in the form of four starters, mains and desserts, complemented with several grilled specialties like local langoustines or a Tomahawk for two. A three-course menu starts at €42. 

To experience some tropical ‘020’ on the island of Curaçao, book a table at Restaurant-020.com.


Images © Chantal-Arnts.