We're all wondering what dining out will look like in the coming months, and one restaurant in Amsterdam has quite the audacious idea.
Mediamatic ETEN is currently in the process of installing quarantine greenhouses or "Serres Séparées" on the waterfront outside their restaurant to give diners the option to easily social distance during the coronavirus pandemic. The individual pods allow two to three people to dine together intimately while isolated from other restaurant-goers.
As of now, the classy restaurant is only testing the candle-lit, four-course vegetarian dining experience and limiting service to family and friends of staff as they wait for permission from the government to re-open. Additionally, all upcoming reservations are sold out.
"These chambres séparées are recommended only for people that are already living together," they say online. "Soon, we'll offer really nice plant-based dinner in our greenhouses on the Amsterdam water side of the Oosterdok."
According to Reuters, waiters at Mediamatic wear gloves and "transparent face shields" to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They also use long boards to serve diners their meals, and the greenhouses are set far apart from each other to ensure minimal contact between customers.
“We are now learning how to do the cleaning, how to do the service, how to get the empty plates out again in an elegant way, so you still feel taken care of nicely,” said Willem Velthoven of Mediamatic.
Janita Vermeulen, one woman who was invited to a trial dinner with her roommate, confirmed to Reuters that the vibes are immaculate. “It’s super-cosy, it’s really cosy, it’s nice and the food is delicious,” she said.
The Dutch restaurant scene is closed to the public until at least May 19, but the Netherlands' restaurant association KNH has said that even if at that time they are allowed to reopen, capacity will be limited and restaurants must have safety precautions in place.
Fortunately, it seems that Mediamatic will fit the bill when it comes to appropriate measures.