Niven: Date Night in Rijswijk

Jeff surprised me with an amazing local date night.

After a summer of travel and getting settled Jeff and I have been way overdue for a proper date night. We did a trial run a few weeks ago for a quick desert with some wine and felt confident enough with our babysitter to give it a go.

Biking distance from our house is 1-star Michelin rated restaurant – Niven. (Reservations are a must and can be made online.)

Unfortunately, due to our dressy clothing and torrential rain we drove instead of taking the bikes.

They have a menu but the thing to do at Niven is the 10-course tasting menu. The menu can be done with a wine pairing of as many as 5 glasses. We had quite a few less, but the Sommelier kept our wine well paced with the courses.

NIVEN Lobby.

The biggest mistake I made was not taking pictures of the amazing food that was coming out of the kitchen! The only picture I took all night was the huge photo of the Obama inauguration that was hanging in the entrance hall by the coat rack.

I realized my mistake on the way home and tried to jot down each amazing bite that we were offered. The staff explained each dish in English but some of the translations were lost on us.

Here is my best approximation of the delicious bites we were served.

1. Amuse-bouche:

  • Beetroot with blueberry
  • Salmon tartare in cones
  • Eggplant puree on a pastry shell

2. Carrot salad with pumpkin puree

3. Spring roll with raw fish

4. Shiitake mushroom and roe

5. Clamshell with scallop. A duck liver mouse on a Parmesan crisp was balanced on top of the closed clam shell.

6. Oyster

7. Tiny baked potato with pulled pork and avocado mousse

8. Goat cheese on a rose water crisp

9. Beef filet

10. Macaroon with lemon ice and bourbon. Chocolate, sea salt and caramel ice cream bar.

11. Chocolate and banana desert.

Of course, the 10-course menu was actually 11 courses because of the amuse-bouche. The menu changes each night and I wholeheartedly recommend letting the chef send out his delicious bites. I ate a few things (read: duck liver) that I would not typically eat and did not look back.

The meal was incredibly leisurely. It was the perfect date night for chatting and spending time enjoying each and every bite.


Elizabeth is a Type A, Attorney turned Stay-at-Home Mom, who moved her family across the Atlantic for an adventure. She can often be found out and about finding fun things for her littles to do. Elizabeth loves to read, craft and chat with friends. She will try just about anything and loves to share her experiences.

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