We’re off this Sunday but back for my birthday on Nov. 30!


Dear friends,

Apologies for the late notice but there will be no Borrel this Sunday, Nov. 23. But we will return Nov. 30, which just so happens to be my birthday! So why don’t you come celebrate with me?

In addition to some free snacks, discounted menu items and drink specials, we’ll also be previewing a new and “gezellig” (the Dutch word for all things cozy) Ossington for Sunday afternoons ahead of the holiday season. We’re going to fill the bar with lights, candles and decor and have some mulled wine going to make Sunday afternoons there even more comfortable as we head into Christmas and the weather gets colder.

I guess it would make more sense to switch these Sundays off. But when I think about it, if I was asked what I would want to do on my birthday if it fell on a Sunday, it would be hanging out at a bar in the afternoon to enjoy some drinks and good company. True, I’ll mostly be busy cooking, but anyone who knows me knows that with any party I host, I’m usually busying myself in the kitchen anyway. I enjoy it.

Hope you can make it next Sunday or one of the Sundays coming up in December!

Boerenkool is back!


Happy October everyone! We’re nearing our fourth week since our long break and it’s great to be back. Our new and improved bitterballen and krokets have been going over really well. We’re excited about how much closer we’ve gotten the taste to the real thing across the ocean …

Even more exciting is the return of everyone’s favourite potato and kale concoction: boerenkool! Mixed with homemade bacon lardons, topped with gravy and a side of smoked sausage, it’ll almost make you glad winter’s on the way! While we referred to it as “stamppot” last winter, technically stamppot is a generic term for any potato-veggie mashup. So just in case we introduce another Dutch mash in the future, we thought it best to be more specific. … And thus concludes today’s didactic Dutch lesson.

Anyways, we’ll have steaming hot boerenkool ready to go every Sunday to help make this winter just a little easier to get through. Hope to see you soon!

IMG_0822Boerenkool is introduced to a new audience in this historic photograph depicting the second annual Holland Day in Canada in 2009.

Borrel’s back this Sunday, Sept. 21!


And … we’re back! Borrel at the Ossington is starting up again this Sunday, Sept. 21, from 1-6 p.m. It’s been a while and we can’t wait to see you again!

The forecast is calling for low 20s and it’s not yet officially fall, so we’re going to stick with our summer menu items while we still can. While our travels in Holland definitely inspired some ideas going ahead, you won’t notice too many changes to the menu right away but we promise some surprises next season. But a big change right now is the bitterballen and krokets: On top of a new and improved recipe for the filling, we’re going to be deep-frying them fresh onsite. (I know, I know, it’s the way they’re always supposed to be.) We think you’ll really like them.

Hope you can make it by for a drink and a snack this Sunday for our official reopening. Tot ziens!


Borrel taking a break until September!

photoDear friends, this Sunday, July 20, will be our last Borrel for a while. At the risk of oversharing, Alison is not only one of the world’s most wonderful waitresses, but more importantly my fiancee and we are getting married at the end of the month! Following that we will be going on our honeymoon.

But fear not, Borrel at The Ossington will return Sunday, Sept. 7! And part of the reason our honeymoon is so long is that we will be investing time back in the Netherlands, studying and sampling more Dutch treats that we can try to recreate for you back here in Toronto. … OK, it’s hardly a business trip, but we do hope it can help make Borrel even better going ahead!

We would like to thank everyone who has attended the Borrels or World Cup matches for their enthusiasm for our humble little venture. Considering I have absolutely no prior experience in this line of work, your compliments about the food are what kept us going, knowing that we were doing something right. It’s been a huge thrill to prepare these foods for such appreciative customers and we hope to continue to do so for years to come. A final big thanks to everyone at The Ossington for giving us the opportunity to do this.

We hope to see you this Sunday. … And again in September! (Enjoy the rest of your summer, it’ll be boerenkool-appropriate weather again before you know it!)

Alas … Oranje out

120710 Oranjefans op de Binnerotte in RotterdamNow that I’ve finally stopped crying, I just wanted to say thanks to all the Oranje supporters we’ve had at The Ossington for all the Dutch matches. While it’s a bitter loss to take being once again so close to that elusive world championship, I still have to smile thinking about some of the amazing moments we’ve experienced during this World Cup: the insane euphoria following Holland’s win in penalties to Costa Rica; a 5-1 redemption victory against Spain; a definitive extra goal against Chile just to finish top of the group. … It was a hell of a lot of fun. A huge thanks to all of you for making these games truly epic.

I’m not sure how many of you are interested in watching the Holland vs. Brazil third place match (I don’t even think manager Louis van Gaal will be watching it from his comments stating “You shouldn’t have players play a match for third and fourth place. There should only be one champion. I think that this match should never be played. I have been saying it for 10 or 15 years”), so we’re deciding not to screen it at The Ossington. But The Ossington will be showing the final match between Germany and Argentina for any of you interested in non-Oranje action.

Once again, a big thanks to all of you. Hope to see you in two years’ time for the European Cup.


Oranje on to the semis!


Oh wow. My heart is still racing from Saturday’s match against Costa Rica. What a game. And what a great turnout at The Ossington! Thanks to all of you for coming and giving it up for Holland. The atmosphere in there was amazing.

And thanks as well for your enthusiasm for the Dutch food. We sold out well ahead of the end, allowing me to actually watch the game! … Although I was just contemplating washing the dishes instead of watching the penalty kicks just to spare myself the potential heartache. Very glad I did watch though!

And now it’s on to the semifinals! If you’ve recovered by Wednesday, please join us at The Ossington. Doors open at 2 p.m. for a 4 p.m. kickoff. As always, $6.50 flip-top bottles of Grolsch and $6 homemade Dutch snacks. I’m going to prep some more food for this game (partly so that I can spare my nerves from watching) but, as you may have noticed, our cooking facilities are pretty limited so there’s really only a certain amount of food that can be made during the length of the match.

Your patience waiting for the food and with the technical issues we’ve had has been amazing. We’re honoured to host these games for the best Oranje supporters in town.

Hup Holland!

Oranje in the quarter finals!


And we’re through to the quarter finals! I won’t lie, it’s a bit bittersweet going through on a questionable penalty kick so late in the game. … But we’ll take it! Join us at The Ossington for Holland’s match against Costa Rica this Saturday. Doors open at 2 p.m. for the 4 p.m. kickoff. As always, $6.50 flip-top bottles of Grolsch and $6 homemade traditional Dutch snacks will be available. We hope you can join us!

We’d like to thank everyone who made it down to the Holland vs. Mexico match on Sunday. The atmosphere in there was amazing! I didn’t catch much of the match in the kitchen but still felt the tension of every second with the loud vocal reactions in the bar. And I’d like to thank you all for your extreme patience with the technical issues we experienced in the back room. The Ossington staff has corrected the issue and we’ll be ready for your thunderous support on Saturday!

Also, we will cancel our regular Borrel this Sunday as win or lose, I think we all  use a little break from all this Dutchness by then.

Hup Holland!