For the past thirteen years Fabio Antonini and his partner Laura Martini have run Pianeta Terra, a restaurant in the center of Amsterdam near the flower market. Fabio is in control of the kitchen and Laura manages service, with the exception of her weekly pasta production. The elegant restaurant is situated in a three story 17th-century house, a very warm and cozy atmosphere with a large window with a view onto the street.
Fabio is Roman and while Laura was born in the Modena Apennines. They met in Amsterdam through a mutual friend Raul, who founded the restaurant with Fabio. From the beginning they were committed to using organic products, for health reasons as well as ethical considerations and a deep respect towards the planet (reflected in the restaurant's name). At that time, organic food was not as popular as it is today and choosing these products meant paying a higher price for raw ingredients. They also decided to work with local organic products, sourcing fish, meat and vegetables from producers around the city as much as possible. Fish that are at risk of extinction, such as tuna or swordfish, are never used.
Cooking came naturally to Fabio, and at 13 he was already working at his uncle's restaurant in Rome in his spare time. When he went to London at 18, he decided to look for work as a chef, and it's been his career ever since. Over the years he has witnessed a significant change among customers. "Until a few years ago, customers never asked questions about what they were eating. Today diners are much more curious and I love to talk to them and explain the history of a dish or an ingredient. In the end, this is our true work."
The wine list is exceptional, offering an unusually rich selection of natural wines from small Italian producers. Laura has a great passion for wine and is responsible for the list. While Fabio was practically born in the kitchen, Laura instead studied art (her good taste can be seen in the restaurants furnishings and art) while retaining her love for cooking. She worked as a chef for ten years on the island of Elba before coming to Amsterdam by chance, thanks to her childhood friend Raul. Laura, Fabio and Raul collaborated with other colleagues to launch the Alliance in the Netherlands.
Fabio and Laura's son Timo is the young "cook" of Pianeta Terra. At 11 years old, he takes cooking very seriously and loves to cook red meat in particular, " because you can do many things with it." He can't wait until he can assist his father in the kitchen, and in the meantime he likes to follow the Alliance dinners attentively, monitoring if the rice has been slightly over-cooked or a dish could use some improvement.
Pianeta Terra serves innovative Italian cuisine, with fresh bread and pasta prepared daily by Fabio and Laura with assistance from Bruno (a young Italian electrical engineer) and Stefano from Bergamo. Fish is delivered daily, and oysters fresh from the Wadden Sea (Slow Food Presidium) are always on the menu. The lamb is delivered personally by the Kempen Heath Sheep Presidium shepherd. In addition to the Dutch Presidia, you will find a selection of Italian Presidia on the menu, such as Roccaverano Robiola, Lake Trasimeno Beans and Traditional Cetara Anchovy Extract. But, at Pianeta Terra you can also enjoy a variation on a very rare traditional Dutch dish, the stampott, made from mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, endive and cabbage.
Fabio Antonini and Laura Martini
1017 BA Amsterdam
tel. +31 206261912
Open from Tuesday to Saturday, evenings only, from 6pm to 10.30 (Friday and Saturday until 11)