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This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart

With the restaurant industry virtually closed around the world, many businesses are finding unique and progressive ways to stay open for eager foodies. This one restaurant in Amsterdam is experimenting with new ways for their customers to dine out during these changing times.

This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart
Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

Mediamatic ETEN is a vegan restaurant at the arts center Mediamatic Biotoop, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They decided to set up mini-greenhouses, testing out the social distancing measures, while still allowing people to dine out.

The unique restaurant project is called Serres Séparées, which, in French, means separate greenhouses. There's a slight sex appeal and intimacy to the concept as people's conversations are kept hidden, yet in plain sight. What happens in the greenhouses, stays in the greenhouses?

This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart
Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

In the Netherlands, museums, restaurants, and cinemas had to follow specific measures when they opened on June 1st, 2020. They needed to open at reduced capacity, as the country has over 40,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. So, for Mediamatic ETEN, they took a twist on the traditional concept of dining out. But has it been successful?

With an idea like this, how could it not have been successful? Of course, Mediamatic tested the concept, using their staff members and family members as pretend customers, seeing if the concept is functional. Once they gave themselves the green light, they decided to see how the public would respond.

This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart
Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

The Mediamatic ETEN started taking reservations since May 21st, 2020, and is fully booked until July. Along with respect to social distancing rules, the greenhouses help reduce the amount of contact between waiters and customers. The servers at Mediamatic ETEN must wear face shields and gloves, but that's not all. They use a long wooden board when serving customers with their fully-plant based, four-course meals.

The main Italian chef, Tommaso Buresti, spent his childhood in his father's restaurant and has been cooking since before he can remember. Buresti was immediately drawn to Mediamatic ETEN's concept of food and experimentation, as he loves to research and test out new recipes, expanding his culinary vocabulary and choreography. With a forward-thinking and progressive chef like Buresti, we can only imagine the food is outside of the traditional norms, yet just as tasty, if not more so.

This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart
Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

Mediamatic was founded in Amsterdam in 1983, where the art center has dedicated itself to art projects, nature, biotechnology, and workshops. Mediamatic is always looking for new ways to develop society, using art, design, and science to experiment with living materials. Though these past months have flipped the world upside down, institutions like Mediamatic are shining in the spotlight and challenging conventional norms in regards to food, waste, and natural materials.

This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart
Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

As borders start to open up, and people begin traveling again, this is a great spot and Instagram photo opportunity for those who love to try new things. Have you ever eaten in a mini-greenhouse before? Not many people can say they have. So, if you're heading to Amsterdam anytime soon, tick this must-eat spot off your list. The only thing is you need to book a reservation well in advance because this place is a hit.

This Amsterdam restaurant set up individual greenhouses to keep diners apart
Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam