The neighborhoods east of the Amstel are primarily residential, but there are also some wonderful neighborhood restaurants where seasonal, market-driven cooking is the norm. This area is also home to one of Amsterdam's longstanding temples of gourmet food, La Rive in the elegant InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel.
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WildschutRoelof Hartplein 1–3 020-676–8220
This busy but relaxed neighborhood restaurant acts as a not-too-adventurous "Intro to Indo" course. Since 1969, Sama Sebo has gained nearly institution status by dishing out rijsttafel, a feast with myriad exotically spiced small dishes, in an atmosphere characteristically enhanced by bamboo walls, miniature wood "spirit houses," and 19th-century-style lamps. During lunch they serve simpler dishes: bami goreng (spicy fried noodles with vegetables or meat) and nasi goreng (the same, but with rice instead of noodles). At the bar, you can wait for your table while having a beer and getting to know the regulars.
If you want a little food with your art, look no further than the restaurant inside Amsterdam's Hermitage museum, the only branch of the St. Petersburg original. Considering the setting, the food is much better than it needs to be—entrées may include pickled pigeon with roasted black carrots or turbot with asparagus—and attracts cultured patrons lunching on the three-course chef's tasting menu or grabbing dinner before a show at the nearby Carré or Muziektheater. Watch the chefs prepare your meal in the theatrical open kitchen and be sure to choose a wine pairing from the large wine cellar in the middle of the restaurant.
Wildschut, one of Amsterdam's first grand cafés, is an elegant respite after culture or shopping.
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