The American Hotel is a landmark in Amsterdam and deserves to be seen just for the striking Art Deco design. My grandfather recommended I visit this palatial building while visiting Holland so I was delighted to be offered lunch in the casual café.
The restaurant was buzzing when we arrived on a Saturday lunchtime, it was immediately obvious that this is a relaxed venue, no snootiness here despite the hotel’s long standing reputation. Busy locals drop in for a bite to eat before resuming their weekend activities. We were treated very well throughout our stay, the waiter confidently chose us an appropriate wine and chatted to us without intruding on our lunch.
The menu is simple and short, offering appealing International dishes. We ordered Caesar’s Salads to start followed by Steak Frites. It was an absolutely glorious day, despite the internet predicting heavy rain and we were extra smug sitting in the sunlight outside, sipping ice cold rose while watching the passers by. It felt like heaven, and I couldn’t have been more content.
When visiting the loo, I got a glimpse of the interior… inside the American has a decadent 1920s ambience but combined with convenient modern facilities. The décor is dated but sophisticated with large sunflowers adorning the grand rooms.
Feeling parched from the hot weather, the dry light rose was the perfect refreshing drink and accompanied our meal perfectly. I noted its origin, near my grandmother’s house in Provence, South of France. The salads were divine, well mixed selections of ingredients, crunchy iceberg lettuce, salty bacon lardons, chicken, olives, lightly toasted croutons and best of all, sunblush tomatoes which gave the salad a unique Mediterranean tang. My friend also had anchovies and poached egg on her salad which looked very pretty placed on top.
The steaks were very good value, 20 Euros each for a succulent fillet, very high quality and lean. The grilled meat arrived with frites and salad and was covered in a moreish salty sauce and delicious melting butter on top, I savoured every mouthful, but without the usual London rush I felt the luxury of time and this allowed me to enjoy the meal even more. Amsterdam is famous for their addictive chips and this is exactly what we experienced at the American, soft, crispy and lightly seasoned… dipped in mayonnaise, they were gone in a moment. The salad was a nice touch, complementary with the steak.
After a short interval we went with the waiter’s recommendation of Sorbet Sundae and Crème Brulee to share. Both were homemade, light and delicious, vibrantly flavoured and very refreshing. We were particularly recommended the delicious Mango Sorbet which tasted better than the fruit itself. The Crème Brulee was wonderful too, served in a very thin dish, cool inside with a crackling sugary warm layer on top… delicious with our short espresso coffees.
It was the perfect meal, on a perfect day in the perfect city. Next time I’d love to experience the bedrooms at the American Hotel, I’m sure they are magnificent.
More information here.