The lofty dining room is a national monument to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Since its opening in 1900, this has been a hangout for Dutch and international artists, writers, dancers, and actors. Seductress/spy Mata Hari held her wedding reception here in her pre-espionage days. Tout Amsterdam once liked to be seen here (some of it still does), but now it's mostly for tourists. Don't let that worry you, though: It's still great. Leaded stained-glass windows, newspaper-littered reading tables, bargello-patterned velvet upholstery, frosted-glass Tiffany chandeliers from the 1920s, and tall carved columns are all part of the dusky sit-and-chat atmosphere. Seafood specialties include monkfish, perch, salmon, and king prawns; meat dishes include rack of Irish lamb and rosé breast of duck with creamed potatoes. Jazz lovers can stock up on good music and food at the Sunday jazz brunch, from 12:30 to 3:30pm (reservations needed), and if you're starved for news, settle down at a long reading desk with the international press.
The Knives Are Out -- In the 1960s, satirist Gerrit Komrij described Café Americain's famously brusque waiters as "unemployed knife-throwers."
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2009
- Recommended 2010
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