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La Rive, Amsterdam

Intercontinental Amstel
1 Professor Tulpplein
Netherlands 1018 GX
Tel: 31 20 622 6060's insider take:

The fittingly proper, Michelin-starred dining room of the Amstel Hotel, La Rive, is Amsterdam's most formal restaurant. Troops of waiters man the genteel, wood-paneled dining room (which looks like Henry Higgins's library), and the menu references all the classics, including a textbook coquilles Saint Jacques. But in a show of local pride, chef de cuisine Rogér Rassin, who took over the kitchen in May 2008, is starting to sneak in some down-home Dutch cooking alongside all the haute flamboyance. The result: veal cheek paired with a high-low mix of truffles, garden beans, horseradish mashed potatoes, and oxtail sauce, or North Sea turbot crowned with a classic lowlands brown-butter and mustard sauce. The subtle nod to New Dutch cuisine doesn't just rouse a somewhat dated menu, but it helps the restaurant itself recharge with a distinctly Netherlandish take on the high life.

Open Tuesdays through Fridays noon to 2 pm and 6:30 to 11:30 pm, Saturdays 6:30 to 11:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.