Dining and enjoying a drink or two al fresco in Amsterdam is a highly popular social activity, so it was no surprise when I found all the outdoor tables at Villa Zeezicht occupied by pairs and groups of Dutch who didn’t seem to be in any particular rush to get back to the rest of their day. Although I would have preferred to have my lunch at one of the tables lining the front of the restaurant under the yellow-and-white striped awnings, inhaling the scent of the wisteria above, or across the street at the tables on the bridge spanning the Singel canal (a constant challenge for the friendly wait staff, who had to dodge all kinds of vehicular traffic to serve their customers), I found the cozy interior just as charming. And once I got lost in the lunch offerings, it really didn’t matter where I was sitting, as the menu became the star attraction.
Try This: Walking for miles along Amsterdam’s irresistible canals will inevitably build your thirst, so slake it with a bottle of Wieckse Witte, a Dutch wheat beer. Then make the difficult choice between the fantastic carrot coriander soup, served with freshly baked brown bread, and the popular mustard soup with dried clove sausage. You can select from a variety of main dishes, all made with organic meat, or opt for one of the rich pastas, including the ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta in a sage butter. For dessert, go directly to Villa Zeezicht’s specialty, for which it is justly renowned in Amsterdam — the apple pie, a mound of apples tucked into a warm pastry, dusted with cinnamon and topped with fresh cream.