amsterdam: san george restaurant opening

© café george / photography: katja gatkowska

when café george launched its first establishment along a scenic canal in downtown amsterdam a few years back, it was the very foundation of a hospitality network that continues to expand to this day. maintaining a hybrid cosmopolitan concept which pairs american-style comfort food and other classic dishes with the setting and atmosphere of many renowned brasseries of paris, it helped raise the bar in casual dining in the dutch capital. café george dining venues have sprung up across town and beyond, gaining a loyal following at every location. for its eighth venue, called san george and situated along one of the city's bustling thoroughfares, the popular dining chain has upped the ante.

behold an italian diner that leisurely evokes the insouciant, glamour-infused days of fellini's la dolce vitathe restaurant occupies a circular-shaped gound floor extension of a listed structure built in the style of the so-called amsterdam school. local architecture practice framework and longtime collaborator faced the challenge to fuse the austerity of the building's original elements with the sophisticated decorum that was obviously envisioned. a signature element in all of café george's restaurants is lots of tiled surfaces – predominantly glazed, we should add – and although it's a tried trick, it's pulled off with a far more glamourous twist.

upon entering the premises, guests encounter what arguably is the restaurant's coziest spot, featuring a luxurious curved leather sofa in sexy cobalt blue paired with several tables and chairs. directly opposite the bar is situated, replete with stools and all dipped in a similar hue. just behind the half-exposed concrete pillars  an unintentional yet subtle reference to the building's calvinist legacy  lies the main dining section with two rows of seating arrangements. just a tad more formal, the elongated benches and matching sofas are clad in a velvety green fabric. special attention has been given to san george's light fixtures, most notably the sleek wall lamps that correspond directly with shiny accents found throughout the interior. 

the setting is framed by meandering, black + white tiles on the floor, and square-moulded ones up on the ceiling in the main dining section. expansive windows allow in plenty of daylight, and if you're seated up front, the dining comes with lively downtown iews. as said, the fare is distinctly italian, featuring an all-day menu of tasty dishes, ranging from classic antipasti and other specialty bites, to variations of pizza and pasta, and sumptuous meat dishes and seafood. and don't skip dessert, it's not only lovingly made, but also very much part of the san george dining experience. location: stadhouderskade 7 [oud west].

© café george / photography: katja gatkowska