© Felix Meritis / Photography: Ewout Huibers

Glancing at the expansive walls depicting fluffy pink-infused clouds, one is easily tempted to settle for a whimsical hallucination of heaven. Well, it’s the sophisticated setting of Felix, the new dining establishment of revived cultural landmark Felix Meritis. Erected in 1788 by Amsterdam‘s movers and shakers of the time, the canal-side building with a grand neo-classical façade housed an elite society which aimed to advance arts and science. Indeed, an ‘incubator’ or ‘think tank’ in modern lingo. Since the society was abolished a century later, the building has seen a slew of different tenants and it wasn’t until Dutch entrepreneur and philanthropist Alex Mulder snapped up the building, that its original purpose would be reinstated. Following a three-year renovation, the ground floor Felix restaurant heralds not only the upcoming full opening of the building, but also an entirely new era as a significant cultural venue. As said, it’s situated on the ground floor, occupying a lofty room with large windows looking out on one of the city’s scenic main canals. The interior design, created by lauded Amsterdam-based architecture practice i29, may reference a Dutch 17th-century period room, but it’s interpreted in a distinctly modern way.

The aforementioned celestial skies are captured by fabric wall covering and obviously anchor the backdrop. Moulded wooden panelling lines both sides of the room, and the rectangular shapes are mimicked by large and seemingly intertwined suspended frames high up which feature subtle spotlights. An elongated sofa, offering seating on two sides, divides the room in two, and is paired with tables and chairs which easily allow different configurations. Additional tables for two flank the central seating arrangement, while near the canal windows, two round tables seat four guests. Following stints at a number of renowned Michelin-starred restaurants across the Netherlands, chef Floris van Straalen has been very much a part of its buzzing culinary scene, and now helms the kitchen at Felix. The young and ambitious Dutchman continues his sustainable cooking magic, using exclusively produce from the homeland. Here, the fine dining experience has an adventurous edge which lends ingredients and flavours a new dynamic, supplemented by a matching selection of wines and other alcoholic beverages, all selected by seasoned sommelier Saskia Smeenk. Felix officially opens its doors on Fri – Jan 31.

Felix
Keizersgracht 324
1016EZ Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 20 5891690
Daily 12-3 (lunch) + 6-10 (dinner)

© Felix Meritis / Photography: Ewout Huibers