Xaveria Hollander is still active, and operates Xaviera’s Bed and Breakfast in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The author of “The Happy Hooker” will be glad to have you stay at her “Happy Hotel.”
The Muziektheater (the Nationale Opera & Ballet) hosts major productions of opera, theater and ballet. Look for Shakespeare, classical operas, wonderful ballets like the Nutcracker.
Unfortunately it appears this restaurant is no longer in business…. 🙁
As we wandered around the Leidseplein, my friends from Spain were looking for something different to eat. So when they suggested we look into this Russian restaurant, I was psyched to try anything. And given the new American/Russian amity as evidenced by the Bush/Putin lovefest, it seemed like it was time to see what the Russians have to offer on the culinary scene these days. The menu looked way more inviting than a Texas barbecue, that’s for sure!
The once decadent, and now charming Czarist decor is inviting, with attractive pinstripe wallpaper and turn of the century lamps. It’s the kind of place, a few years ago, where you’d expect the Russian couple at the next table to be KGB agents discussing spy secrets. Of course today it would be the same couple, now with the Russian Mafia, talking about business secrets.
We started off with some Russian beers in half liter bottles, that were very hearty and full of flavor. Some of our appetizers were superb. The chicken soup in a creamy saffron base was outstanding! I ordered the fried potato shoes stuffed with mushrooms and cheese, served with a wonderfully rich cream sauce. Those two appetizers along with the constantly refilling bread basket could make a meal right there. But the fish soup didn’t measure up.
After our second round of beers, the main course arrived. My friends had the Lamb Tiblisi and said it was excellent. I ordered the Chicken Kiev, which I figured would be a safe bet, but unfortunately it was the loser of the evening as it was dry and tough. It certainly didn’t have the freshness of the other dishes.
By the time we were on our third round of beers, the musical portion of the evening’s entertainment had arrived. A Russian duo consisting of male keyboardist and a very sexy platinum blond diva serenaded us with tunes like Besame (which of course my Spanish friends loved!), and other 80s hits. They were actually pretty good!
The bill came to 300 guilders for four, (no dessert) and considering that we each had appetizers and over a liter of beer, I’d say the prices were quite reasonable.
Korte Leidsedwarstraat 49a
Now permanently closed by the City of Amsterdam, all three locations are gone. This review is for historical purposes only.
I tried to visit the Rokerij during the 2002 Cannabis Cup, and found it next to impossible to find a seat. This place is very popular, thanks to the dj spinning cool tunes, really good smoke and a nice large room in the back to chill and be seen by the hip set.
The crowd during the cup seemed to be an interesting blend of Americans, other foreigners and Dutch locals. If I could’ve found a seat perhaps I could tell you more. I even returned the day after the cup ended, and still found no place to sit and would’ve waited, but the thick cigarette smoke drove me out.
There are two other Rokerijs open now. One across from Central Station, the other at Amstel 8. All had nice interiors.
I had a chance to pop in here during the Cannabis Cup. Usually when I spot a pool table in a coffeeshop, I turn around and head elsewhere, but at The Rookies, it’s more of an after thought, rather than the primary focus of activity.
I think The Rookies works because it’s got a more open feel than most narrow, cramped coffeeshops. You can sit most anywhere in the room and observe everything going on. I chose to sit by the pool table, which turned out to be unwise as I was getting a lot of ass in my face when they weren’t taking aim at it with the backend of a pool cue. Fortunately this was noticed by one of the staff who rushed over and moved around a few tables to create more room for those shooting pool.
I enjoyed the tunes playing on their superior sound system. A little Van Morrison and other upbeat music give the place a lot of character, and set the happy tone here. While it’s not exactly my cup of tea, lots of young people like this cheery place.
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 145-147