From the second you step through the entrance, down past the insouciant, shockingly attractive sous chefs in the open kitchen, it’s clear: Envy is it. The black-on-black design, with an endless row of industrial-style refrigerators covering one wall and a 15-foot-long refectory table running down the restaurant’s center, is by über-cool Amsterdam design group Concrete. The Italian food is far less attention-seeking, with small plates of perfectly prepared one-ingredient dishes (tissue-thin culatello ham) or simple-but-delicious combinations (asparagus with lemon and roasted garlic).
Insider Tip: For a pre-dinner drink, try Vyne, five doors down at Prinsengracht 411. It’s owned and managed by the team behind Envy, and the interiors are by Concrete, too. There are many dozens of wines available by the glass, including unusual offerings from southern Italy, Morocco, and—yes, indeed—the Netherlands.