After two failed attempts at two different lunch places, a spontaneous walk in the always atmospheric 9 Straatjes neighborhood landed us past the small, attractive courtyard of the Dylan Hotel, a pricey-looking sign called out to us, and into the rarefied, almost exclusive confines of a brasserie I knew little to nothing about.
It was that time again for one of my irregularly regular weekend socials with Emmy, an ex-colleague I’ve come to rely on as co-conspirator for adventurous eat-outs and a listening ear for all my first world woes. Our original plan to go to Libertine went bust as it looked like they closed for business or were under renovation, and the second, a nondescript bistro, had a late 90s vibe and none-too-exciting menu.
It was third time’s the charm.
Back when I still worked in DC I remember meeting a man who after I mentioned I was moving to the Netherlands suggested I look up his brother’s hotel, the Dylan in Amsterdam, and drop his name if I were to apply for work, which I did. While I’m still sore about not hearing back about my job application – 10 years seems to be a long enough grace period for any bad feelings – it’s always been my goal to take a peek at the Dylan if only to fill a curiosity. Happy to report that the lamb with peas and white asparagus was beautifully-done, the Dylan Thomas cocktail my new favorite, and like the hotel, Occo was well-appointed, attractive, and definitely worth another visit.