Some surprising results for "Best-Ranked Restaurant in Amsterdam" included #1 (out of 1,528 restaurants) Zaza's, which I'd just never heard of. Situated in De Pijp, it looks like an affordable, semi-interesting American brasserie menu, though the owner is Irish. If they have seats at a bar, this might be worth looking at.
Also #2 Vlaming, which is right down the street. Mara's suggested this a few times and I've always talked her out of it because I'd never heard anything good about it and the menu looked pretty boring. It's possible I suck though. Plus the owners seem very interested in making sure people have good experiences there. How strange (UPDATE: Mara and KK went last week and had a great time, so yes I suck)
Others: we've been looking for places with decent wine lately, #157 Graves has been a due for a revisit for a while now (I don't remember my last visit's food at all, which as you can imagine is super unusual), but also #66 Cote Ouest just popped up on the radar now too, a real and affordable French place with galettes and cidre and duck and all my other favorite things, plus this looks like a good mussels/frites spot for the wintertime.
CRON going OK. But I need some salads that can be mostly pre-made and ready to go. And they should have some protein. For example: all of these ideas are based on the lunch menu from a Chicago restaurant called Moderno.
- egg, cucumber, pumpernickel crumbs, blue cheese, tarragon
- fried catfish, peanuts, field greens, creme fraiche/ginger dressing
- arugula, crispy ham, pine nuts, pickled red onion, hirtenkase
- beets, raspberries, pistachio, mascarpone, red wine vinegar
- tuna, chopped romaine, rosemary, dried tomatoes, grilled radicchio, olives, creamy parmesan
- spinach, hard-boiled egg, pickled onion, pecorino, mushroom, black pepper vinaigrette
- smoked chicken, red apple, red pepper, mayo, pistachio, basil
- sardine, preserved lemon, fennel