Sun-Wed, 11am-11pm; Thu-Sat, 11am-midnight
1 at 116th St.-Columbia University
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
110th St. to 125th St., Morningside Dr. to Riverside Dr.
Credit gentrification: Morningside Heights is now a fancy student neighborhood and Amsterdam Restaurant—overlooking Columbia University's fortress-like campus—is a slick reincarnation of the collegiate bar-and-grill. Mojitos and martinis have replaced suds and shots; louche banquettes have succeeded wooden booths; and snacks have been redubbed "tapas." The eclectic menu presents a survey course in American informal dining trends, with buffalo wings from the disco era and empanadas for the new millennium. While entertaining to read, the vast menu doesn't always score high, although the garlicky hummus, peanut-infused Thai barbecue shrimp, and meaty crab cakes are better than passable. The most satisfied diners are those who come for the camaraderie, not for the chow. After all, gentrification hasn't changed one thing: Undergraduates will generally eat anything.Happy Hour
Mon.—Fri., 4 p.m.—7 p.m.Recommended Dishes
Thai barbeque shrimp, $14; crab cakes, $15; mojito, $9