No wonder Italian people are such a happy and energetic nation (ok, let’s forget about the result of the vote last Sunday for a second) if they have all those amazing ingredients and dishes and above all: pasta. Pasta is, in my opinion, such a feel-good meal. No need for a knife to eat it, nothing to worry about, just dig in and enjoy. Enjoy the tastes of fennel, sage, butter, rosemary or truffle, of tomato, eggplant and oh, parmesan of course.
Atelier des Pâtes, close to the Magritte Museum, is just the right spot for this. It’s a place I passed by several times in the past, but somehow I forgot over and over again that I wanted to try it out.
I finally did so last week. Julia and I sat down and were very warmly greeted by Jonathan Cardelli, who is one of the three owners of the restaurant. We started with a glass of Prosecco and dived into the menu. A wide variety of choices of pasta; around eight Ravioli dishes and around 15 pasta dishes with spaghetti, tagliolini and the other usual suspects you’ll find on the menu of an Italian restaurant. All pasta is homemade, handmade, most ingredients come from Italy, and everything is freshly made, almost on a daily basis.
And pasta is not the only self-made thing in this place; the whole bar and the light wooden tables are made by the father, Jonathan. The industry-style lamps are also carefully picked and imported from Italy, giving the place a clean, simple industry charm. For my taste, there could be just one or two warmer elements in the room, but that’s only a little observation of mine.
As a starter, we chose a glass of red wine and their famous and slow food award-winning Caponata, an aubergine-tomato stew, to which they added crispy, toasted nuts. It was a delight, especially with their homemade bread made from corn flour. With it, we had Tartufini, something I never tried before and which was one of my highlights that evening. Fried olives stuffed with minced meat and truffle – what a feast!
We emptied our plates fast and were ready for the main courses: umbrici (a slightly thicker version of spaghetti) a la grandmother Agnese, with garlic, olive oil and truffled Pecorino. The pasta was very good, al dente and very fresh and went great with the garlic and the Pecorino, it was just a tiny bit too greasy for me. The other dish, Ravioli with radicchio, sage, butter, salsiccia and potatoes was very delicious, too, and definitely my favourite one of the two main dishes.
To end this low-carb, low-calorie dinner, we indulged in a big portion of Tiramisu. Of course also homemade, it was a perfect mix of a not too sweet dessert with a soft texture.
This restaurant is a place for a single or double date, for dinner alone, one with the family or for an evening with good friends, good wine and even greater food.
Good to Know:
- Prices: Around 7-9€ for starters, 13-18€ for a pasta dish
- Address: 4, Rue de Namur – 1000 – Brussels
- Telephone: 02 540 82 58