When visiting L’Atelier d’Alessandro, you’ll experience a one-man-show. Just make sure to sit at the bar, so you don’t miss a second of the artistic ongoings behind the counter. Well, of course there are waiters, but the kitchen is run all by Alessandro, a Belgian-Italian in his mid-30s, who opened the restaurant about a year ago. Before, he was working at other Italian places run by his family, but this one is his baby.
Taking a glimpse inside from the street makes you think the place is nothing special. A quite simple interior, which wasn’t particularly in my taste, but wasn’t bothering me either: an old Vespa, which I liked a lot, simple dark brown wooden tables, black leather chairs and green plastic chairs, colourful walls and just next to the entrance some wine bottles that are for sale and some other Italian produce. What you’ll note though is that the place is packed every day and that it is very hard to resist the aromatic smell of meat and melted cheese that escapes the entrance door of L’Atelier d’Alessandro.
Your attention is very soon diverted though from the interior and you’re greeted by a cheerful chef, who has a warm and friendly smile on his face just before he quickly returns to the kitchen to prepare the many dishes people are waiting for.
Let me tell, you: the food was exceptional! I didn’t have much of a choice but to take the Tagliatelle cooked in a Parmesan wheel – yes indeed, a whole wheel…the size of a car wheel – with white truffle oil, Rucola and Parma ham. There are many other dishes that sounded and looked amazing, but I had to try this specialty of the chef. I certainly didn’t get disappointed. The portion might not look huge but it is huge and very heavy, but the good heavy. The heaviness after lunch where you feel like taking a nap rather than sitting at your desk, but the one where you think back and you’re happy you did it. I don’t know what about you, but I don’t want to look back and think “I could’ve eaten that”.
The pasta is well cooked: al dente, not too soft nor too firm. It is so rich and creamy and paradise for all cheese lovers. The hint of truffle oil gives it that special kick, the Rucola and the Parma ham round up the taste and everything taken together makes the dish a true experience. I sat at the bar and saw all the magic happen in front of me. Not only the pasta, but also all other dishes; the meat, fish, Italian burgers. It was very impressive how Alessandro multitasked and somehow managed to still make everything look so perfect on the plates, which themselves were very pretty already.
You can order a la carte or choose the lunch option, which is accompanied with a salad or vegetables that you can pick yourself from the counter where they’re arranged.
I am surely coming back, this is a place no one should miss.
Good to Know:
- Be aware that the place open for lunch during the week and for dinner only on Saturdays.
- Prices: 19,90E for the famous Parmesan pasta, around 25E for a 300g piece of good quality meat, pasta dishes start from 14,90E
- 54, rue Stevin, 1000 Brussels
Number: 0489 45 88 99