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I have eaten and have paid my meals in all the restaurants recommended here."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trattoria Spaccanapoli - Paris (75009)

Trattoria Spaccanapoli
46 bis, rue de Clichy
75009 Paris
Tél : 01 42 82 02 47
Closed Sundays
Métros : Place de Clichy, Trinité

The pitch
I wanna say : just look at the picture of Massimo below, and you will get lots of info about the place. A real italian restaurant that doesn't surf on a concept, kill you with the prices, and doesn't overplay the hype attitude, to say it short : a place that keeps its feet on the ground like his cooking.

The back story

Massimo is the friend of a napolitan friend of mine. Indirectly, I followed the whole adventure of his restaurant opening, just a few months ago. The first time I went there with my common friend I liked it a lot. We had surely been treated well, but it didn't seem there was a total gap between us and the other clients. The atmosphered seemed to be warm for everyone, people had smiling faces and that was due as much to the content of their plates as to the friendly vibe.

- First time was quite epic: the chef hadn't been able to come to work so Massimo was cooking with his second chef. His chinese wife who just speaks english was helping the italian waitress who speaks french very slowly.
But with all that, there was some smiles and no stress. Massimo even found the time to speak with his clients (and not only those he knew).

- The second time, the first chef was not working here anymore and had been replaced by a new one, Ricardo, who had come straight from Italy the week before.

The restaurant
Well, let's be honest, I think that if I hadn't known Massimo or someone very trustful who would have recommended the place to me, I wouldn't have stopped there spontaneously.
First, a restaurant located rue de Clichy is not what really makes me dream. Second, the front with its windows fogged up like a sauna doesn't incite you to come in, but once you're inside, it's cosy and you feel good.
The clientele is a mix of neighbours, tourists, people going out to the Place de Clichy, so it gives a diverse, non-showoff and really sympathic vibe.
Be careful it was busy the first time and the second time Massimo said it was crazy since food journalist Pudlowski had written an article about him.

The Lunch 1
And for the food, what's it like? It's tasty! I took pictures with my camera for the first dinner and they were taken with my Iphone for the second one.

Caprese salad with a good mozzarella, cherry tomatoes pretty tender, entire basilic leaves and good olive oil that goes with the rest.
This salad is 11 euros but you can easily split in two.
What is good is that it's not too dry and a good balance of flavors.

Gnocchi alla sorrentina for 13,50 euros.
Tender gnocchi, tasty tomato sauce, mozarella that is well integrated, excellent.

Sadly, I didn't find a dessert I would eat and the second time, nobody was hungry for dessert.

The Lunch 2
Four of us shared:
- a bruschetta al pomodoro 9,50 euros : great
- a plate of charcuterie and cheese 13,50 : good, the charcuterie was ok, unfortunately there was only one type of cheese

Tagliatelle 'O rrau' (Tagliatelles au veau)
They're on the menu, the 3 other plates were the daily special.
Very nice taste of the tomato, but the person who ate it would have liked to have tasted more of the of the veal.

Gnocchi with peck and ricotta
A true success, I have the impression they have a special touch for the gnocchi here.

Tagliatelles with prawn shrimp
The person who ate them is a chef and she was totally satisfied.

Tagliatelles with lemon and ham of Parme
That was my plate, I love the lemon so I was pleased. Nevertheless I have to say that at the end, I would have liked a bit more ham. The chef himself asked me what I thought about my pasta when I was paying, and I told him exacty what I just wrote and then started a nice conversation about this plate and how it could evolve. That's a good sign!

The bill: 2 entries, 4 plates, 2 bottles of wine, 3 coffees and the chocolate cake which had been especially done for an italian family traveling to Paris and celebrating the birthday of their daughter was shared with all the clients who were still in the restaurant: 31 euros each!

The verdict
I'm very happy of this new address in Paris, the opposite argument to some marketing bullshit: it shows it's possible to open a warm italian restaurant, that is good and not too pricey.
Like the friend who took me there had told me : "you'll see, it's simple, it's a real classic trattoria." Well, that's ok for me, I'm happy to have one in my pocket.


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