…or so it went in the early days of neverleavetheclouds. this post has been updated with fresh photography by nora römer, yet the words still ring true. run by the lovely couple of chef vilco guermandi and artist maria donata papadia (who designed the interior relying exclusively on recycled goods), this charming joint close to the east end of jan van galenstraat really doesn’t deal in secrets – it just offers great lasagne!
basically born into the kitchen of one of bologna’s most famous restaurants, vilco eventually felt like taking a break from all that mayhem. he decided to instead focus on the perfection of just one dish and on presenting it in the warm, personal atmosphere of a small bistro-like place. even five years ago, when the couple started out, amsterdam west felt like the perfect fit. it sure does now.
the lasagne comes in three variaties: the classic bolognese, the evergreen ricotta & spinach, and a veggie version that keeps changing and currently features asparagus, courgettes, and sugar snaps (a combined platter is on the menu as well). while especially the latter might sound a bit fancy, the lasagne is both refreshingly simple and immensely delicious.
it is prepared over a long time and then stays hot in the oven for hours – meaning you can just pick it up ready to go whenever you stop by! it also comes with a pleasant surprise as especially the bolognese is stunning in its lightness! part of that sensation is owed to the fact that vilco prefers wine over oil in the sauce. for more, taste it yourself – or try to get the dedicated basketball fan into talking. maybe you will be as lucky as i was.
the menu is rounded out by focaccia, seasonal veggies, and, for those who have a sweet tooth, a selection of toetjes. the real treat here is the salamino di cioccolato. a chunk of dark chocolate, molded, wrapped and meant to be cut into slices just like a proper salami, it is purely beautiful and should also work as a nice, quite unconventional gift.