One of the pleasures of traveling is stumbling upon unexpected treasures. Such is il Matterello, a shop selling fresh authentic Italian pasta made on the spot. il Mattarello is named after a rolling pin and is not licensed as a restaurant. That being said, it was long after lunchtime and we hadn’t eaten yet. We spied a rustic country table at the back of the shop that had a basket of lavender and lots of Italian cooking books piled on it at one end. There were two beautiful fish paintings on the wall. The feng shui was excellent, the aromas tantalizing, and we looked longingly at the pastas displayed inside the case.
The beautiful rustic table with skylight and paintings at il Mattarello
One of the owners (name forgotten, I’m sorry to say and their website is in Dutch) sensed our hunger—okay, maybe we gave her a hint when our drool began to hit the floor—and she suggested we sit down and she’d serve us up a few dishes. The shop was set up like a long open loft with skylights over the table, the kitchen stove right there next to the fresh pasta display case. il Mattarello wholesales pasta to restaurants throughout the Netherlands and does not yet have a restaurant of its own because the laws in Amsterdam designate certain spaces to remain retail shops or restaurants or offices, etc. They happen to have a retail shop. We were served an unbelievably delicious lunch. Ssssssshhh! Don’t tell anyone! il Mattarello also offers cooking workshops in this fabulous space. Can’t get to Amsterdam? Check out their video on uTube.
The pretty owner / chef of il Mattarello
It was like having your own private chef. We chose a selection of raviolis…some stuffed with beets, some with pumpkin, some with spinach and ricotta…
Fresh pasta cooked in fresh sage and butter....
Ravioli stuffed with beets and with spinach & ricotta cooked in butter and fresh sage...
Sausage, cheeses, olive oil...mama mia!
The kitchen and display case at il Mattarello in Amsterdam
Hot Travel Tip: Stay at the Sunhead B & B when you visit Amsterdam. You’ll be conveniently located on the Herengracht Canal close to the Dam. The must-not-miss Anne Frank House and museum are right around the corner (even in middle of winter the lines were long here so get up early and beat the crowds). The train station is less than a 3 minute walk away. You’re never more than a 15 minute walk from anything you’ll want to see if you stay at the Sunhead. This most charming B & B is in a 1617 building and the feng shui vibe is lovely. Carlos, your innkeeper, will delight you every morning in his cozy kitchen with a huge and delicious breakfast consisting of yoghurt with fresh fruit compote, fresh squeezed orange juice, crusty rolls, prosciutto or bacon, eggs your way, and coffee or tea. This hearty fare can get you way beyond lunchtime if you’re counting calories or coins. His naughty sense of humor is a refreshing way to begin your day as well if you don’t mind a few well placed F-bombs before noon, bitches. We stayed in the Tulip Room under the red-beamed rooftop and double height ceiling which is at the very top of 3 narrow flights of stairs. There is no elevator so if this is a concern, you’ll want to pass on this opportunity. There’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam you’ll want to stay 4-7 days.