On a cold fall night in St Germain—the full moon glowing ominously through black clouds—we stop to listen to a band playing on a street corner. Wrapped in a fur coat, a madame of a certain age sways her hips and dances merrily. Continuing down the street, we peer through an art gallery window where a chic crowd sips celebratory champagne for a vernissage. We escape the evening chill at 39 Rue Mazarine, where Amore e Gelosia warmly welcomes diners for authentic cuisine from northern Italy. It’s a cozy, elegant space, the walls decorated with large black and white photos- some of iconic Italian movie stars.
“We import everything, all the ingredients, even the chefs!” explains restaurant manager Kajsa von Sydow, as she serves the restaurant’s popular aperitif (made with Martini and prosecco). On the table she places a plate with thick chunks of parmesan cheese, to be drizzled in balsamic vinegar and your choice of artisanal olive oils.
Hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, Enrico Einaodi opened a trattoria 20 years ago in Fontainebleau. Building on its popularity, the family expanded their operations to include five eateries, including an épicerie that sells their pastas and products. He opened Amore e Gelosia a year and half ago in the heart of the 6th arrondissement in Paris. The secret to their success? Traditional recipes from “La Mamma” (Enrico’s mother), and homemade pasta (like tagliatelle, pappardelle, ravioli) that are made fresh daily with flour from the Piedmont. (They even make gluten-free pasta, too.) Wines are chosen from small producers in the Piedmont, and bottled for the family. Named “Lidia” for “La Mamma,” the Chardonnay is particularly lovely.
The new menu features the star dishes of northern Italian cuisine. One of our favourite starters is Il Vitello Tonnato Piemontese- thinly sliced veal served with large cocktail capers and an ancovy-accented mayonnaise. Another delight is the shared platter of Italian charcuterie, burrata, and marinated peppers and mushrooms.
Chef Italo Racchetti arrives at our table, copper saucepan in hand, to spoon generous plates of mushroom-topped risotto. We then tuck into pappardelle pasta with duck, followed by a traditional dessert. Torta sbrisolona con crema al zabaione is a crumbly walnut biscotti served with brandy-infused cream. After all that good food, a digestif is in order! So to cap off a delicious meal, we savour glasses of limoncello, then tumble out into the cheer of nighttime in Saint Germain, grinning and happy.
Amore e Gelosia, 39 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris. Tel: +33 1 46 34 54 71. Open every day for lunch and dinner except Monday. It’s possible to make an online reservation directly on their website. Antipasti from 15 euros, pastas from 16 euros, and main courses from 19 euros.