Update 26/08/2015Review has been updated. New pictures have been added. Restaurant has improved (especially service) since our last visit. We have adjusted the ratings for this restaurant to reflect this positive change!
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Restaurant Mauro is located in Wondelgem, just outside of Ghent. Its a little Italian place, which is hidden besides another popular brasserie and therefore not that easy to find if you don’t know its there. Once you are in you’re greeted by friendly Italian waiters, some of which still only speak Italian (or french). We actually like this authenticity but for some people this might be a burden. We came here with a group of 8 people. They came to take our order pretty quickly and (almost) everyone got little appetisers on the house, except for Mr.Eggplant and one other friend. After we politely notified them of the mistake, they brought two more.
Look, that said, here comes a warning. The place is, as said before, very authentic. The waiters are polite but in “an Italian way”. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know what this means. They are very direct, aren’t very patient but that’s just how they are. You either hate it or love it, we love it. (This has improved over time, read update notice)
We ordered drinks, each one of us ordered something else and they didn’t write down what we asked. So, as expected, everyone got drinks…except for me. After waiting a couple of minutes I realising they forgot it so I called over the waiter and asked him if they forgot it. He excused himself politely and quickly brought me my glass.
Starters came out, and again everyone had something else. Mr. Eggplant had Garlic Scampi (16EUR), I had grilled eggplant with parmesan (13EUR) and some friends had bruschetta (which looked way better than the last one I saw). Again, everyone got their starters, except for me. After having to call the waiter over again, he again apologised, and promised me the biggest shot of limoncello after dinner.
Everything tasted amazing, only problem I had with my starter was that there was too much cheese on the eggplant, so really, they only thing I was eating was cheese…I couldn’t find the eggplant anymore.
Anyway, my main course was penne “from the chef” (16EUR), it had pancetta, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese. It was very good even though the sauce was a little thin. I would have eaten more of it if I wasn’t stuffed after my starter. MrEggplant had penne carbonara (15EUR), he said he was happy with it.
When you are used to the westernised Italian food, the dishes may seem basic. They don’t put a lot of effort in presentation but they do succeed in getting those real Italian flavours on your plate. That said, some of our friends where disappointed with their dish. In my humble opinion, they just might have expected it to be different. For example; if you order a pepperoni pizza in Rome and you expect it to be like the one Pizzahut delivers, I guess you will be disappointed in one way or another…
After dinner, as promised everyone got a shot of limoncello, and I got the biggest one! We ordered desert. Mr.Eggplant had a trio of sorbet (8EUR) and me and another friend shared couples desert that was 16EUR. It consisted of two portions of various desserts. Tiramisu, panna cotta, straciattella ice cream and red fruits. It was delicious.
This was probably one of the best italian places I’ve eaten in so far (at least near Ghent). Maybe they’re not used to bigger groups of guests, hence the few mistakes they made… We came here a couple of times before and never had problems. Everything came out fast and delicious.
My advice (to the restaurant), write things down! They did compensate as promised, so I’ll give them that. Its nice to find an authentic restaurant where you feel like you’re in Italy for a while with good food and waiters speaking italian to you. Definitely going to keep coming here.
We posted a few pictures bellow from the times we visited this restaurant after we had written this review. They have improved on every aspect. Better service, every dish that leaves the kitchen is almost too perfect. The presentation has been improved to a Michelin star level.
Prices range from 20 EUR/PP (pizza and house wine) to 80 EUR/pp (Fresh fish dish, vintage wine).
For a couple that orders starts, main (meat or fish dish) and dessert with a nice bottle of quality wine it’s about 150EUR in total. But remember, it will be the best Italian food you had in a long time (if not ever)
Best Italian restaurant in Ghent.Book your table!
9032 Wondelgem (BE)
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