Café Commercial

Café Commercial Restaurant (Antwerp)

© Kiko Zushi

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Roll up, roll up, ready for a second spin? Already at the helm of Veranda, Davy Schellemans has struck it lucky with this new ride, which was once a working-class neighborhood café in the Abattoirs district, now decked out with large mirrors and neon lights snaking across the ceiling. The maestro of local appetites is once again making them twist and turn! After a flurry of “oohs!” and “ahs!”, guests gobble down tapas-style small plates and fresh homemade pasta. Concocted by the boss together with chef Robin Gielens (also from Veranda) that particular evening: glistening Iberian ham with crispy caper leaves; shiny bite-sized pieces of lightly torched mackerel, interspersed with chorizo and celeriac cream; and explosively flavorful caramelized endive flanked by apple butter topped with dried bonito flakes. What next? Tortellini doused in a buttery ricotta sauce, with preserved lemon and black olives; paccheri with an ‘nduja and Pasilla pepper kick, paired with burrata and more black olives; and since we still had room, a cheese plate from Van Tricht, followed by a silky caramel mousse. Your stomach will be left feeling as giddy as a go at the fair!// Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Plenty of bottles in the corner glass cellar, waiting patiently for the Apollo of Flemish natural wines Daan Gooiker to come and choose them, like the savagnin ouillé from the Domaine des Notes Bleues (€54), or RIE16 DJ37, a Lorraine riesling from Pierre Andrey and Florence Bouleaux (€79). Otherwise, an Bret-Elle Oude Geuze from Lambiek Fabriek (€12.50 for 375 ml).

PRICE: Dishes €10-25.

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