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Surrounded by the brothels-turned-boutiques of Maitri Chit Road, Contento (or “Rongsamran” in Thai) stands out with its fresh coat of navy blue paint and white pineapple wall sculptures. Inside, the feeling of over-stimulation from the outside world immediately dissipates in a romantic-yet-relaxed space layered with personality.

Everything from the lighting to the silverware was handpicked by owner Nopadon “Ou” Baholyodhin (who also owns Rongros near Tha Tien Pier and Rong Sabiang in On Nut). Arched windows with cafe curtains sit above a long wooden bench extending around the restaurant, contrasting walls of white subway tiles to give that true bistro effect. The marbled bar in the corner displays pastries in beautiful glass domes while foxed-mirror shelves are decked out with copper pans, cake molds, cookbooks and antique cookware.

European comfort food takes center stage through straightforward dishes that are chock full of flavor. Start with the light-as-air chicken liver pate (THB320) topped with white raisins and pistachios and served with sourdough toast, or go for the all-time classic calamari fritti (THB280) paired with aioli and fresh lemon. For bigger bites, move on to pasta dishes like the Doppio Nero (THB520), a fresh squid ink pasta mix topped with crab meat and a hit of chili, or the spaghetti alle vongole (THB380) made with seasonal clams and a briny white wine sauce.

No bistro would be complete without a steak frite (THB1,380); here it’s a grain-fed prime ribeye served with chimichurri sauce. For dessert, order the orange-hinted crepes Suzette (THB320), and watch them flambeed tableside.

Doppio Nero (THB520). Photo: Coconuts

For the drinks, pretend you’re sitting in St. Mark’s Square and sip on the Bellini like Harry’s (THB320), or imagine you’re at the Gansevoort in New York and go for a Negroni (THB380). You can also keep it light with a Chinotto (THB160) or the Imperial Iced Tea (THB160), a mix of black tea flavored with summer fruit, red berries, and sloe gin. The wine list offers options like the crisp Calalenta Rose (THB1,560/bottle) from Farmese Fantini in Sicily and Villa Antinori (THB1,780 per bottle), an earthy, full-bodied red from Tuscany.

A destination that’s intimate without being stuffy, a menu full of comforting bites, killer beats playing in the background, a weekend-only bar on the second floor: Contento ticks all the boxes.

Contento is located on Maitri Chit Road and is only a few hundred meters from MRT Hua Lamphong. It’s open 11am to 10pm every day.

Contento (or Rongsamran)
Maitri Chit Road, Pom Prap Sattru Phai
11am – 10pm daily
MRT Hua Lamphong

This story originally appeared in BK.

This article, Feast to your heart’s ‘Contento’ at new Italian hotspot in Bangkok’s old town, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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