There are Italian restaurants and then there’s Il Viticolo Restaurant. And if there’s better Italian food to be had in Brussels, I’d like to know.
Having worked as a chef for 13 years, Giuseppe Schichilone and his wife Aurore took over the restaurant in the middle of the EU Quarter earlier this year and quickly acquired a reputation for top-notch Mediterranean cuisine.
Such is his desire to get things right, the Sicilian-born owner even imports his mozzarella from Italy because he says that the version available in Belgian does not compare. That’s little wonder - because the version he serves is filled with delicious cream.
The menu features a wonderful selection of dishes, including risotto with artichoke hearts, fettuccine with calmaris, cappelini with black truffle, paccheri with sausage and spaghetti with sardines.
There’s a good range of fish and meat dishes, including lamb with thyme and honey, sliced beef fillet, perch and fried bass and rolled swordfish with basil.
All are moderately priced, which is saying something given the location, close to EU institutions such as the European Commission’s Berlaymont HQ.
The restaurant had already existed for three years before Giuseppe fulfilled his dream in owning his own place. Since taking over the 32-seater, the owners have changed the décor and added an impressive collection of Italian wines, including lovely dry, white wines from Umbria.
Open only on weekdays, this eatery comes recommended but catch it quick - before word starts to spread!
by Martin Banks
Il Viticolo18-20 Rue Archimède