I have never been a regular anywhere before in my life… not even at the gyms where I maintained a membership… although I think the closest I ever got to getting recognized by staff was at the DVD shop when I was a student… other than that – I either have a forgettable face OR I have never frequented anywhere often enough to be one of the local-yokels.
My Aussie Netball mate introduced me to this little snug of an Italian Restaurant about a year after I had arrived in Brussels… and considering that it is about 100m away from my apartment, just off the Chatelain Market and has mind-blowingly good (and simple) pasta’s at reasonable prices (not to mention really REALLY nice waitron staff who can suggest a glass of red vino to suit your mood)… this has now become a REGULAR spot for me…
AND I can grin and say that I finally own a *regular* badge… as the staff know me… can always find me a little table for 2 (or sometimes 1), know that I always order the same plate of pasta AND can probably gauge how my day has been based on which red wine I choose (the stronger my choice – the worse the day :)) and more importantly – I am normally one of the first diners in the Restaurant… I eat and get out so that they can turn that table for the *late eater* folk (which is pretty much most of the European population)
I am there approx once a week (hangs head in a little bit of shame) – but don’t judge me… this is really a place of comfort… the tables look a little busted up (with people having written on them), there are no table cloths and definitely no candles… and there is a limited food offering (only 2 *starter*, 5 pasta’s and maybe a *main* or two… and of course about 4 desserts (of which the Tiramisu (directly translated as *pick me up* is the most phenomenal that I have EVER tasted))… and the rest of the menu (which is all one big board – as there are no printed menu’s) is dedicated to wines by the glass)
BUT – the food is prepared freshly and their arrabbiatta sauce is perfectly balanced with just enough chilli and garlic ZING (sound like Goldilocks again… but this is the BEST arrabbiatta sauce I have ever had)….
the staff are helpful and friendly (as already mentioned… but I might just have a soft spot for one of the waiters :))…. and the best thing is that there is a little *amuse bouche* (aka snack) area where you can help yourself to some nibbles while you have a drink there (for no charge)
Now I have to admit that people in SA are generally greedy guts… and this little stand of nibbles wouldn’t last long there (particularly if it was free) – but the Europeans have a little bit more self-control and don’t heap their side plates …. so there is always enough for everyone to have a little something with their aperitif!
- Arrabbiata is the Italian word for *angry* – but is also a Roman sauce of garlic, tomatoes and red chilli cooked in olive oil…
- Tiramisu is the Italian word for *pick me up* and is made of ladyfingers (boudior biscuits for those SA locals), dipped in coffee and layered with a mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone – flavoured with cocoa and coffee lliquer.
Address: La Piola, Rue du Page 2; 1050
Telephone: +32 (0)2 538 9129
Monday-Tuesday: 17h00-24h00 ; Wednesday- Saturday: 12h00-24h00