If you are an aficionado of fresh clams, truffle infused honey, powerful Barolo wines and excellent service then head straight to ‘La Locanda degli amici’ on 433, Chaussée de Waterloo in Ixelles.

La Locanda is a small operation, in more ways than one, as there are only a handful of tables and the Italian chef works alone, assisted only by one waitress. This makes for a bit longer-than-usual wait, but when the food arrives it will be piping hot and cooked perfectly – in addition to having been cooked in front of you!

Some absolute must-try dishes include the Rigatoni Matrix (onions, pancetta, tomatoes, basil, red wine and parmesan), the Penne à la Robinson (wild mushrooms, white truffle oil, crème and parmesan) or the very nice Spaghetti Adriatico (clams, garlic, parsley, white wine and cherry tomatoes). The wine list is extensive (and good) enough to back up the claim that La Locanda is also a wine bar in the real sense.

What really makes La Locanda stand out from the vast number of Italian restaurants in Brussels is the impeccable, warm, and genuine service, coupled with fabulous pasta cooked to near perfection. Give it a try, but be sure to reserve (02 344 83 86) your table in advance!

– Emil

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