Lunches in the EU Quarter can become boring. If your budget is limited, so is your choice. Beyond sandwiches, overpriced salads and Falafel places, who increase their prices one day from the other just because they can, the variety of places to grab lunch is not huge. If you compare it to cities like Paris or Barcelona, where you get a whole lunch menu for under 15E, coffee included, the Brussels lunch scene proves to be highly disappointing.
That’s why I’m always happy to discover new (old) places that I haven’t discovered before, or that I knew of, but forgot about. Le Nouvel Artiste doesn’t sound very Italian, but it is. A restaurant that seems tiny from outside but is stretched to the back and offers a number of seating. There’s no fancy decoration, just simple wooden tables, Bordeaux-coloured walls, some kitschy details and horribly ugly menu cards, but a very charming chalk board with the day’s specials. This all doesn’t matter though, because the food is amazing.
A large number of pasta dishes, risotto, some meat dishes and I think I can remember some fish plates on the menu, too. From Ravioli to Spaghetti, Rigatoni or Gnocchi you can find any type of pasta you’d fancy. Homemade in delicious sauces – some meat options, but vegetarians are welcome, too. After studying the different kinds of pasta for a good 5 minutes, we decided to go for the Pappardelle in a tomato sauce with Italian fennel sausage, salsiccia. Not too much time passed and the friendly waitress arrived with a big pan with our pasta in it.
Cooked perfectly al dente, with a lot of sauce, the cook certainly wasn’t stingy with the salsiccia and there was enough of it – more than that. I couldn’t criticise anything about that big and really very delicious pasta dish; it was well seasoned and tasty, what more do you need?! Also, all their pasta dishes are around 11-13E, which is very cheap concerning a) high prices in Brussels and b) even higher prices in the EU Quarter.
A cosy little spot to enjoy some hearty and good pasta, to enjoy with friends or during a slightly relaxed business meeting.
Good to know:
- Address: Rue Caroly 37, 1050 Ixelles,
- Price: 11-13E for a pasta dish