Many people have told me about Osteria Bolognese just off the Square Boniface. Some even go as far as to say it is the best place for pasta in town. For a long time we weren’t interested in Italian food in Brussels. Pasta dishes can be rather expensive and we like our own pasta sauce creations at home.
However, we would be bad food bloggers if we just left out Italian places. That’s why we really have tried to make an effort over the past few months. Our Italian phase started with a visit to the food bike Cibacco, followed by a great pizza at La Bottega della Pizza (review to follow) and, of course, also the Osteria Bolognese.
This little restaurant is tiny. It probably doesn’t seat more than 25 people, so it is wise to reserve in advance. And when we say “in advance” we mean about 2 weeks ahead. Calling on a Monday for a table on a Friday won’t get you very far. After a couple of attempts we manage to reserve a table.
Osteria Bolognese is a place for Italy-lovers. The waiters try to speak Italian and you will be greeted with a complimentary glass of prosecco which is a nice touch. And a nice glass of bubbly goes well with a tasty charcuterie-platter. This really was a pleasant surprise as there was so much more on the board than your usual Prosciutto and Salami. There were for different cold cuts, including a fabulous pink salami, and even some paté-type spreads. The platter was accompanied with a house special: fried bread. This wasn’t quite my taste but there was “normal” bread in addition.
We ordered two different pasta dishes, one with a red, arrabiata-style sauce and the other with ruccola-pesto. The portions were sufficient, not overly big but perfect after digging into the starter. We enjoyed some very drinkable red house wine with this.
We were rather full – but there always is space left for Tiramisu. Unfortunately they had sold out when we were there. So we just might have to go back.
There are only two small downsides at this place: There are no prices on the menu, a thing I personally don’t like as you never can know in Brussels. A main can vary from 10 to 25 Euros. However, when the waiter brought us the bill we were pleasantly surprised. The platter as well as the pasta dishes were approx. 15 Euros each, so rather reasonable.
The second small negative aspect is the size of the place. If you are unlucky it can get rather loud at the Osteria. But this does give the place an authentic vibe.
Osteria Bolognese, Rue de la Paix 49, Brussels // www.osteriabolognese.be