Monday, November 21, 2005

Dining in the Dark

When the electricity was dis-connected a week ago in my Brussels apartment (see my "Bedlam in Belgium" posting) the first night my flat mate (Oliver) and I ate dinner by candlelight in the kitchen (there is nothing romantic about bureaucrats - government or business - altering your lives) by consuming most of the groceries I had purchased that same day. I couldn't help but have a primordial connection to some distant cave man relative at the time especially since I was unable to post on my blog!!

Due to this "utility account transfer" process I have been visiting several restaurants in Brussels which I have reviewed below via my "1" to "5" ranking system:

Cuccagna -- on Rue du Champs de Mars, 7 near my local UGC Cinema (quick film reviews -- "Broken Flower" with Bill Murray seemed to lack something especially in the ending and "Match Point" by Woody Allen was much darker than I had assumed in my search for comedy) recently re-structured their menu and remodeled a bit. I failed to find out what music they were playing (distracted by reading the Financial Times) but it was perfect for a "ristorante-pizzeria" so the ambiance was bella and the wait staff was very good. My antipasto misto lacked the vegetables I have grown to love but Dr. Aitkins would have approved. I opted for the house specialty pizza which was an excellent thin crust style served by the chef himself which was a nice touch. They rank with a "4" for overall experience.

The Staff -- located at 42 rue de Treves directly across the street from the European Parliament is decorated very well and has excellent wait staff. I had a larger than normal lunch of beef medallions with roasted potatoes. This "resto bar" is too expensive and slow in nature for a quick lunch but it is an ideal setting for a business meeting. Another "4" ranking for this very promising (very new) restaurant.

Arthur's -- located 26 rue de Treves just blocks from The Staff across Place Luxembourg. This is what I call a "dining regret" in the sense that I have walked past this "tartinerie" for nearly 3 years but never dined there for whatever reason. Arthur's offers the perfect combination of -- decor, wait staff attitude/talent, quality of food, and overall "feel" . This is a great place to dine with a friend or alone. I started with a vegetable soup followed with a panini fermier sandwich with chicken. This is rare but I am in a good mood and am hungry for dinner so for Arthur's timing is everything with a "5" ranking for today's visit.

Time to roam the streets for food!!


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