Wednesday 23 January 2008

Ristorante Barbanera cucina Italiana, Rue Archimede, Brussels

A top notch and pricey Italian restaurant, Barbanera has a charming dining room with a high ceiling, oodles of period elegance and a besuited clientele of lobbyists and senior Eurocrats. A selection of neck ties is available for any male presumptuous enough to arrive without one. On the menu is a broad selection of starters, such as beef carpaccio (15 euros) - a tantalising mix of finely-sliced raw meat and Parmesan cheese. The myriad of main courses include a dish of fresh pasta in a mushroom sauce sprinkled with truffle shavings (26 Euros), creating an unusual blend of subtle and refined flavours. From the very traditional desert trolley, you can have tiramisu - a large, delicious heap of nicely-judged sugar and cream. Unfortunately, service can be too attentive - the waiters frequently interrupt your conversation to top up your drink. 7/10