Thursday, October 29, 2009

Viva Vini

I had been reading here and there about Vini Cucina - it was time to give it a try. Italian, but focused on pizza and pasta: that boded well for the vegetarian palate. The place was nearly full on the Thursday night we visited. I had called ahead to ask if reservations were needed and got the typical Belgian "c'est toujours mieux." Well, it was mieux.

We sat in the back, towards the open kitchen, which was a bit of a high-traffic zone but otherwise not a disruption. The menu offered a nice selection of vegetarian items, but very little fish.

Our appetizers came out quickly - the bruschetta platter featured much more than the bread, tomatoes and parmesan: fresh, plump olives, grilled eggplant, and sun-dried tomatoes made for a lovely accompaniment. We also thoroughly enjoyed the smoked pecorino and fresh tomatoes, cooked up and served in a skillet. De-lish.

For mains, we all moved on to pasta (the pizzas did look good, but the pastas were more tempting). I had a very simple linguine with oil, garlic, parsley and a bit of hot pepper - the menu promised "peperoncino" so I thought I was in for a bit more spice (which I wouldn't have minded), but it was lovely as is. Gidon took tagliatelle with forest mushrooms and rocket. A few tomatoes snuck in as well. Our friend opted for the eggplant parmesan; lots of cheese and a perfectly sized portion. In fact, all the portions were just the right size - although we were glad ot have split two appetizers over three people; one per person may have pushed things a bit over the top. For dessert, we enjoyed an exquisite speculoos semi-freddo.

The servers (all blond, we noticed) actually smiled and tried to be helpful; for Belgian standards, it was pretty good service - our only complaint was a forgotten espresso at the end of the evening. Definitely worth another visit. Soon.

Vini Cucina
Chaussee de Waterloo 864
1180 Uccle
Tel. 02 372 37 27

Open for lunch Mon-Fri, open every night for dinner. Reservations recommended.

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