Imagine a really rainy and cold evening. About 9:00pm, and you are really hungry. Then, finally, when you get to the restaurant of your choice a very busy waiter tells you it’s all full and they don’t think they’ll have a table free before 11:30.
Back in the rain, you think, now what?
And this is when the best discoveries are made. Wet, hungry and pretty much ready for to have a kebab and fries (haven’t done that since college!), we came across a tiny restaurant ‘La Main dans la Poêle’ which translates to ‘The Hand in the Pan’. It will all make sense soon …
At first I was sure the restaurant was either closed or fully booked as well but no-ho-no: a table for two? Yes, please!
After regaining all senses and the blood started flowing again, I took the restaurant in. A cozy restaurant, with not more than 10 tables, the bar in the front and an open kitchen in the back. To my account only tow people seemed to keep the restaurant going: the chef and the help. Italians, with all the passion about food you imagine. The menu is written on a black board only, a choice of about 5 starters, 8 main and 2 desserts. The wine list, a choice of about 10 Italian wines. We chose a Primitivo … and after a short inspection of the menu, I opted for lasagna.
Little did I know. We are so used to the fancy, Frenchy restaurants which serve a little bit of this and a little bit of that, three peas on the side that the shock was real: my lasagna could have easily satisfied about 4! And (this is where I am getting back to the name) it came straight from the oven, in a pan for me to eat it. Real home cooked Italian food.
Finally, after finishing the lasagna, I opted for dessert as well (why?), and had sabayon. Now I have to tell you, whilst everything else was close to Italian perfection – and I know by now my fair share of Italian food – the dessert was just pure alcohol. Not my thing.
So skip dessert, and you’ll love the place. It is a little pricey with starters between 8euro and 12euro, mains between 16euro and 24euro, but worth a cozy and relaxed evening.
La Main Dans la Poele: Rue Lesbroussart 122, 1050 Bruxelles