Arrikiiati Restaurant (Antwerp)

© Arrikiiati

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Near the red lights of the Schipperskwartier, French sommelier Delphine Worms and Italian chef Giorgio Longo have opened the most beautiful Belgian-Catanese canteen around. Behind the blue door of Arrikiiati (“enjoy your meal” in the Sicilian dialect), bread baskets and handmade ceramics by Anne-Marie Peeters add a contemporary touch to the 50s-accented decor. Working alone in his miniature kitchen, Giorgio (trained under the watchful eye of Michel Bras, among others) whips up a precise menu that’s local and organic, and is fully plant-based in summer, oriented towards fish in winter: antipasti featuring leeks, vongole with trout and herring roe and a sorrel jus, followed by North Sea gurnard alla messinese with a tomato caper and olive sauce; monkfish tartare in a zingy citron and clementine vinaigrette; and spaghetti alla chitarra, snubbing the bolognaise for a sea-faring ragù. Where’s Antwerp’s best secret hideout? Here! // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Delphine (ex-Dôme, during the Chabert years) is a shrewd sommelier, serving up the most apt wines: Salisire 2014, an Etna white from Tenuta Vivera (€50 a bottle), and Pithos Rosso, a Nero-d’Avola from Azienda Agricola Cos (€65), as well as house cocktails (Jealous Mary at €13.50, Etnaspritz at €12.50), Cabardouche beer (€7.50 for 330 ml), and Tomarchio Sicilian lemonade (€4.50).

PRICE: Menus €34-41 (lunch) and €72 (dinner).

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