Café Circus

Café Circus Restaurant (Ixelles)

© Café Circus

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What’s this circus over on Place de Londres? Léopold van der Gracht, Charles Levie, Jean Van Campenhout (of Café des Minimes fame) and Tanguy Soille are four old, fancy-fair friends who took it upon themselves to open a bar. Inside their big top? An old bruin café that’s been revamped (original wooden benches and bar, upcycled tiling, a brand-new extra window), where every act is washed down with natural wines, local beers and 99% homemade snacks. That evening, after a mixed platter of St-Bernard nettle cheese, pork terrine and velvety dry-cured ham from the Ferme de Montplainchamps, we got messy with the headliner: generously garnished and full-on cheesy grilled sandwiches, like the spicy one with miso chicken, kimchi, stringy scamorza and lettuce, or the more comforting variation with cognac-glazed meatloaf, comté, onions, and a Dijon mustard sauce. And the beautiful slices of bread from Renard Bakery hold good stead against the drool-inducing smoked paprika mayo. The crowd cheers for the sweets, and the fudgy brownie closes the show with panache. // L.B.

FEELING THIRSTY? Organic Pinot noir from Jean-Pierre Py (€5.5 a glass), St. Vincent, an organic muscadet cuvée from Michel Delhommeau (€22 a half bottle), and Life Should Be About Fun By, a biodynamic Austrian white from Eva Haider (€35 a bottle). Plus, several beers on tap, like Lupulus Triple (€4.8 for 250 ml) and Lanterne from L’Ermitage (€4.8 for 250 ml), Mezcal Negroni cocktails (€11) and a tasty homemade lemonade (€4)

PRICE: Soup of the day €5, platters €19, grilled sandwiches €9.5-13, homemade brownie €5.

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