Certo restaurant (Brussels)

© Christine Doublet

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The most laidback Italian in Brussels? Certo! In this remarkable corner enoteca-trattoria, located in a not-too lively street in Matongé, Rome-native Federico Mazzoni shakes up traditional tastes with well-chosen wines. And there are tons and tons of them on the immaculate shelves, which make up the extremely simple décor (a teeny-tiny cuisine, blond wood tables, doodled details), designed to draw all attention to the colorful labels. Chef Chiara De Stefano’s dishes are more consensual than the boss’s extremist wines: grilled octopus tentacle lounging in sweet potato puree, with slow-cooked tomatoes and large capers buoying everything along; under-cooked tonnarelli (some would say “very al dente”) pampered with cacio e pepe, creamy to perfection and sprinkled with crushed pistachios; before a simple affogato al caffè – espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. // Ringo de Balmalon and Rosa Poulsard

FEELING THIRSTY? Ideal wines for those who like a good farm stay: Tu, a rosato from Cantina Giardino in Campania (€7 a glass), Le Désordre, a Languedoc white from Antony Tortul (€42 a bottle), and Indigeno, a red from the Abruzzese Cantina of the same name (34€).

PRICE: Set menu €22 (lunch), appetizers €14-18, mains €22-24 (€18-20 small portion), desserts €8-10.

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