Furbetto Restaurant (Heverlee)

© Latifa Saber

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Furbetto? It’s Italian for “cunning”… But rest assured, this joint from Jasper Voet and Gust Vanderwaeren is not trying to pull the wool over your eyes! Quite the opposite: across from Heverlee station, this tawny-toned oasis generously Italianizes the Leuven crowd from a wide-open kitchen decked out in stainless steel, made for non-stop ogling as the chefs work their sleight of hand. Seated either along the wooden banquette, at the counter offering views of the kitchen or even on the terrace, dig in to any of the following: top-notch hand-cut steak tartare, deliciously seasoned with an anchovy sauce; panisses fries all pillowy soft served with a thick and creamy aioli; or even leeks vinaigrette buried under a mountain of pecorino with a comforting soft-boiled egg on the side. After all that, it’s over to the pasta: al dente spaghetti with spring vegetables, loaded with peas, wild garlic and pecorino; audacious mackerel ragù rigatoni topped with pangrattato; and for the kill, fluffy French toast flanked with creamy vanilla ice cream, unless you’d rather opt for the kumquat panna cotta. // Joséphine Espe

FEELING THIRSTY? French and Italian wines, of the natural sort: bubbly from Trentino Alpino by Cantina Furlani (€8.50), Beaujoalis Brut de Cuve from Romain des Grottes (€45 a bottle), or SP68, a Sicilian white from Arianna Occhipinti (€48).

PRICE: Appetizer-main set menu €31 (lunch), shared plates €6-25 (dinner).

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