Paella may originate from Valencia, but this Castilian restaurant is quite possibly the best place to head to if you'd like to enjoy paella in Brussels.
Situated on Schaarbeek's main square across from the town hall, the restaurant has a rustic modern feel and remains a small-scale operation with about 10 tables. Fortunately you won't find any of the unnecessary memorabilia and decorations, instead you'll probably appreciate the more somber atmosphere even if the dim lighting is at times a little troubling (I like to get a clear view of what I am eating, though when the food hits the mark my taste buds are usually a good alternative to sight).
The chef, who is also the owner, combines Spanish cooking with a more traditional Belgian/European dining experience. So you get Spanish food in the more standard starter, main course and dessert format, rather than multiple dishes in the common tapas style. You'll enjoy the 3 course menu for 44 €, though a number of dishes come either as a starter or as a main, so if like me you're intent on sharing a paella (two people minimum) then you can always go for that mouthwatering main course as a starter.
There are also a number of suggested starters and main courses which change regularly based on availability of products and what is in season. Last I visited we enjoyed calf's brain and beef tongue from the suggestions and were most pleased. In the past I've also had the pork trotters and lentil dishes, all of which are a really enjoyable way to start the meal.
'Sharing is caring' says my partner, so paella for mains hits the mark, both food wise and on a personal note - enjoy!
Note: interestingly they are open Saturday evening's on the first and third week of the month. So weekdays may be your best bet. As mentioned, this is a small place so best you book table in advance.
Service here has always been discreet yet very friendly. The best innovation last I went was the valet parking service, a godsend considering the pain it was trying to park around there without.
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