Discover Benelux, Issue 39, March 2017

Page 80

Discover Benelux  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Belgium

R E S TA U R A N T O F T H E M O N T H , B E L G I U M

An Italian journey in Hasselt TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: BUON’ EATALIA

The big wood oven, the wine caskets, and all the mouth-watering scents of Italian food give it away: at Buon’ Eatalia you will make a culinary journey through Italy. In Buon’ Eatalia you arrive as a guest, but will leave as a friend. The restaurant provides that typical Italian atmosphere alongside classical Italian cuisine, perfect in its simplicity. “That is the beauty of the Italian kitchen,” says restaurant owner Dirk Hendrickx. “With merely a few pure ingredients, you can create something stunning.” The Hasselt-based restaurant is the younger, yet bigger, brother of the adjacent wine bar L’Aperi Vino, also owned by Hendrickx. Buon’ Eatalia opened in May 2016, after a complete revamp of the building, which was once used as a gin distillery. Although some of the atmospheric elements of L’Aperi Vino can 80  |  Issue 39  |  March 2017

be found in Buon’ Eatalia, the restaurant very much has its own impressive character: think high ceilings, a starry sky of little lights and a beautiful fireplace. 440 black and white pictures on the walls depict scenes of Italian food and culture, and fully complement the restaurant’s Southern-European allure. Do not forget to walk all the way to the back to be amazed by the large wood oven (located on the restaurant’s very own piazza), which can hold up to 14 pizzas. One reason for Buon’ Eatalia’s tangible Italian hospitality is its food-sharing concept. Smaller dishes are meant to be shared with friends or family, whether you are with two people or with 12. “Sharing food is definitely an Italian thing: having dinner is one big social occasion there,” Hendrickx enthuses. Just like the food, Buon’ Eatalia’s wines are made to be passed around. The restaurant exclusively serves Italian wines to perfectly complete

each dish. Are you in search of a glass of wine from another country? Head to L’Aperi Vino for more wines of the world. The overwhelmingly praising reviews of Buon’ Eatalia are no surprise; this enormous, charming restaurant effortlessly seems to combine classic Italian values with today’s standards. “Guests who walk in always seem to be amazed once they explore our restaurant: there is a lot to see and even more to taste.” For more information, please visit: