Lunch under the sun at Terza Luna
This month Patricia and I tested another restaurant, this time an Italian located next to Stockel, in Woluwé-Saint-Pierre. We had booked there already once but couldn't make it because I was sick... We had to wait until I was recovered to have our lunch at Terza Luna but it was worth it considering the awesome weather we enjoyed on the splendid terrace of the restaurant!
I went directly from work, I had taken my afternoon off. Surprisingly, my GPS didn't know "Rue de l'Escrime" but my phone managed to get me to my destination! Parking was very easy but don't forget your disk and to change it if you stay more than 2 hours (like I did and forgot the disk) 'cause you'll get a fine otherwise. Upon parking my car, I already liked the quietness of the street...
I was just out of the car when Patricia arrived on foot. We chatted a bit before walking to Terza Luna. The mansion that hosts the restaurant resembles a well renovated "Maison de Maître" from the outside but the inside confirms it: large volumes, high ceilings, moldings here and there...completed with some well chosen art pieces, a sophisticated decor and an interesting wine cellar. Overall, the owners managed to create a very design yet convivial atmosphere that will transport you and put you at ease. This is the 3rd restaurant opened by the owner, after I Latini and Le Médicis, you can feel that he knows what he is doing and chooses every detail meticulously.
On that day (right before the Easter Weekend), Terza Luna wasn't crowded and we had the choice between sitting inside or at the terrace, you can easily guess our choice > The awesome terrace! We got a table for 2 half in the shade and half in the sun and it was perfect. We studied the menu while snacking on some giant olives and bread, chatting occasionally with the owner Antonio Mastrogiovanni. It so happens that we share similar hobbies!
Pat and I both settled for a starter and a main course (which are not mentioned on the web menu):
Tartare di tonno rosso all'avocado (Red Tuna tartar with avocado)
Polipo dorato su letto di patate all' olio d'oliva ( some pan-fried octopus on a bed of potato cream)
Risotto carnaroli con asparagi verdi e gamberi rossi (a risotto with asparagus & gambas)
Orecchiette alle fave e guanciale croccante (a type of pasta with broad beans and guanciale)
Honestly picking a main course was though because I liked a lot of things on the menu but couldn't try them all... Eventually I settled for the Orecchiette because I enjoy guanciale best but I definitely need to test more things like the Fusilli and Patricia's risotto.
We chatted happily, in the sun, and shared some good addresses while waiting for our food. From my seat I could see the cooks making their preparations and it was fun to watch sometimes, especially a sort of debate about a carrot :) The team seems to be mostly Italian which is something that I like (as you probably know) :) The starters arrived rather fast, it was time to finally eat and to enjoy some Italian cuisine.
Since I love polipo, I was very pleased with my starter. The tentacle was tender yet a bit crispy on the outside, it was lovely. I wasn't sure about the potato cream but with the olive oil, salt and rosemary, it tasted lovely. I really didn't expect this :) The red tuna tartar looked delicious and fresh, perfect for a sunny/warm afternoon.
And then came the main courses which were quite interesting. My dish was more rustic than the risotto but delicious nonetheless. It was also quite filling and I didn't managed to finish my plate. Like in every Italian restaurant, my pasta were cooked al dente which didn't help me with eating it all. The guanciale brought a lot of flavor to the dish and it's an ingredient that I really love. As for the risotto it smelled amazing, I could tell from where I sat! It's definitely something that I will try soon... And Patricia did mention that it was delicious so all the more reasons to make sure to come back!
Reflecting back on the menu, I realized that Terza Luna does not have carbonara on their menu or other "regular" Italian recipes... Most of the choices are more special than usual, grandma's recipes, so if you are looking for a different kind of Italian food, this is the right address I'd say. Don't expect pizza, they're not on the menu!
Additionally, the wine menu is interesting and if you're not sure about what to order, ask Antonio or the staff. They are lovely and will provide you with the right advice. It should be noted that Antonio produces wine and olive oil so maybe try some of his production?
To finish our lunch, we had to try the coffee and we went for the usual combination: a cappuccino and an espresso which were served with Italian biscuits. I just love coffee and especially the Italian one, the stronger the better! We also received 2 shots of lemoncello from Antonio, to survive the afternoon (it was quite warm in the sun!). A lovely gesture that made our experience even better.
Price wise, I'd say you are paying a bit more but for a real experience (quality, decor, service) however there are also some good bargains. I ate for 37,1€ (drinks not included) and had a delicious starter and a main course but I advise to try some of the "menus". If you are looking for a 3 course lunch/dinner, Terza Luna has an offer called "Italianissimo" for 42€ which includes 1 starter, 1 main course and 1 dessert. If you are looking for an affordable lunch then go for the 22€ option which covers a starter and a main course.
To conclude I would say that if you are looking for a restaurant where every detail and recipe have been meticulously designed to offer you the best experience, then Terza Luna is the right address for you. You can expect some authentic delicious Italian food prepared by 2 Italian chefs and a lovely service provided by the staff and Antonio (the owner) who is very friendly. As explained previously, the prices are a bit more expensive than usual but it is worth it and you can still find some good bargains if you are on a budget.
I will definitely go back and keep this address in my favorites!
PS: I need to add that we arrived around 12:20 PM and left around 4:30...They left the restaurant open for the two of us which is a lovely gesture! In most restaurants, some waiter would present you with the bill but here, they just left us in peace to chat on the terrace. This is a first!