(Edited by Bradley Kirr at 10:04 pm on Nov. 6, 2001)
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Posted 06 November 2001 - 08:03 PM
(Edited by Bradley Kirr at 10:04 pm on Nov. 6, 2001)
Posted 06 November 2001 - 09:01 PM
(Edited by robert brown at 11:06 pm on Nov. 6, 2001)
Posted 07 November 2001 - 06:15 AM
Address:Rue Francart 11, Bruxelles
Days Off:Sun, Mon
Business hours:12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00 Sat. 18:30-21:30
(Edited by BON at 10:53 am on Nov. 7, 2001)
Posted 14 November 2001 - 06:49 AM
Posted 16 November 2001 - 10:42 AM
As for my findings in Belgium, I am impressed by the cluster of stars in the Belgian Michelin, but I share Robert Brown's opinion that restaurants in France may be better. Two days in Antwerp and two more in Brussels hardly qualifies me as an expert however. I will say that the single bowl of mussels I had in Antwerp, at a brasserie not even listed by Michelin but recommended by friends living in Antwerp were better than just about any bowl of mussels I've had in New York, Paris or Brittany in recent history. For those traveling to Antwerp, this particular place is across the square from the cathedral and its name is Schaduw von de Kathedraal. We had large well flavored and exceptionally plump clean mussels. The fries were so-so. Can't comment on the rest of the food there. Good tap beer. I had a glass of local Palm beer. It was a nice amber beer and came with an incredibly creamy head. Although everyone, or so it seems, speaks English in Antwerp--in fact we had considerable evidence that the Dutch speak to the local Flemish population in English to be better understood as the local dialect is so different from the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands that English often proves to be the common language--we found ourselves for once, a bit disoriented when looking for a place to eat. Many places do not post menus, or only post them in Flemish so it's difficult to know exactly what sort of place, or type of food they have. Waiters are invariably polite and helpful, and never did we have a waiter who was not fluent in English.
Comme Chez Soi is a member of the prestigious Les Grandes Tables du Monde, probably the best known Belgian restaurant, and a Michelin three star restaurant, although only one of several for such a small country. Les Grandes Tables du Monde whose NYC members are Le Cirque, la Grenouille, Daniel and Le Bernardin has always struck me as a group more concerned with luxury than food although most of its members are great temples of gastronomy as well. Nevertheless, I was struck by the rather intimate setting, general lack of space between tables and service that was fine, but not in Ducasse's league. For example, requests for bottles of water were forgotten. There are several rooms. When my wife told me she had, upon being asked, chosen the no smoking room, I thought "kiss of death." Belgium makes France seem like a smoke free zone. While I can't speak about the other rooms, our table was in the part of the restaurant that occupies a space designed by Horta, the great Brussels art nouveau architect. Accepting the scale and intimacy, it was a beautiful space. I'd have to say that it was a treat just to be able to eat in that space. That the food was as good as it was, was icing on the cake. With memory of dinner at Ducasse the week before still in our minds, it is perhaps unfair to say we thought our meal was less impressive than expected.
It's often easier and sometimes both safer and more interesting to choose a menu than to order à la carte when dining in a new restaurant. Here there were three menus, a 139 EUR six course and two four course menus at 62 & 98 EUR, each with some choice of courses. We settled on the 98 EUR menu largely on the basis that it was only four courses--after all our indulgences of the past two weeks--and because it featured wild hare à la bécasse albeit at a 12 EUR per person supplement. Le foie gras d'oie truffé, en terrine at another supplement of 9 EUR per person was fine, but virtually ungarnished. Perhaps more would have been gilding the lilly, but that's what I often expect three star restaurants to do. The filet of brill with tomato coulis came with an unexpected cream sauce and the diced tomatoes were less than deep red and less than fully flavored, although the brill in cream sauce with a few tiny clams and mussels would have stood on its own. The hare was sensational and a dish we'll long remember and crave. I'm not exactly sure how dishes à la bécasse are prepared, but I know that bécasse (woodcock) is often, or usually, prepared without being drawn. We've had pigeon à la bécasse and as with our wild rabbit, the sauce was rich and thick. I suspect both liver and blood as thickening agents. When asked how we wanted our meat cooked, rosé was suggested. My request to have it towards the bloody side was met with a friendly shake of the head signifying "no," but when the meat arrived, we found it exactly to our like. In fact I had not realized how red hare could be. I forget my wife's dessert, but I had a chocolate cake that was almost like a terrine with three intensities of chocolate and some marzipan.
The bill came to 370 EUR with 2 glasses of Clos Laberre Sauternes, a bottle of Clape Cornas (great with the hare, not exactly a match with the fish in cream sauce) two small bottles of sparkling water and 2 cups of espresso. That includes service and tax, although it's not uncommon to add a few percent more as a tip. I'd return.
Posted 16 November 2001 - 11:22 AM
Right on the Grand Place is 'T Kelderke, good enough for a lunch. I had boudins entre ciel et terre (9.30 EUR) which I saw on other menus as well. It turned out to be both white sausage and blood sausage. It came with hot apple sauce and the ubiquitous frites. Very good boudin blanc and excellent boudin noir. So-so fries and apple sauce. My wife's salade with warm rabbit liver (8.06 EUR) was less successful as the liver was overcooked.
Of course if you give in to temptation of waffles and fries from street stands, you may never have to eat in a restaurant in Brussels. No shortage of chocolate shops as well.
(Edited by Bux at 1:23 pm on Nov. 16, 2001)
Posted 29 June 2004 - 02:57 PM
Posted 30 June 2004 - 07:58 AM
Edited by paulbrussel, 30 June 2004 - 08:23 AM.
Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:26 AM
Posted 05 December 2006 - 02:47 AM
Posted 05 December 2006 - 04:09 AM
Posted 05 December 2006 - 07:15 AM
Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:43 AM
Please offer any suggestions for new/interesting/exciting restaurants in these respective cities.<p>thank you<p>Bradley<p>(Edited by Bradley Kirr at 10:04 pm on Nov. 6, 2001)
Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:50 AM
Posted 05 December 2006 - 09:01 AM
Great informal dining - well, what should be meant by that.
Posted 23 February 2007 - 08:30 AM
Posted 11 March 2007 - 12:28 PM
Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:59 AM
Posted 24 April 2007 - 03:29 AM
Posted 24 April 2007 - 09:57 AM