Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Belga Café


JennyUptown
 Share

Recommended Posts

Mmm, Belgian beer and mussels and fries with mayonnaise. Sounds awfully promising. I'm guessing with the chef's background and a good looking restaurant (I peeked in), the place will be packed.

Anyone know a more specific opening date?

Amanda

Metrocurean, a D.C. restaurant and food blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you see the list of beers of tap?  Screw the Brickskellar ("I'm sorry, we are out of that...").

And according to their web site Tuesdays theme is "special Belgian beer event"!!!!

Can you say future eG event? :biggrin:

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suddenly I'm excited about dining on the Hill...because the menu looks good, not because the chef is hot  :raz:

Hate the website...but yes, the menu is interesting reading, if a bit coy (what is lamb loin "PH"?). Phew - serious on tap list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks promising. I hope the noticeable lack of moules on the lunch menu is just a website goof, though.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suddenly I'm excited about dining on the Hill...because the menu looks good, not because the chef is hot  :raz:

I'm excited by both :wub:

That space has seen many many incarnations. Let's hope that this one actually sticks.

I wonder if they will do anything in conjunction with the Shakespeare Theater?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone--

I'm new to the forums, though I'm a long time reader. I also am a writer for DCist, www.dcist.com, where we're trying to expand our food coverage.

I stopped by Belga Cafe on Barracks Row a few days ago, and apparently they're open for business. There have been rumors around the Hill that they were having trouble obtaining a liquor license--a shame, considering that beer list. Can anyone confirm or deny? And if you have been there--how was the food?

K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Kanishka.

Belga is open, though currently only for dinner. And the beer taps are very much on, I'm happy to say. We are going to try to get down there for dinner tonight and will report back afterward.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, it's only 5 beers on draft right now: Stella, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Leffe Brune and a rotating "draft of the month" -- which right now is the aptly named Delirium Tremens, clocking in at 11 percent ABV. I tried the two Leffes and the DT last night and all seemed to be in proper shape. There is also much, much more to choose from on the bottled side, with a decent number of those bad boys available in big 750 ml bottles for your quaffing pleasure. Prices are about average for Belgian imports. That is to say, fairly stiff.

As far as the restaurant goes, they are having anything but a soft opening. The joint wasn't just jumping, it was slammed, with every seat filled, three deep at the bar and people waiting outside on the street. The hostess said they've been booked out every night so far -- who says Capitol Hill can't support decent places?

Given the heavy load, the kitchen looked to be coping pretty well. The meal took a while, but the beer refills were prompt and the people watching was excellent, so that wasn't any great burden. And the food was good. I recommend the endive salad, served with apples, oranges, blue cheese and cubes of fruit gelatin and the Vlaamse Reus (Flemish Giant) -- a particular breed of rabbit that is stewed in red ale for your delectation. If that sounds good to you, it's probably best not to look at this picture. The "real Belgian fries" were also good, though I can't speak to their true provenance. Most of the other patrons were eating these in conjunction with huge, steaming bowls of mussels, which I suspect will be the major initial draw. But there's a lot of variety to the menu and I suspect that venturing outside of the old standards may yield the biggest rewards.

Prices slightly belie the "cafe" description, with entrees closer to $20 than to $15, but I guess that's in line with other local spots calling themselves "bistro(t)s" and certainly not out of line for a serious restaurant, which Belga Cafe clearly intends to be. I suspect the Hill dwellers will embrace it as happily as they have Montmartre, though Bart Vandaele may be asking his clientele to accept rather more novelty, not to mention the delights of trying out their Dutch when ordering. How are your glottal stops, people?

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, it's only 5 beers on draft right now: Stella, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Leffe Brune and a rotating "draft of the month" -- which right now is the aptly named Delirium Tremens, clocking in at 11 percent ABV.

Is the website's beer list the regular drafts plus the rotating draft of the month, or does that list include their bottled selections? Just checking - it's all labeled "beers on draft" at the website.

Heather

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think they just left out the "beers in bottles" subhead. Apart from the five I mentioned, all the rest are in glass.

(Edited to add: Mark, as far as I know, Flemings don't speak Flemish any more than Americans speak American. As with U.S. versus British English, usage and intonation are different, but the language is the same. Some unkind foreigners have noted, though, that given all the back-of-the-throat "ghghgh" sounds it contains, the language might be best called Phlegmish :biggrin:)

Edited by iamthestretch (log)

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't overlook the well-chosen wine list, chock full of selections from the fine local importer Olivier Daubresse, such as a Domaine Maillard Bourgogne Rouge.

And who knows, if you stop in one Halloween, you might even see Monsieur Daubresse drinking at the bar.

You might even see Monsieur Maillard himself drinking at the bar.

You might see lots of people you know there! :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the notes! Has anyone tried their mussels or fries? I'm hoping to get some sort of reservation there fairly soon--but yes, I've also heard that seats have been hard to come by. Anyone heard when their brunch service will begin? I'd feel like a bit of a traitor, as I've been going to Tunnicliff's brunch every weekend for months... but there's nothing wrong with a change of pace.

K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...