Restaurant Bouchéry, Brussels, 4/29/17

side awning

Bouchéry is a medium sized place with signs on the street but an entrance hidden around the edge of the building.  Inside dining is spread over a couple rooms all with small, closely packed marble top tables and decorations of wood and rope hanging from the ceiling. Seating is with benches along the walls and stiff straw chairs on the other side.  Unfortunately with the full rooms it was impossible for the service people not to knock into my chair when they entered and exited the room.  It would seem they could benefit from some study of their traffic flow.  They offer a 6 or 8 course surprise tasting menu and optional wine pairings that are a pretty good deal. Continue reading

Comme Chez Soi, Brussels, 4/29/17


Comme Chez Soi has been in this location since 1936 and in the same family’s hands since 1916.  Laurence Wynants Rigolet’s father had been chef, as was her grandfather and now her husband Lionel is the chef and she looks after the front end.  It is a small place with only about 11 tables in the main dining room, but there are small private rooms and two tables in the kitchen.  The main dining room is lovely filled with stained glass and dark wood.  There is comfortable bench seating along the walls with chairs on the other side of the ample tables.  Spacing is good and there are plenty of sound absorbing surfaces in the room so noise is not a problem.  The window on one end looks out onto the street and into the kitchen on the other end.  It is a lovely room.  They offer a la carte, a special lunch menu and a couple of tasting menu options.  We chose the 5 course menu.  Service is impeccable and well paced along with being super friendly (and they speak great English).   Continue reading

Nuance, Duffel, 4/28/17


Nuance is a small place in Duffel – a short train ride from Antwerp.  Thierry Theys is the chef of this 2 star Michelin restaurant which he started in 2008 with his wife Sofie who manages the service part of the house.  She not only brings out the food but gets by to visit with every table to welcome them.  They make a great team, so young (they started Nuance at 21 years of age) and yet very capable.  If you’ve read many of my write ups you know I’m a nut for flavor with appearance being secondary.  This place managed to pull off both spectacularly.  I can’t remember when I’ve so enjoyed looking through my photographs to chose which ones to include and yet so fondly remember the flavors of the experience.  They offer a 6 course tasting menu with optional wine pairings or an a la carte menu.   Continue reading

La Paix, Brussels, 4/28/17


La Paix is nice sized space dominated by a metal origami bird sculpture hanging from the ceiling.   The small tables are widely spaced and ended by additional wooden cabinets where serving dishes can be placed and a purse or jacket stored on the shelves below.  The room has approximately 8 tables, a high ceiling, bright lighting, windows looking out on the street on 2 sides, a bar on one side and an open kitchen taking up the last wall.  Chef David Martin and his wife Nathalie Obbiet who runs the front end took over the place in 2004.  They are only open on Friday night, they are mainly a lunch spot.  Located right across from a market they have a seafood tank containing some huge crabs and other live seafood.   Continue reading

Bruneau Restaurant, Brussels, 4/27/17


Bruneau is an elegant restaurant spread over several rooms.  There are private party rooms as well as a lovely patio with sculpture and trees.  The room is nicely lit with soft lighting and candles which gives a lovely warmth to the beautiful wood work that is the lower part of the room.  Soft music is in the background, tables are large and widely spaced and each table is equipped with salt and pepper grinders.  They’ve been here since 1975 with the same chef and it feels like a throw back to another time (the ladies menus having no prices) and yet it is very comfortable.  The friendly service may be a part of that and chef Bruneau coming out to visit with his guests at the end of the meal.  They offer 4 and 5 course tastings as well as a la carte and we were up for a red wine and meat meal.  We came to the right place.   Continue reading

Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem, 4/27/17

front door
front door

Hof van Cleve is in an old house outside of Ghent, using several of the rooms as dining rooms.  The wide wood plank floors and white painted ceiling give it the feeling of a farmhouse.   The house windows look out on to the meadows and farms around it.  It has a comfortable and welcoming feel.  The tables are well spaced  and service is friendly but the pacing is variable.   We started with the house aperitif which was a sparkler mixed with elderberry.  It rang up at 30 euros a glass, but was a good pour and nicely refreshing.   Continue reading

Bon Bon, Brussels, 4/26/17


Bon Bon has been in this location for 6 years, a medium sized place with a cozy fun vibe.  There are 6 counter seats where the chef interacts with guests but all the tables have good site lines to the open kitchen.  Soft jazz music plays in the background and lighting is low.  The convivial atmosphere is demonstrated with the whimsical sheep purse stools, which separate the seats at the bar and watch over the room.  Service is very friendly and good English is spoken.  Tables are well spaced and the lower ceiling with dampening tiles keeps the noise at a good level and your table conversation private.  Each table is placed on its own rug and you can’t help but notice the large painted white tree branch that extends into the back portion of the dining room.  They offer a la carte as well as a 5 or 7 course surprise tasting menu.  Wine pairings are available as well as an optional cheese course.  We chose the 7 course tasting menu and ordered our own bottles of wine.   Continue reading