Restaurant Brugmann : A Gourmet Delight

Restaurant Brugmann : A Gourmet Delight

Restaurant Brugmann : A Gourmet Delight 501 701 Brugmann

My 17-year-old daughter said she was looking forward to this all week. Our first ‘gastronomic’ dining experience. And only five minutes by bike. The Brugmann is set in a beautiful 19th century ‘maison de maître’ (typical Brussels mansion), and the former home of illustrious banker Georges Brugmann. The ‘salle gastronomique,’ our dining home for the evening, complete with impressive copper- and silver-tubed ‘chandelier’, has a view on to the open kitchen. Its stunning terrace looks out over what was once a garden, now the gorgeous, little-known, public Parc Abbé Froidure. Opening its doors in June 2015, after a full renovation carried out by chef Matthias Van Oenoo and architect Annie Mesmin, the Brugmann also boasts a cosy ‘Boudoir’ next to the main restaurant which can be used for private receptions; a dramatically modern design ‘Dining Room’ on the first floor perfect for seminars; a Bar ‘B’ to test out cocktail creations including vodka and wasabi or fruit and vanilla rum; and, a wine cellar perfect for tasting the fine vintages from the Brugmann wine list. We were warmly welcomed not only by attentive door and bar staff, but also by chef Van Oenoo. Just 35 years old, with a gastronomic ‘history’ – his grandfather headed up a gourmet restaurant in Ostende, his philosophy is clear: “A restaurant, it’s like a ship, it’s the whole team,” emphasising it was the will and energy of his 28 staff that makes the gastronomic restaurant what it is today.And the food and drink? ‘Rien à dire’ as they say in French. Perfection from the choux pastry bun infused with truffles with our Kir Royal and Passion Fruit apéritifs to my daughter’s ‘petit plus’ – the amazing Dame Blanche du Brugmann. Service in the pleasantly full but not overcrowded restaurant was impeccable. The waiters were particularly attentive to detail – explaining exactly what we were going to eat and asking if we had any allergies.The Brugmann offers a range of menus from a three-service €28 business lunch to a €115 special ‘Brugmann signature menu’. We opted for the €85 ‘Notre Terroir a du Goût’ regional speciality menu – to test together a tasty lobster croquette with bisque sauce appetiser, followed by sea-fresh oysters served with a pear and cream sauce and watercress and then picture-perfect pretty Coquille Saint-Jacques, caviar and lemon cream. The star for us was the orange-infused carrot soup with its parsnip ravioli, a perfect accompaniment to the delicious home-made cornbread or multigrain rolls.For the main course, my daughter chose the succulent beef and carrots ‘revisited’, while I went for tender, melt-in-the-mouth lobster served with a special carrot-topped quinoa risotto. Pre-dessert, a delightful idea, was a duo of speculoos and caramel ice-creams, while the main Douceur du Brugmann included a stunning tangy fruit sorbet, delicate cheesecake and red-fruit crumble. Even my camomile tea came with a lovely selection of mignardises including a canelé, lemon meringue pie and pistachio tart.And that Dame Blanche? Like all Oenoo’s dishes, it was delightfully different. Forget great balls of ice-cream slathered with sauce. We were served a beautiful ‘chocolate apple’ packed with Madagascar vanilla ice-cream and watched its chocolate coating melt when the waitress poured the delicious sauce over it.The wine list is more than extensive, predominantly French but also including bottles from Chile, Spain and Greece. And there are no fewer than 14 choices of Champagne. Belgium’s Michelin guide praises the Brugmann for its class, elegance and modern cooking. For Van Oenoo, although accolades are important, the main aim is clear: “Our aim is to get better and better and we want our customers to enjoy themselves and come back.” And return we will.
Practical details:Restaurant Brugmann, Avenue Brugmann 54-56, 1190 Brussels.Open lunchtime 12-2.30pm and evening 7-10.30pm (11pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
Closed Saturday lunchtime and on

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