Let’s be honest, we don’t live in Brussels because of the nice weather, the charm of the city, the customer-centered attitude, or the local warmth… but the food here, that’s a different story… where else could one eat at amazing, Michelin-starred restaurants for less than 35 euros??
The catch: you have to go for lunch during the week (public holidays excluded, of course) and book in advance, and the wine is extra of course, and at Michelin-establishment prices…
So, where to go?
Bistrot du Mail – lunch menus (Tuesday to Friday) for 25 or 29 euros in a modern, trendy setting, with friendly service. Read a full review in this earlier post. Unfortunately, it seems this restaurant is temporarily closed… no answer on the phone either, so you might want to put this one on hold… Location: close to Chatelain, on rue du Mail 81. Call +32 487 59 37 49 for reservations.
Chalet de la Foret – lunch menus for EUR 34 (first, second course and dessert). This is probably the most formal of the four restaurants on this list. It has an older, more exclusive feel to it (maybe also because it is the one place that is not easily accessible by public transportation, given that it is in the middle of the Bois de la Cambre). The portions are plentiful (maybe a bit too much sometimes) and the service is impeccable. The quality and interest-rating of the food at the Chalet, however, is lower than at the Bistrot du Mail, which offers a more original and sensory experience. Location: Uccle, Dreve de Lorraine 43, in the Bois de la Cambre. Call +32 2 374 54 16 for reservations.
(Chez) Marie – lunch menus for EUR 18, with an appetizer and main course. (If you order dessert on top of that, your bill will still be well under EUR 35). The setting is less formal than in the other restaurants, more brasserie-like and the service is also more relaxed. What I did miss were the amuse-bouches. All we got was some sliced bread and butter to whet our appetites… which is not much. The food, however, was nice and fresh, simply prepared: marinated salmon as a starter, followed by a white fish (mulet). But no surprises or “wow” moments. A bit of variety (meat-fish combo) would have been nice but at that price and with that quality, I cannot complain. Location: right off Place Flagey (on the side of the Etangs d’Ixelles), rue Alphonse de Witte 40, call + 32 2 644 30 31 for reservations.
Le Passage – lunch menu for EUR 25, including a mise en bouche, a first course, a second, and no dessert, but some mignardises instead (which is usually more than enough after everything that comes before…). Location: Uccle, close to Saint Job station. Call +32 2 374 66 94 for reservations.
People are picking up on these great deals, so book fast before the prices go up (some of them already have… the original post was supposed to be “Michelin meals under EUR 30…”)
The 2-star (technically, 2-macarons…) Michelin restaurants also offer lunch menus at lower prices than their regular menus (still not at a price that would allow one to justify going there on any given day…), but that will be the topic of another post later on…