Life in (and around) Brussels…

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Chatelain dining: Beurre Noisette

4 Comments

I first heard of the restaurant Beurre Noisette at the most recent edition of Culinaria (read review here), so when I stumbled upon the restaurant in the popular Chatelain area, I stepped in to see what else Chef Gregoire De Backer had to offer.

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and was only at about 25-30% capacity at lunch time, which might account for why service was quite fast and we got our orders within 10 minutes of being seated.

In a nutshell

The quality of the food definitely falls under the category of fine dining, and at that, one of the best in the Chatelain neighborhood (particularly since the one-star Bistrot du Mail sadly closed several years ago). The prices also match the “fine dining” tag, with main courses ranging from EUR 28 to EUR 32 (see menu below or on the restaurant’s website). You can, however, get away with a meal for just EUR 15 (with a glass of wine) if you have the lunch special.

A quick food review

The lunch special: beef with fries, salad and a glass of wine. Good value at EUR15. Good execution of the beef brochette cooked a point, and one of the tastiest and freshest salads I have had in Brussels (it was just too bad it was not bigger). A fine version of your everyday bistrot dish. The one disappointment: a glass of a red wine that had been open for a while and was not even presented to us (as house wine or its actual denomination) by the waiting staff.

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The fish (pictured below and second item listed under the main courses on the menu) was perfectly cooked to keep it tender and juicy, and was accompanied by a fresh and generous serving of mixed vegetables, equally well prepared with a savory, light sauce, as well as superbly cooked squid. A great fish dish worth its EUR 28.

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A few more comments

  • Beurre Noisette serves excellent bread. Some butter to go with it would make it even better… Strange that they did not have any.
  • The restaurant was at Culinaria, but it is not a Michelin-star restaurant. The atmosphere is casual and the service is friendly, but the staff is not trained to Michelin standards.
  • The pricing makes it a special occasion dining spot, as a whole meal a la carte with entree, main course and dessert for two (no wine) would run a tab of around EUR 120 (!)
  • For better value, pick one of the menus / specials. But you might have to ask about them, as the staff merely handed the menus to us without any explanation.
  • If you are debating between Beurre Noisette and the popular classic La Quincaillerie right across the street, pick the latter for ambiance and history (i.e., popular with your out-of-town guests) and the former for the food.
  • Will go back? Yes, I am curious to see how the lunch special changes day to day… Please comment to share your views if you have been!

The restaurant

Beurre Noisette
Rue du Page 38
1050 Brussels
http://www.beurrenoisette.be/

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Author: bxlblog

It started out with just one person years ago, but now we have a team of bloggers giving input and/or writing about food, travel, and generally life in Brussels, and even life in Brussels with a baby in the team's newest blog.

4 thoughts on “Chatelain dining: Beurre Noisette

  1. I adore Beurre Noisette and have been numerous times, it is both handy and dangerous as I live very close nearby! The Saturday lunch you had is indeed exceptional value, as is the lunch during the weeks where there is more variety from day-to-day. The Menu Bazaar in the evenings is a good option if you wish to have a very high-quality dinner for a reasonable price, as the a-la-carte is indeed rather pricey to make it a regular option. That said, the ris de veau on the a-la-carte menu are sublime and worth the extra pennies.

    Every time I go to Beurre Noisette I am astounded by the freshness and inventiveness of the cooking and will keep going back for more. Only downside- as you say, the quality of the service, although it has improved a bit since they opened last autumn. I feel that the food is definitely 1-star material, but the service will hold them back until it improves significantly.

  2. I was at Beurre Noisette recently and I have to say my experience was the opposite, good service but slightly disappointed with the food.

    I was there in the evening, so the lunch menu was not an option. The menu I was given was completely different from the one in the photos above. which I consider a good thing, I like restaurants that try to be inventive and keep their ideas coming.

    On the plus side the tuna carpaccio starter was very good, made excellent by the addition of guacamole, and my co-diners were also happy with their choices. But the mains, while not bad in any way, were not show stoppers. I had sole in a shitake broth, but I found the whole thing bland. The overriding flavour was broccoli and that just made me think I was suffering through a school dinner. My friends were split 50-50 with one happy and the other unimpressed.

    At 60 Euro a head and with all the good reviews hinting at almost Michelin levels I have to say I expected a lot more, but would also like to stand up for the staff, who were very friendly and prompt. I would like to go back once more to see if I just had the bad luck of ordering something that’s not to my taste, but considering the price I’m not keen on coming away disappointed again with another hole in my pocket.

    As an aside, I ate at La Quincaillerie two weeks and was very disappointed. Their menu has shrunk and the quality of the food has dropped considerably since I was last there. Flavourless vegetables thrown on a plate with no thought given to presentation, with over-large portions turning dining into a feat of endurance and taking away from the pleasure.

    I’ve lived in the Chatelain area for 6 years and I love it, but more and more restaurants in the area are living on either their names or their location.

    • Thanks for this helpful comment! When I first went, I was very impressed by the food (especially the fish and seafood). I went back not long ago and while my dining partner’s meat was excellent, I was not very impressed by my dish. It was good and nicely prepared, but it was nothing special and the flavorful were a bit bland.

      I guess that the fact that they cannot consistently deliver top notch quality is what will keep them from earning a Michelin star.

      I agree that the service is fast and friendly. What they’re missing is the finesse and attention to detail required (supposedly) to have a Michelin star. (But then again, the Chalet de la Foret has two stars and the service is slightly on the sloppy side in some respects.)

      I have avoided La Quincaillerie for some time for the reasons you describe. It used to be very good, but the quality went down (already years ago).

      I admit that I have found many restaurants In the Chatelain area disappointing. Le Fruit Defendu used to be very good, but I haven’t been for a while.

      If you are looking for a casual, more affordable place, I’d recommend Villa Thai. Best Thai I’ve had in Brussels and they have a good lunch deal for EUR 11.50 (also on Saturdays).

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