In a nutshell – My preferred 2-star Michelin restaurant in town for the food (great lunch deal), ambiance (quiet and relaxed forest setting) and terrace (perfect in the summer). The only weakness is the service, but that will not stop me from going back (again). Read on for the full review…
If you are looking for a nice terrace to enjoy the last days of summer weather in Brussels, head over to Le Chalet de la Foret, one of Brussels’ three 2-star Michelin restaurants (Seagrill and Comme Chez Soi are the other two), and undoubtedly the one offering the most charming, agreeable and worthwhile dining experience.
The Chalet, located in the Bois de la Cambre close to the (also upscale) David Lloyd gym, is best enjoyed during lunch in their outdoor terrace, which has plenty of seating (reservations are still highly advised). Besides the larger menus that are also available in the evening, there is a special three-course lunch menu for just EUR 45 (not including drinks). Plus, if your budget or hunger levels require, you can drop the entree, main course or dessert with a corresponding price reduction.
The food is fresh and stays away from rich, heavy sauces. Surprisingly – in the best way possible – some of the dishes taste superbly like homemade dishes, albeit with the expected Michelin-level presentation and finesse. Appetizers in the summer might include a tartar of salmon in a cucumber emulsion or other fish (pictured below), and main courses typically consist of a heavier meat dish (beef, veal, or in the photo below, a delicious ox tail creation that melts in your mouth). Having said that, I am not sure if the food deserves the second Michelin star (same with Seagrill).
The only downside is the service, which is not up to Michelin standards (they sometimes forget to introduce the dishes; bread and drinks service lacks attention, even meaning having to proactively ask and chase to get some water; looong wait for the check).
- Accessible by car (not as easily by public transportation). Plenty of on-site parking.
- If you want to have one of the longer menus, arrive early or the kitchen will no longer allow you to order it.
- The restaurant is open on weekdays only (weekends and holidays for private events if you have a pretty substantial budget…)
- For a Michelin-on-a-budget meal (if there ever was an oxymoron…), you don’t have to get the full three-course lunch menu but can choose to drop the appetizer, main course or dessert. (At least theoretically… I assume one could substitute the main course for a different dish from the (way pricier) a la carte menu, but I cannot picture them eyeing you favorably if you decide to make a meal out of just an appetizer and the complimentary amuse-bouches…)
- Count on at least two hours for a leisurely lunch, although you could speed through it in 1 hour 15 minutes (but why would you want to do that?)
- For light drinkers: Limited by-the-glass wine selection, but some good half-bottles available.