Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Archive for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Category

Wine and dine in the Marolles

Posted by rachelinbxl on June 29, 2013

This Bite Me Brussels contributor is a big fan of beer and wine, as well as good food. Of course, this is also due to the delightful way wine and beer can complement food. I joined a Meetup group that goes wine tasting twice a month, and my first attendance was a delightful discovery.
I already like the Marolles area of Brussels, below the Palais de Justice, really just two parallel streets of antique shops, the giant flea market and vintage shops that spring up around it, endless brunch possibilities and it’s open on Sundays. What’s not to like?
But I have never been there in the evening during the week.
So, Wednesday evening in the Marolles, this Meetup took 20 wine fans to the relatively new ‘Studio 126’. This opened in March 2013 and is run by a lovely Belgian-English-Italian couple. He is an oenologist and makes his own wine (in italy). He takes care of the wine side of the shop. She is an interior designer, hence the lovely wall painting, and takes care of the ‘knick-knacks’ side of the shop.

Our oenologist and the lovely interior design of Studio 126

Our oenologist and the lovely interior design of Studio 126

The wine selection is modest, but well chosen for variety and price range. It is not exclusively Italian, but does concentrate on Italian wines.
There offer tasting by the glass on a selection of bottles (price varies according to the price of the bottle). They also have Italian charcuterie and cheeses to go with the wines (all excellent in their own right, and hard to get hold of in Belgium).
So.. one can drop by for some excellent council in Italian grape varieties, styles, regions and flavours… taste a glass … try some Italian treats, and maybe buy a bottle for later.
Every other Friday evening, they serve an Italian aperitif, with a dish and a glass of wine at a fixed price. They also offer 3 small tables during the weekend and serve pasta or risotto, again with wine. The offerings are typically Italian, so you might want to call and check if you don’t want to try squid or intestines.

In short, I went to a wine tasting and discovered a place that I want to go for a Friday night apero, or a Sunday meal! Guests are welcomed as friends and the mix of wine and interior design makes for a lovely setting to discover some sunshine in a glass. Really necessary this June in Belgium!

My favourite of those sampled

My favourite of those sampled

Studio 126
Rue Blaes 126, 1000 Bruxelles (in the Marolles area)

Food: not yet tested
Wine: excellent
Atmosphere: A
Service: A  very friendly and knowledgeable
Price: B
Languages: French, Italian, English, a little Dutch

Posted in Brew in Bruxelles, Drop By, Home Sweet Home, Hot List | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Ce soir on dine a Marrakech

Posted by rachelinbxl on April 18, 2013

Ce soir on dine a Marrakech (tonight we dine in Marrakech) is one of those restaurants that is so near by that I never get around to going. Ave Brugmann is not a concentration of restaurants, so you have to choose to go to this one. I finally made it with 2 work colleagues. which means the photos are lower quality (it is strange to be photographing a colleague’s dinner so I didn’t like to try a few times to get a picture without steam)!
The decor is very Moroccan – possibly more so than IN Morocco. The tables are large round ones on metal legs, with the trays on them for tea and so on. The chairs around the walls are laced with cushions in bright colours, and those Moroccan lamps hang everywhere.
The owner is clearly Moroccan and the welcome is thus warm. They immediately brought olives and the menu. It was a hard choice.

The restaurantTray tables

In the end I went for chicken with preserved lemon and olives – a reliable favourite dish. My colleagues chose lamb with mixed vegetables (shown on the left) and lamb with apricots (too far away to photograph). We ordered couscous to go with these. All of them were tasty.  Dried fruit goes well with lamb, but does make the tajine sweet. I prefer green olives to the violet variety, but these are more tangy and go well with the lemon. All of us felt there was a lot of meat (and bones – be careful). The service was attentive, but not overly so.

Lamb and vegetablesChicken and preserved lemon

I’d have loved to try sweets, but we didn’t have space for anything more than mint tea. but this was served traditionally and was excellent. I’m only giving it a B on price because it is not the best value for money Moroccan I have tried in Belgium. It’s also not the widest choice, nor the highest flavour rating.. but it’s good… and if you are in the area it is worth stopping in to Dine in Marrakech.

Mint Tea

Ce soir on dine a Marrakech
Ave Brugmann 408,
1180 Uccle

Food: B
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Price: B
Languages: French

Posted in Chill Corner, Home Sweet Home | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brussels to Brittany in 20 minutes

Posted by rachelinbxl on March 17, 2013

I am a huge fan of Breton pancakes. The savoury version, often made with buckwheat flour, are richly tasty, with a bitter aftertaste that marries really well with cheese and other toppings. They call this ‘sarrasin’ or ‘ble noir’ and generally call the pancakes galettes rather than crepes.
There are a few places offering these in Brussels, but they are simple to make at home, so I had not ventured to a restaurant. But, of course, if you want more choice of toppings, it is easier in a resto, so my boyfriend persuaded me to test this place, near me in Uccle, yesterday. We wandered in at about 8pm without a reservation and got the last free table. This little place on Avenue Brugmann is a bit offset from other food establishments, and so is not particularly busy. It can only seat about 22 people in total and a party of 10 had made a booking, meaning the rest of us were somewhat crammed together. This was fine as most people finished before we got our food – not that the service was slow, it was impeccable.
My boyfriend took La Jersey – which has cheese, ham, egg, tomato and onion. This was a really filling mix that he loved.

La Jersey

La Jersey


I went for the goats cheese, apple, lardons and honey galette called La Belle Ile. This was because my boyfriend doesn’t really like goat’s cheese, so we don’t use it when we make them at home, but he tried this and decided that with the honey and apple offsetting the bitterness of the goat’s cheese, he actually really liked it. I had to fight him off trying more of it! The pancakes themselves were crispy and delicious and a good serving size. We were also pleasantly surprised to each receive a small salad with our galette – really just a small bowl of iceberg lettuce and carrot with some dressing, but pancakes can feel rather heavy with no fresh vegetables, so I appreciated this touch.
La Belle Ile

La Belle Ile


We were tempted by the offering of a beer from Brittany, but in the end stuck to tradition and took a half of the dry cider. This was still quite sweet, and dangerously drinkable. I love cider with buckwheat pancakes and cheese. I think it’s more refreshing than beer, even if it often gives more of a headache!
Bol de Brut

Bol de Brut


We both were really hoping that they would have salty butter caramel crepes for dessert, and had already checked for it while we were choosing the main course. We were most disappointed when we didn’t find it. Since the waitress was occupied with the party of 10 when we finished our main course, we waited quite a while for the table to be cleared. She was then on a cigarette break and the chef himself asked if we wanted dessert. We confirmed and he offered his speciality – salted butter caramel. We both beamed and immediately ordered two. The result was a delight.
Salty Butter Caramel

Salty Butter Caramel


The crepe itself was not hot – clearly they are prepared and just warmed before serving (the speed of service also told us this)… but this is best since the caramel was also cool and came with vanilla ice cream. They did not skimp on the caramel.. my heart was palipatating at the thought of all the butter I was ingesting, but it was divine. When the waitress came to take the plates (that we had to resist licking clean), I expressed our joy at finding salty caramel, and she pointed out it was on the suggestions board. I suddenly realised that ‘crepe salidou a la glace vanille’ was the salted butter caramel. I felt it wasn’t clear as an option, when others explained far more their content.. but it confirmed for me that we will be going back, if only for dessert!
The restaurant is small and friendly. clearly also family friendly as the two tables next to us both had small children drawing with coloured pencils provided by the owner. They have a dog, but a very well behaved one. The decor is bright and breton, nothing overly chic. We ate for 20 euros each including drinks, so I’d say it is very good value for money. It’s also a fast meal.

Le Triskell, Ave Brugmann (corner of Berkendael)

Food: A
Atmosphere: B
Service: A Very friendly
Price: A
Languages: French

Posted in Bang for your Buck, Drop By, Home Sweet Home | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Izakaya

Posted by spacemonkey99 on May 4, 2010

I have been hearing about Izakaya for years.  As the story goes, it used to be a place run by and for Japanese customers only (or you had to at least be Japanese-speaking).  I guess times change, and now there are non-Japanese customers such as myself who venture to try it.  But, by the number of Japanese clientele it seems it has quite authentic cuisine (or they could just be there for the Japanese karaoke found in the basement).  Above you see the free starter everyone gets but not everyone enjoys. Its tangy, sweet, fishy.  Those familiar with real (not the Westernized versions) of Japanese, Korean or even Chinese cuisine will taste familiar flavors and textures.  Those less familiar will either love it or hate it.

We decided to try a variety of dishes including the above mixed platter (~10 euros) of yakitori and other grilled meats.  The chicken, mushroom and shrimp were by far the best.  The strange one was the cheese and bacon. Question mark there.

Above the grilled mackerel, a favorite with fish lovers and recommended here as it was quite tasty.

The karaage (fried chicken) was also done well for those familiar with this dish. Crispy and crunchy.

We also tried many other dishes such as the udon, tempura, chicken with rice and so on.  Overall, our group had mixed reviews.  Some people loved it.  The udon was overcooked and the noodles were soggy which was a disappointment. The tempura was perfect ~ light, fluffy, tasty but a bit expensive at 18 euros for 6 – 7 pieces.  In spite of being a bit expensive (we paid 35 euros a person and not everyone felt they had eaten sufficiently) I would recommend this place ~ order some warm or chilled sake, enjoy the dishes in a tapas-style way sharing with your friends and try something Japanese other than sushi!

Izakaya

Chaussée de Vleurgat, 123

1050 Ixelles

Food: B+/A-
Atmosphere: B+/A-
Service: A-
Price: B
Languages: French, English, Japanese

Posted in Far and away, Food rumors, Home Sweet Home, Hot List, Pretty Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bitte ein Bit

Posted by spacemonkey99 on April 14, 2010

I am surprised at how few German restaurants there are in Brussels.  Actually, I know of only two, one in the Schuman area, and another in Wezembeek Oppem, which technically is no longer Brussels.  I frequent Maxburg,  located in the Schuman area.  The food is good, hearty, and well worth the price.  The main attraction is schnitzel, of which there are quite a few varieties including Wiener, Jaeger, Milanese, and with various other sauces (10-15 euros depending which style).  It comes with bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes with onion) and a good-sized bowl of salad.  They also have affordable daily specials which change each week (8-10 euros).  Maxburg also serves Bitburger, a well-known German beer hard to come by elsewhere in Brussels.  The restaurant is small, and includes a small bar seating area.  Sometimes, when the crowd gets rowdy, it can be a bit too small.  Generally you can get a table without a reservation.

Maxburg

Rue Stevin 108

1000 Brussels

Food: A-
Atmosphere: B
Price: B+
Service: A-

Languages: German, French, English

Posted in Drop By, Feeling Carnivorous?, Home Sweet Home | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »