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La Buvette – Slow Food Restaurant in Brussels

By alison - November 1, 2013 (Updated: October 23, 2015)

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Sustainable Belgium.
La Buvette - Classy, Cosy and Delicious

La Buvette – Classy, Cosy and Delicious

The more we’ve experienced artisanal products in Belgium, the more we’ve come to appreciate slow-food. Eating seasonal, local and sustainably raised food is not only good for the planet; it’s good for our taste-buds. If you need further proof that slow food is the best way to eat, you need to dine at La Buvette in Brussels.

I’ve had so many great dining experiences in Belgium, it’s hard to choose a favourite. I can say, without reservation, La Buvette is in my top five.

This former butcher shop in St. Gilles is run by the folks behind Cafe de Spores, (the mushroom restaurant, which is also one of our favourites.) La Buvette is warm and classy without feeling overly stuffy or formal.

The concept is simple – one menu, 8 courses, drinks optional. The ingredients are local, organic, and seasonal. The food is, without a word of exaggeration, divine. The presentations are artistic and beautiful and the flavour profiles are complex without being confusing. Each and every ingredient shines through.

The menu, on the night I visited, went like this: (Apologies for the poor quality of the photos. It was quite dark and I was doing my best to shoot by candle light.)

Fresh bread with truffle butter

Fresh bread with truffle butter
Cucumber, sea trout and sesame

Cucumber, sea trout and sesame

Cucumber, sea trout and sesame – The cucumber was cured and was half way to a pickle. I don’t like cucumbers or pickles but, surprisingly, I liked this.

Beef, spinach and aubergine

Beef, spinach and aubergine

Beef, spinach and aubergine – The beef was meltingly good and paired deliciously well with the smoky roasted eggplant.

Potatoes cooked in hay, squash and basil

Potatoes cooked in hay, squash and basil

Potatoes cooked in hay, squash and basil – With the exception of dessert, this was my favourite dish.

Grilled sole in buckwheat broth

Grilled sole in buckwheat broth

Grilled sole in buckwheat broth – The fish was delicate and delicious and the broth was unusual in a good way. The caramelised onions set off the broth nicely.

Piglet, salsify and cabbage

Piglet, salsify and cabbage

Piglet, salsify and cabbage – This was probably my least favourite although it was still excellent. I’m not a huge pork fan but the crispy skin on the piglet was something to behold.

Verbena, prune and fresh cheese

Verbena, prune and fresh cheese

Verbena, prune and fresh cheese – lemon, cheese and prune just shouldn’t work together, but oh boy do they in this dish.

Dark chocolate tart

Dark chocolate tart

Dark chocolate tart – Oh. My. God. I don’t often go gaga for desserts, but this, this, was heaven. Rich dark chocolate, creamy goodness, topped with salted caramel-esque wafers. Divine. I may never eat something this good again.

Rice pudding, sea buckthorn and seeds

Rice pudding, sea buckthorn and seeds

Rice pudding, sea buckthorn and seeds – This was a great dish: crunchy, zesty, creamy. My only complaint was on the menu, it came before the chocolate tart, but for us, it was the last course. I think this was a big mistake. On its own, it would be a great dessert… after the mind-blowing tart, it paled in comparison.

Seriously. All of this, for €45. Are you making reservations yet?

I also recently read a review stating La Buvette caters to special diets, provided you let them know in advance. This is great news for my gluten and lactose free friends.

La Buvette also offers a 6 course lunch menu Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, for €25.

As I dined at La Buvette as a guest of Wallonia Brussels Tourism (all mind-blown opinions are 100% my own), Andrew wasn’t with me. I guess we’ll have to go back together… the things we do for love.

Restaurant La Buvette
Ch. d’Alsemberg 108
1060 Saint-Gilles

Tel:+32(0)2 534 13 03

Open Tuesday-Saturday for diner and Wednesday to Friday for lunch.

For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.

Read more from Cheeseweb.eu

Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
Cheese + Goats = My personal heaven. We discover an oasis in the cheese desert. https://t.co/Os8U86UEiX - 7 hours ago

8 comments

  1. Comment by Sarah H

    Sarah H November 1, 2013 at 12:14

    YUM. +1 for accommodating lactose & gluten-free diets!! I’m doing a cleanse this month (damn gluten), but once that’s done La Buvette looks like the excuse we been needing to visit Brussels again. And to take the Thalys.

    (looove the Thalys, esp when you get a deal on 1st class where you’re *served* breakfast, have bottomless chocolat chauds, and you have your pick of foreign papers. It’s what I imagine plane travel must have been like in the 60s).

    Does Belgium have an equivalent to France’s Le Fooding guide (it’s both an annual paper guide, plus a website)? It’s never steered us wrong. We love consulting it when planning trips to the French countryside.
    http://www.lefooding.com/guide-restaurant-paris-france/

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison November 4, 2013 at 14:27

      La Buvette is definitely well worth a visit and I agree Thalys is a great way to travel as long as you can get a good deal on the tickets. We have loads of great foodie resources here, similar to Le Fooding, it’s just a matter of choosing one. There are so many passionate foodies here it’s impossible to choose just one blog to follow!

  2. Comment by Amy

    Amy November 5, 2013 at 22:18

    You had me at truffle butter…It all looks amazing, as you promised, and now I’m kicking myself for not going there when we lived just around the corner! There is nothing even close to this in Québec City, and especially not at those prices. Can’t wait until the next opportunity to visit Brussels! 🙂

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison November 6, 2013 at 08:36

      I’m kicking myself that it took so long to get there too! You guys will definitely love it. It’s a date!

  3. Comment by Mark Lewis

    Mark Lewis November 7, 2013 at 12:58

    Thx Alison, I have been looking for a restaurant to take some dear friends to and I think you have found it for me.
    Just a quick question – would you have to forewarn them if any diners were vegetarian or do they cover that in their normal menu?
    I too am a keen food photographer, so I will post some pics of my dishes when I go also.
    I am not sure if you know about it but I found a fabulous artisanal brewery called Brasserie Carocole last weekend down in the Ardennes. If you are down there at any time, it is wonderful with a short guided tour (French & dutch)and a degustation of the 4 beers for only €6.
    Thanks again for the restaurant tip
    Mark L

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison November 7, 2013 at 13:22

      Hi Mark! You will definitely want to make reservations for La Buvette, as it’s a popular spot. As it is a set menu each night, to be on the safe side I would mention how many vegetarians are in your party when you reserve. We’re looking forward to hearing about your meal, so do keep us posted!

      And yes, I visited Brasserie Caracole back in the spring (http://cheeseweb.eu/2013/10/artisanal-organic-belgian-beer-caracole-brewery-dinant/). It’s a lovely spot. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Comment by Sarah

    Sarah November 7, 2013 at 22:05

    Thanks Alison, I’ll bring my sister here when she visits at the end of the month. Sarah

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison November 8, 2013 at 10:55

      My pleasure! I hope you both enjoy it!

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