Nestled on the corner of Rue Blaes and Rue Notre-Seigneur, in the Marolles, is a cosy little secret of in-the-know foodies. It’s called L’Idiot du Village, but even the village idiot will tell you, it’s worth finding this little restaurant.
Foodies in Brussels know, choosing a restaurant in the city is always a dilemma. Do you seek out a new and untested venue and run the risk of a disappointing meal or do you return to a tried and true favourite.
Last week, Andrew and I decided to split the difference and visit a place we enjoyed many years ago but hadn’t returned to. It wasn’t for lack of trying. L’Idiot du Village is a popular spot and we never seemed able to get reservations when we thought of it. Finally we planned ahead and decided to see if it was a good as we remembered.
We were the first diners to arrive, on Wednesday night, but we were warmly welcomed by the host and server. We settled into a cosy window seat for two and had a look around.
L’Idiot still has the same quirky decor I remembered. It’s filled with colourful lampshades, flickering candles and curious objects. The wooden tables are painted bright blue and are set with heavy blue floral china.
We started with a glass of bubbly and pondered the handwritten menus.
Andrew decided on scallops and while I pondered fish or beef, the host arrived and informed us of a few off-menu specials. My decision was tossed out, the second he mentioned pheasant. To start, we decided to share the foie gras.
With those decisions out of the way, it was time to turn to the wine list. It too was hand-written – on loose-leaf. Don’t ask me why I found this so charming, but I did. Andrew settled on a Saint-Estèphe and what a delicious choice it was.
In fact we were pleased with all of our choices. The foie was excellent and served with a poached pear. The basket of toasty, fresh bread was quickly put to good use.
We were glad we shared the starter when our mains arrived. The portions were hearty and filled our floral plates.
My pheasant was tasty and the potato galette was a great accompaniment. It was also served with the ubiquitous Belgian winter veg, chicon.
Andrew’s scallops were served with a very generous helping of veggie risotto. It didn’t stop him from snagging some of my pheasant when I wasn’t looking though.
We weren’t able to find room for dessert but the selection certainly tempted us. We settled for coffee and herbal tea, which came with some little sweet nibbles anyway.
The verdict – L’Idiot du Village lived up to our memories. The prices are on the high side for this type of food. However, considering the location (very close to Sablon), the generous portion sizes, friendly service and cosy atmosphere, we felt they were justified.
We will definitely try not to wait another 5 years before returning.
L’Idiot du Village
Rue Notre-Seigneur, 19
Tel : +32 (0)2 502 55 82
Mon-Fri : 12:00-14:00 & 19:15-23:00
For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.