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.)
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 – The beef was meltingly good and paired deliciously well with the smoky roasted eggplant.
Potatoes cooked in hay, squash and basil – With the exception of dessert, this was my favourite dish.
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 – 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 – lemon, cheese and prune just shouldn’t work together, but oh boy do they in this dish.
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 – 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
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.