The 5 most stunning restaurants in Brussels
1) Belga Queen
Antoine Pinto created this grand restaurant in a former bank decorated with marble columns and a vaulted glass roof. The kitchen offers serious French cooking along with Belgian beer-based dishes. The toilets were the talk of the town when this place opened, but people are now reconciled to transparent cubicles that turn opaque when the door is closed.
2) Cook & Book
Here is a place where you can eat lunch in one of nine beautiful bookshops. Each bookshop/restaurant has a different theme and decor: a Fiat 500 sits in the cookbook section, an Airstream is parked in the middle of the travel books, and novels hang from the ceiling in the literature shop. It’s quite confusing, but it somehow works, a bit like Belgium.
3) L'Idiot du Village
You will never find The Village Idiot by chance. It’s hidden down a narrow cobbled lane in the Marolles, not far from the antique shops. The dark interior has a cluttered feel, like the home of an elderly uncle. The chef’s specialities include a rich rabbit stew flavoured with wine.
Named after the 16th-century emperor Charles Quint, this beautiful brasserie has brought stylish dining to the Mont des Arts. With its sweeping views of the old town and hanging copper sculpture by Arne Quinze, this is one of the most spectacular places to eat in town. The cooking uses fine ingredients like caviar, truffles and smoked salmon.
5) Le Chalet Robinson
Built in 1877 on an island in the woods, the Chalet Robinson burned down in 1896 and again in 1991. It reopened in the summer of 2009 in a style close to the original. The island location, reached by an old ferry, makes it one of the most romantic spots in Brussels. The menu offers traditional Belgian tavern food like meatballs in tomato sauce, Limousin steaks and pancakes. Service can be slow on a busy day.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Brussel's best-kept secrets.
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