For our first fancy meal in Brussels, Antonio and I selected Chef Evan Triantopoulos’ Le Fourneau in the Saint Catherine neighborhood which serves French food. The online reviews on food were very good, although service reviews were sketchy to say the least.
We arrived at the restaurant at around 7pm. The restaurant is on the smaller side, with a wrap around bar looking into the kitchen. There is a chefs table in between the bar and the kitchen.
Our server realized my French is not the best and switched over to English. He offered the 7 course tasting menu, but after a 48 hour travel “adventure”, Antonio and I were not ready to make that kind of commitment. We decided to order directly from the menu and challenge the Gout god.
We ordered two glasses of white wine (¬5 per glass) and a half bottle of sparkling water (¬3.50). Both of these were a fair value for the quality. While we waited for our orders, the restaurant brought over an amouse bouche. It consisted of some very tasty goat cheese, briny olives, and raw cauliflower. It was nice, nothing out of this world, but definitely quality ingredients.
The star of the evening was the oeuf en cocotte ($16). This dish was heavenly. They came with a coulis of foie gras, wood mushrooms, and a truffle emulsion. The texture of the dish was velvety, the flavors sophisticated, and were I not in a restaurant, I may have licked the bowl.
My next favorite dish was sliced Pata Negra Iberico ham (¬16). It was buttery and delicate (and when combined with the egg dish…sublime). To be frank, this does not point to the skills of the chef, but to very smart sourcing. I’m writing this the next day, and I wish I had some to enjoy with breakfast.
Sadly, my least favorite dish was the Foie Gras Poivre (¬25.00). There was nothing wrong with the foie, but it was thrown into the shadows by the egg dish.
While we were eating, the restaurant got gradually busier. The restaurant was not at capacity, but definitely buzzing. The couple next to us brought in their dog, and I started remembering why I MUST get a home in Europe. A well trained dog (mine) should be allowed with me in any restaurant. Theirs laid on the floor the entire time.
I felt that since we did not do the 7-course menu, our server did not pay as much attention to us as other guests. Half way through our meal (all our dishes were delivered together), we informed him that we wanted to order another glass of wine and another dish. Fifteen minutes later, he had not returned. A young lady removed our plates and gave us the dessert menu. It was a shame, we felt that we were being pushed out to make room for someone who would partake in the tasting.
I would definitely return for the food. The food and ingredients utilized are superb. The price is fair for the quality of food. Service was sketchy for us. Not sure if this is due to the time we picked, or because we skipped on the tasting menu. If you head to Brussels, give it a go, and let me know how your service was. I may sneak over to his other restaurant, Le Gril aux Herbes…we’ll see.
Le Fourneau is located at Sint-Katelijneplein 8 1000 Brussels, Belgium 02 513 10 02
(8, Place Sainte-Catherine 1000 Brussels Belgium)