Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brussels!

Four days in Brussels after finding mistake-fare tickets for $270 roundtrip from NYC (via Montreal)!

Having not eaten all day long, we lunched on our first Liege-style street-cart waffles (made right in front of us) outside the Magritte museum.

Dinner at Lola's on Grand Sablon. Unsure what was in this amuse-bouche but it was good--though, oddly, fishy?

Shrimp croquettes, a local specialty, with fried parsley; these were pretty good, but not nearly as crispy as they looked.

My first--but not last--foie gras of the trip; a great preparation with caramelized shallots and diced quince.

Chicken supreme with gravy, chanterelles, oignons, new potatoes.

Duck leg confit on a bed of lentils with bacon and pumpkin.

Molten caramel-fondant cake and speculoos ice cream.

Brunch at the original Le Pain Quotidien, with the rudest waiter of the entire trip.

Quiche Lorraine.

Pot au feu with harissa.

Walking around Sablon, nibbling at half a dozen chocolate shops, including Wittamer, Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus, Leonidas, etc. We had black pepper chocolates, speculoos chocolates, puffed-rice chocolates, and more. One of them had a chocolate chimp in the window with a huge bed of cocoa nibs under it.

We bought some speculoos cookies at Dandoy and tried some of the other baked treats.

A tasting of sour gueuze and fruit beers (kriek and framboise), all made from lambics, at the Cantillon brewery.

Speculoos cookies.

Dinner at L'Idiot du Village. My French was duly mocked by the waiter. He still was not rude compared to the Le Pain Quotidien guy.

Oxtail with applesauce and grated horseradish.

Pea soup with lardons and olive oil.

Grilled scallops over vegetable risotto.

Suckling veal with potatoes and parsnips.

White chocolate soup with kumquats, passionfruit, puffed rice, and coconut.

Financier with caramel ice cream.

Drinking among backpackers at the Delirium Cafe with Delirium Tremens and outstanding pear cider.

An early start; coffee outside the Place du Jeu de Balle flea market.

Nearby a private art collection we viewed, we wandered into a little place called Houtsiplou for lunch.

Spicy pumpkin soup.

Frites.

Moules, with vin blanc.

A series of beers at Mort Subite.

Judas (Brasserie Alken-Maes)

And some hot chocolate.

Chouffe Blonde (Brasserie d'Achoutte)

The peche fruit beer was outstanding.

So much so that Priya had one!

Kriek beer.

Many receipts after sitting around for a couple of hours.

Dinner at Le Fourneau. My parents gave us a Valentine's gift that we spent here! (thank you!)

The epic facial hair of our dining neighbor.

Foie gras and asparagus--a perfect combo, shockingly.

Two amazing, perfectly crusted scallops. Six dollars per scallop.

An open kitchen we're all sitting around, and even a table for very special friends. No friends showed up tonight.

The butteriest turbot of all time.

"Salad of everything and nothing":

Celeriac remoulade with pea shoots, and beets with mashed green lentils (actually an amazing combination).

Half a lobster, in butter, with wasabi.

Simple mashed potatoes, but delicious beyond words.

Trio of creme brulees: vanilla, orange, and Grand Marnier.

Chocolate mousse.