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ToTaillevent or not, the question of the moment + eating in Brussels

ToTaillevent or not, the question of the moment + eating in Brussels

Dec 24th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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ToTaillevent or not, the question of the moment + eating in Brussels

couple last minute questions as we prepare to leave for Paris/Brussels tomorrow.

The husband, in typical fashion decides yesterday, "hey, shouldn't we go to Taillevent?"

My bad in thinking that we went there the last trip which included way too many high-end restaurants + I just convinced him to ditch the suit to lighten the luggage load.

My goal is to have a casual-low key vacay. with lots of aligot, oysters and bistro/cafe fare.

We live in NYC and I am getting stingy about dropping $300+ on meals anymore and am happy with the regular jaunts to WD-50 for the fancy fix. We have no reservations anywhere with this trip and I have some places that we'll hit if it is convenient, we might do Spring if I can get a last minute res., but that was it on the food front.

So, I am probably answering my own question, but, should I reconsider, is the place over-rated, worth the big price?

Also, looking for Brussels recommendations. Planning on Belga Queen, but that is it. Looking for great moules frites beyond Chez Leon.

For what it is worth in answering, we are in our 30s, like to do the cafe/bar thing, drink wine, wander, meet people and relax while traveling. We are not the go-go-go, hit all the sights kind of people. We have been to Paris before and it is 1st time for both of us to Brussels.

Thanks in advance and thanks for all the trip reports and answers to my other pre-planning posts!

Hope everyone who reads spares the snark today and has happy holidays!
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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It may be a moot point because Taillevent may well be booked for dinner. When I tried last fall they were booked months ahead in the evenings...

At any rate, if you are a big fan of WD-40, perhaps Taillevent's cuisine will be a bit too staid for your taste. I do agree that once you start with the whole restaurant reservations thing, you do sacrifice some spontaneity, especially when you have lunch reservations. Just my own thoughts...perhaps reserve a few less fancy but more cutting edge places for dinner and wing the rest..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Hi CB,

Is Taillevent worth it? Yes

>My goal is to have a casual-low key vacay.

Is it a good idea this trip? No.

Where will you be staying?

ira is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Oh I am so silly..I wrote "WD-40"!!! Well, you know what place I was referring to!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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Thanks Ekscrunchy--I'd only do dinner if we can get in. Any suggestions for more cutting edge are appreciated. Was thinking of L'Atelier also.

Ira--I assume you mean Taillevent not a good idea for this trip--oui?

We are staying in the 3rd at http://www.vrbo.com/28993
and I was pleased to see reviews of it from fellow travelers on here after picking it.

We plan to go to the market and eat in before going out for new year's to avoid the crowded restaurants and higher priced NYE menus.

Thanks again for any help.
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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I was a bit disappointed by Belgaqueen when we went there for dinner, though my husband had been there for lunch and said the atmosphere (and service) was much better then, so that might be worth bearing in mind.

If you like fish and seafood then check out Re-source, an amazing, small restaurant in Brussels with a really talented young chef. http://www.restaurantresource.be/ The 40 euro, 3 course (plus various amuse-bouches) "Menu Resource" is fabulous value and the food is cleverly thought out and beautifully presented. The service is efficient and friendly without being too laid-back. And it's part of the Slow-Food movement, if that means anything to you! You do have to book, though, as there aren't many tables (and they don't cram everybody in like sardines, either).

hanl is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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I liked Atelier a lot! And it is very casual.

L'Ami Jean is kind of cutting edge and again, I also liked that very, very much. Also very casual.

You might try Ze Kitchen Galerie..I've had a great dinner and a not-as-great dinner there, on two different visits.

Heard very good things about Le Chateaubriand but have not been.

Please keep us posted on where you do end up!!

ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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duh on me--I didn't catch that--I have been referring to WD-40 as WD50 for the last few years! Grease-food, it's all the same
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Oh, sorry, re-read your post and saw you were looking for moules-frites recommendations in Brussels... afraid I can't be very helpful there as I can't eat mussels!
hanl is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Thanks Hanl. I had looked at Belga Queen and it looked interesting in initial planning. Our neighbors went in September and liked it and she is a chef for what that is worth.

I will check out Source--thanks for the suggestion, I don't find much for Brussels and seafood is perfect as I don't eat meat. (1 of the reasons I am hesitant on Spring)

ekscrunchy, I will try booking L'Atelier and look at the others. I will def. post at a food and drinking report when I get back.
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Hanl--I'll take anything--I do like moules frites though. It's just all the suggestions are for Chez Leon and it is not grabbing me, though perhaps I am being a food-snob. The chain aspect along with pictures of food on the menu turn me off.
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Chez Léon is OK, though to be honest I don't like the atmosphere much - it's a bit too bustling and big for me. And as I don't eat mussels (which I'm told are very good there) I haven't been particularly impressed with the food there. It's very family friendly though, with various kids-eat-free type deals. Plenty of people I know really like the place.

Anyway, there are so many fabulous places to eat in Brussels I doubt you'll have any problems finding great restaurants (just stay away from the Rue des Bouchers!). The Timeout guide to Brussels has some good recommendations. If I didn't have so many presents to wrap and food to prepare for tomorrow, I'd be able to give you more detailed recommendations myself...
hanl is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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thank you Hanl--I have the time out guide and have been working off that.

Crossing off Chez Leon completely--not into bustling kids! (no offense to anyone)

If you feel like suggestions later, please do--I will be looking at this while away and we don't hit Brussels until Jan 4.
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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I would say definitely try Taillevent. I was there two months ago and it was divine. Everything was exceptional, from the food to the service. My wife and I had a conversation with the owner and as we were leaving, he gave us a menu that he had signed. He was very nice. I would also highly recommend Spring if you haven't been there before. Like you said, it may be difficult getting a reservation but if given the opportunity, I would certainly give it a shot. Have a great time and good luck with the reservaitons.
naughtyb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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For fine dining in Brussels, I would skip Belga Queen and go to Chalet de la Foret instead.


A favorite with a Parisian bistro atmosphere serving a variety of seafood (although they do more than seafood): Les Brasseries Georges
Note: they offer you a choice of frites cooking methods: in beef fat, goose fat, or olive oil!
Le Vignoble de Margo is another high end, non touristy seafood restaurant out in the Woluwes along the Ave. de Tervuren

My all-time favorite place for mussels is VriendSchaap in Middelburg, but in Brussels, we like Shake Hands. A popular neighborhood restaurant in a residential area. Near the Stockel metro stop.

For vegetarians, Element Terre is very well regarded and in a pleasant part of Ixelles.

And finally, I highly recommend En Face de Parachute. However, their menu changes frequently to match with what's fresh. One of the best moderately priced, nontouristy restaurants in Brussels.
BTilke is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Hi, I think if you're asking then it must be that it's something you really want to do. So, yes, do dinne at Taillevent.
francophile03 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for all the recs. BTilke!

Pleased with all the Brussels recs. and happy to nix Taillevent from my list. It was just the man being foolish as he is only beginning to realize that we are leaving tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for the help and will return the favor in posting as I am able.

Happy holidays/New Year/etc.
cherrybomb is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 06:53 PM
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In case you haven't absolutely made up your mind, and can be persuaded--I had one of my most memorable meals at Taillevent--and it was lunch! It's slightly more affordable than dinner, and you can be assured that it will be leisurely and so over-the-top luxurious that it will almost make you giggle. I went several years ago for my birthday, and would love to go again. The receptionist spoke English, as did the maitre d' who came over to translate the menu. I think it was about $200/person seven years ago, but you have to forget about it. Once you order the $35 dollar appetizer, you have to let go. I will have to admit though that the lobster sausage wasn't that great. Go for the food, but go for the experience, which is great.

a1802 is offline  

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