Thursday, July 07, 2011

Brussel's La BELLE MARAICHERE for sure for seafood (6-26-11)

We have left the unreal prices of Scandanavia and are thrilled by the
(relative) bargains here in Brussels. I recall on my last visit some
37 years ago prices were the most expensive in Europe, and I can
assure you that is a thng of the past. LA BELLE MARAICHERE means the
pretty market woman as the restaurant sits on the Place Sainte
Catherine where markets are indeed still held
( We met friends of mine performing here in
the opera and had a superb meal with Samuel that really started off
our land trip in the best possibly way (especially after the train
travel day from hell-those who read the travel journals will hear of
that soon!).
A bottle of Jaboulet Aine LE CHEVALIER de la STERIMBERG 2008 was a
treat as this creamy yummy white Rhone HERMITAGE is not easily found
in the USA. Instead of an amuse a small bowl of crevettes (heads and
tail on) were brought to the table with finger bowls. While the
Belgians seem to gobble them whole, I did have to remove the heads,
and they were sweet and yummy.
Appetizers consisted of Lobster Bisque with Armagnac that got raves
and was not too rich. SHRIMP CROQUETTES and the most divine SKATE &
Samuel gobbled down his fresh grilled SCOTTISH SALMON and of course
the requisites frites. He even ate the veggies.
My WATERZOOI, the traditional Belgian fish stew was a dream with tons
of leeks, salmon, sole, cod, catfish, potato, a small crayfish and
mussels in a light creamy soup. The Grilled LOBSTER for two was a
treat and the SKATE Fish with Capers and Butter was also fabulous. It
was seafood in perfection. We had switched to a ST AUBIN 2008 "Le
Fontenotte" from Marc Colin that was more mineral than the cream in
the Hermitages, but it paired well with all the food as well.

Desserts were PAIN PERDU a la FLAMANDE, a kind of French toast/bread
pudding Flemish style with Vanilla Ice Cream, SOUFFLE GLACE au
CHOCOLAT with MANDERINE NAPOLEAN GLACE which was one scoop of rich
Belgian chocolate whipped with egg whites frozen and the other with
mandarin orange. A glass of Chateau LA TOUR BLANCHE 1998 Sauternes 1er
Cru sent us home, all ready for bed after a very long day.