Michelin has recently released the 2012 Belgium/Luxembourg Guide, as well as the 2012 Benelux Bib Gourmand Guide. For a country of only 10 million people, Belgium has a huge number of Michelin star restaurants – 3 three stars, 15 two stars, and 89 one stars. I know Christmas isn’t meant to be about the gifts, but I can’t help adding one or more of these to the wish list. (So if a certain someone is reading this little blog, please take careful notes. :))
Restaurants awarded three stars in the Michelin guide are those that offer “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” There are only about 100 in total worldwide, so the fact that Belgium has three goes a long way to prove how much this country loves food. I’ve been lucky enough to have dined in one of them – De Karmeliet in Bruges. This was an amazing experience, not least because this is where my husband proposed to me. The food and service were outstanding, but I have to admit I can’t remember much after about the fifth course, as this is when the ring appeared. I think blanking out for the cheese and dessert courses is reason enough to return some day.
The other two are Hof Van Cleve and Hertog Jan in Flanders, both ranked among the word’s best. Brussels misses out on having any three star establishments, but makes up in the other categories. There are 3 two star restaurants in Brussels, including Chalet de la Forêt, Sea Grill and Comme Chez Soi. I’ve had the chance to eat at Chalet de la Forêt a couple of times, which is an elegant restaurant on the edge of Forêt de Soignes in Uccle. I would highly recommend it for any special occasion – the setting is lovely and the food sophisticated, but not over the top.
Brussels has quite a few one star restaurants as well, including Jaloa (awarded its first star this year), Alexandre, Kamo, ‘t Stoveke, La Paix, Michel, Le Passage, Bon-Bon, Senza Nome, San Daniele, Terborght, La Truffe Noire and Bruneau. It’s also worth a look at the Bib Gourmand Guide, which lists 113 restaurants in Brussels (22 new) that offer a three course meal under €35. I just posted about one of them last week – Mamy Louise – and would also recommend Switch and La Manufacture.
Images via Brussels Life and Top 100 Restaurants.