If you don’t like mushrooms, don’t read any further. Today’s post is all about those delicious, little fungi and one spot in particular in Brussels to enjoy them.
Café des Spores is a well-known restaurant in the middle of Saint Gilles on Chaussée d’Alsemberg that specializes in all things mushroom. The décor is a simple, rustic yet modern, with just a few wooden tables and chairs. There’s a small balcony overlooking the room below, as well as a wine cellar with one large table for guests to share. We made our reservation at the last-minute so joined the table in the cellar among the crates of wine.
The owner, Frenchmen Nicolas Scheidt, is also the chef and cooks from a small kitchen/bar area in the main dining room. He’s obviously a fan of the mushroom, in all its forms. There really isn’t a traditional menu here, just a list of small dishes listed on a blackboard, all of course including some kind of mushroom (cepes, morels, katsuo-bushi, shiitakes, etc). The waitress recommended two to three per person to make a meal. Each ranges from €8 to €18. There’s also a surprise tasting menu for €30 per person.
The husband and I ordered five plates to share, including the salaison mixte (aged sausage with mushrooms), blonds aux herbes au grill (grilled mushrooms stuffed with garlic and herbs), crême brûlée fois gras cêpes (no translation needed :)), ravioles du dauphine aux chanterelles (raviolis with cheese and chanterelle, pictured above) and petite cocotte de canard confit aux sparasis crepus (small pot of duck with wild mushrooms, pictured below).
The stuffed mushrooms were a bit disappointing, but the crême brûlée and ravioli more than made up for it. Our neighbors had the oeuf cocotte blonds truffe fraiche (poached egg with fresh truffles) that also looked delicious (I heard them oohing and ahhing). The list changes regularly, depending on the season and availability. We were stuffed so skipped dessert but I’m intrigued by the choice of ice cream with cepes or pannacotta with truffle honey…
For a small restaurant, they have an extensive wine and beer menu, with choices from around the world. It has a cozy, relaxed atmosphere and is a good choice for dinner for two or small group. I have to say I found it on the pricey side for the quality/quantity, but we had a good meal nonetheless. There also a sister restaurant across the street – La Buvette – which has a fixed menu for lunch and dinner. It’s only open Tuesday to Friday and has more of a “gastro pub” style of food that I’m eager to try!
103 Chaussée d’Alsemberg, 1060 Saint Gilles
Tel: +32 2 534 13 03
Open: Monday to Saturday, 7:30-10:30pm
Images via Eating.be and my iPhone.