Reading Becks&Posh review of the Alembic Bar made me think: should I apply the 3 visit rule to the restaurants we go to, to write a fair review? I could, but then again I am not in the restaurant review business. We always go more than once to our coup de foudre. 

Yet the thrill of going out to eat comes from trying out new restaurants, and when we get to – there will also be a first impressions kind of review.

The story so far
Restobieres. The restaurant is featured in almost every guide book on Brussels and Belgian beers, but 10 years and counting, and last Sunday was the first time we went there to eat. We combined flee market with lunch in the area and ended up going to Restobieres.

First impressions
I would call this an ‘expectations met’ restaurant. Whenever you read up on a restaurant in a guide book (especially a beer restaurant) you expect a certain style, a certain setting. Restobieres is just that: quaint, cozy, beer memorabilia wherever you look and adding a dash of local flavour – flee market collections of nut grinders and old cookie boxes.

As we arrived just after lunch, the restaurant was not too busy. Then again mostly everyone opted for the terrace in the blasting sun. We went inside. However, going there for dinner you will need a reservation. The place is very popular with Belgian beer seeking tourists and always full.

The food
Restobieres is more a beer experience than a food experience. The menu offers primarily Belgian dishes, which in the summer time can be just a little bit heavy. The poulet fermier waterzooi (chicken cooked in a Belgian style) was very good but too heavy for the summer. I opted for a salade au chevre chaud a la Kriek (a fruit beer) and was quite disappointed. A hit and miss menu. But a good overall selection of Belgian food which probably goes down a lot better in the winter.

salade de chevre

On the other hand the beer menu was quite a surprise. Not as extensive as I thought it would be for a beer restaurant, but offering very odd and unusual beers. The owner of the restaurant, although mostly tourist oriented, will also take his time to recommend and offer you different beer tastings which is always a plus.

Two main courses and 4 beers came to 35euro.

Service with a smile
Yes, but quite erratic and forgetful so don’t plan to be somewhere else by a given time just after Restobieres.

The verdict
I am happy we went to Restobieres, as it was one of those ‘have-to-go-to’ restaurants. So many guidebooks recommend it that we started to feel somewhat guilty we never made it there. Would we go back? Probably for a quick beer or two after the flee market. For the food only if in winter.

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