When you get invited for a lunch at Les Eleveurs, eating food prepared and paired with Aligote wines by Andy de Brouwer, would you:
a) say yes immediately, because you love food, are intrigued by Les Eleveurs (although … gasp! … it is not in Brussels) and Bourgogne wines are your favourite?
b) decline, because you are on a pre-Christmas diet?
The story so far
Let me start with Bourgogne. Which is really one of our favourite wine regions in France. On our last trip there we enjoyed visiting the châteaux as much as discovering the local cuisine and wines. Although I never got around to write a blog post about our travels to Bourgogne, as they say photos speak a 1000 words (check out our Bourgogne Flickr album) .
On to Les Eleveurs. I met Andy de Brouwer on several occasions, not once making the link between him and Les Eleveurs. When I received the invitation for the Aligote lunch, as any respectable blogger, I did my research and found out that Les Eleveurs is a true family affair. The restaurant is now run by 4th generation de Bouwers, offering gastronomic brasserie food with a 14/20 score in the Gault Millau. Also, Andy de Brouwer was chosen in 2012 Sommelier of the year by Foodprint.
Well … here we come to the adventure bit. The restaurant is located in Halle. Which at first, being all public transport depended, I thought ‘oh boy’. However with a bit of planning it turned out that it was easier to arrive at Les Eleveurs than at many restaurants we have been to, located on the other side of Brussels from where we live (Saint Gilles – Gare du Midid – Halle … a total of 8min. OK, let’s make it 10min).
Arrived in Halle, the restaurant is literally 5min walk from the station so yes, much easier for me to get to … than let’s say La Villa Lorraine. Oh, and as we are being honest … it was also my first time in Halle. Ever. Having discovered Les Eleveurs, that is something which I can guarantee will change.
The food was a revelation. And the Aligote pairings worked wonders. I never actually planned a lunch or dinner around white wines only … let alone a single grape variety. Knowing Aligote wines from our Bourgogne trip mostly as the other half to Kir, I was surprised to taste how versatile the grape can be. Granted, part of me is also subjective as this 17th century grape is also pretty popular in Romania.
We had avocado (remaining ever so popular with foodies) with goats cheese paired with a 2014 Domain Sorin-Coquard. Roasted cauliflower with white asparagus brought to veggie heights with a glass of Sous le Chemin 2013 from Domaine Buisson Charles. My absolute favourite dish, cod with squid tagliatelle and confit fennel paired with a 2013 Aligote from Domaine Fernand and Laurent Pillot. And to end a very nice local selection of cheeses paired with Les Moutots 2014 Aligote from Jean Clause Boisset. Now that is a proper food and wine paired lunch!
Both the food and the wine pairings were a great foodie discovery, opening my mind to:
a) explore the gastronomic offer on the outskirts of Brussels
b) single wine variety pairing (which incidentally, we already put into practice)
Service with a smile
Very much so! We were lucky enough to have Andy de Brouwer with us for the whole lunch, which meant that both food and wine pairings were explained in detail, with gusto and the occasional light hearted joke. Pair that with a glass or two (or more …) of Aligote and I can truthfully say we all had a great gastronomic and wine experience.
I would like to extend our thanks to Les Eleveurs for organising this amazing meal and to the staff for hosting us and dealing with our endless questions and cameras with grace.
Disclaimer: as always, all opinions written are our own.
Let’s keep in touch!
You can also find me tweeting at @onfoodandwine, snapping away on Instagram or pinning like mad on Pinterest. To keep up to date with the latest foodie news, like On Food and Wine on Facebook or sign up for our monthly email alerts up on the right.