You know those restaurants that you like to call your local, where you go spur of the moment, not giving it much thought? Well, there are those restaurants. And then there is Brugmann.
A bit under the radar, this is a restaurant where you tingle to go to, where the expectation is high, where the mystery of the grand mansion front makes you wonder – could this be a piece of high end New York, in the middle of Brussels?
The story so far
Burgmann is located in an amazing – and typical – Brussels mansion, built in 1899 and belonging to high positioned Brussels politicians of the era. More recently though (2014) its new owner decided to change the residence into a dining establishement. Cue Brugmann. A modern and honestly – sexy! – restaurant located at the edge of the Abbe Froidure park, spot on in the middle of Ave. Brugmann.
We first came across Brugmann on long strolls to and back from the ‘kiddie’ swimming pool Darwin (Brussels parents know what I am talking about). We then included it in our St. Valentine’s wrap up. So it was only a matter of time until we would go for the whole nine yards and enjoy a full-on gastronomic dinner at this restaurant.
New York. More specifically ‘my’ SATC moment. For those of you not relating to SATC … google it. Brugmann is all about high end glamour, with a modern twist. The decor is sophisticated, even a bit bling, but comfortable. The restoration was done with much care and different dining rooms are decorated to reflect a different atmosphere, with stately elegance, modern design, or casual relaxation as the focus. Are you looking for intimate dining a deux? There you go. Are you a group looking for an evening out? There you go. Are you looking for a trendy after work cocktail bar? There you go.
The kitchen is run by Matthias Van Eenoo. Belgian sounding name, but French at the core, Matthias made his way from Provence, via Paris (cheffing in Michelin star restaurants) to Brussels. His cooking was a de-light! We kind of went all out on our visit and took the Menu Carte Blanche – 6 courses, all a surprise, all unexpected (89e/pp). From the most delicate ravioli of confit duck, to an exotic salmon tartare with a curry mayo, a seasonal asparagus veloute, a delicious smokes eel with sweet onion, to an innovative crispy langoustine, a classic tarte tatin with foie gras … should I go on? As mains we has turbot with a sage foam and a fig chutney and as we visited during the game season, wood pigeon with shitake, girolles and chestnuts. All the dishes were at the cross road of classic with modern – new takes on classic dishes presented as clear, graphic lines and served with flair. #love
Service with a smile
Friendly chef? Check. Fantastic food? Check. And here comes the best part – perfect service. Humorous, knowledgeable, accommodating, friendly. We always say that no matter how great the food is, if a restaurant doesn’t deliver on atmosphere and service, then it’s a miss … well Brugmann gets it right on all levels. We had the most approachable maitre d’ who broke the ice for us to make us feel ‘at home’ and the most interesting sommelier, who let us in on a little wine secret – the Brugmann wine list might be over 300 bottles long, but the fun begins when you go by the glass. Which we didn’t need prompting to!
Brugamnn remains one of our 2017 highlights! It is a restaurant that might come across as pretentious, but daring to go in was one of our best foodie decisions. Don’t believe us? Start small, and give Brugmann a go by trying the 3 course week lunch, which comes at 24e. Then we’ll talk over Carte Blanche and wines. And all this before it gets a Michelin star (which methinks is not far off …)
I would like to extend our thanks to Brugmann for inviting us to review their restaurant and organizing this dinner and to their staff for hosting us and dealing with our endless questions and cameras with grace.
Disclaimer: as always, all opinions written are our own.
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