The main reasons we visited Brussels were that 1) my cousins lived there so we couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit the city before they moved and 2) to spend a weekend away for Andrew’s birthday. Birthdays mean of course celebrations which for us usually translate into one tasty dinner. After settling at my cousin’s in Uccle neighbourhood we looked for local dining places and L’Ivre De Cuisine came up as one of the best places in the area. Birthday meal sorted!
I would recommend making a reservation in advance as, with all good places, it gets busy quickly. We walked in on our first day there and were politely asked to come back another day with a booking. They are victims of their own success and for all the right reasons!
L’Ivre De Cuisine is a family owned restaurant with the husband in charge of the kitchen and the wife managing the floor. The service is excellent and I was amazed seeing her taking care of all the table on her own while still taking the time to advise any guest.
We took a seat outside to enjoy the golden hour and sunset. The weather was lovely and the street was beautiful and very quiet.
There is no paper menu there, only a big blackboard with a dozen seasonal options. Their suggestions change every 15 days, so what we had may be gone by the time you visit but if it was anything like our dishes rest assured that you will eat well.
One genius thing they have on their wine menu is a pay-as-you-go option! All restaurants should seriously consider it! You order a bottle of the house wine (red, white or rosé) and you pay for the centimetres you drank. It is the perfect solution if you know you may have more than one glass yet you may not finish a bottle. We went for the rosé which was perfectly fine and ended up actually drinking the whole bottle… It was a celebration after all, right?
We were served some amuses-bouches before our starters. It was a tartare of veal which was good but I don’t usually eat veal so I had a taste of it and gave the rest to Andrew – call it a birthday gift!
For starters, Andrew ordered the ravioli scampi with a green curry sauce. They were absolutely delicious, so creamy and flavoursome. I had the Lobster in crispy pastry with curry mayonnaise which was good and tasty but I was slightly envious of Andrew’s choice.
Moving on to the mains, I went for the sea bass with spinach and mash potatoes. Belgians do excellent seafood and fish so I made the most of it while there! It was very satisfying and the portion was generous.
Andrew opted for the sweet and sour pork loin with basmati rice. It was delicious and reminded me of a recipe my dad used to cook!
We ended our meal by sharing a Dame Blanche, a traditional Belgium dessert made with vanilla ice cream, chantilly (whipped cream) and melted dark chocolate (Belgian of course!).
A few heavenly bites of sweetness!
We had a lovely time at L’Ivre De Cuisine and I couldn’t recommend it enough if you stay in Brussels.