Albert Restaurant (Brussels)

© Melvin Kobe Photography

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Reigning over the fifth floor of the Royal Library of Belgium is the rather retro Albert with its majestic rooftop: ‘50s décor, a refurbished self-service station, marble-topped tables and a Brusselsvision view of all the greats (the spire on the Grand Place, the Koekelberg Basilica, and even the Atomium!). This veritable palace is just a scepter away from the real thing, although here it’s ruled by Filip Fransen, who’s also the boss of local-sourced caterers, Witlov. That day at lunch, the dishes in waiting included: a lovely chicory salad topped with a saffron butternut cream and sesame seeds, improved immensely by the addition of some very fresh chervil; a fantastic avalanche of leek-filled cappelletti doused in a rich black trumpet mushroom sauce; before a poached pear enrobed in chocolate foam, with just the right amount of sweetness. // Molly Kale

FEELING THIRSTY? : After the steep climb, wet your whistle with a Touraine Sauvignon from the Domaine Priou (€5 a glass), a Dutch Solaris from Dassemus (€38 a bottle) or an Austrian red Puszta Libre by Claus Preisinger (€40).

PRICE: : Menu €41-58.

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