Brigand (Lille)

© Brigand

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A word to the wise! You’ll have to venture off the beaten track in central Lille if you want to walk through the doors of this well-named den: the Bistrot Brigand (or the bandit’s bistro, in English), which steals its customers’ hearts – without robbing them in the process. The brains behind this operation? Florine Verhellen (in the kitchen) and Frédéric Le Bordays (in the wine cellar), both of whom worked at L’Artisan in Paris before opening this old-fashioned bistro – light hardwood floors, a dimly lit bar, high barstools. The night we went, all of the following paraded out of the kitchenette: titillating roasted beets with smoked cream, energized by a blackberry vinaigrette and a seed praline; incredible braised pointy cabbage slathered in seaweed butter and a cream of lemon confit; a comforting pork belly sandwich with coleslaw-style carrots, a very tasty mayonnaise and fried shallots; before a spellbinding chocolate ganache made with a fig leaf oil. At lunch, in addition to the classic lunch menu, Florine also serves a “briquet,” or a baguette sandwich stuffed full of charcuterie, vegetables and cheese. // Sofia Sétif

FEELING THIRSTY? A diverse and high-quality selection of drinks: both classic and signature cocktails made with a masterful hand (€11-12), craft beers on tap, in cans or bottles (Craig Allan, Cloudwater, Verdant, etc., from €4.50 to €9) and clean wines – a Beaujolais from David Lage at €28, a Riesling by Kumpf & Meyer at €39, a Provence red from the Domaine Milan at €42…

PRICEPlates €7-11, set menus €19-23 (lunch).

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