This classic multi-purpose bistro at the bottom of the Saint-Gilles neighborhood, brought to you by Benjamin “Petit Ben” Raickman, Benjamin “Grand Ben” Rauwel and Thomas Cherdo (who is also behind the fussier Ivresse, in Uccle) fills up all those who would rather be here than at home. On the half-shady, half-sunny, village-like terrace or in the vintage interior, with its historic map of Belgium as a backdrop, we shoot back espressos, down lambics and suck up the house’s Wi-Fi. We come for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner too! What’s there to say about Issiaka Johnson’s cuisine? The night we went, he had us going up and down with a rollercoaster ride of a meal: halved Brussels sprouts and thinly sliced apple, sauced up in a buttermilk and coffee emulsion (served nearly cold); razor clams cooked in tequila that were pretty forgettable; tasty fish accras topped with some very hot mayonnaise; chicken wings in a very tasty bissap and sirop de Liège sauce; and a dense chocolate mousse. // Ringo de Balmalon
FEELING THIRSTY? Nothing but beautiful finds: Saison Dupont beer on tap (€3.80 for a half-pint), a collection of lambics (Cantillon, Tilquin, 3 Fonteinen, De Ranke, from €3.20 to €39 a bottle) and natural wines: Tête Blanche, a Loire chenin-sauvignon blend from Nicolas Grosbois (€4.60 a glass), Grand BIM, a red from Sébastien Chatillon (€36 a bottle)…
PRICE: Plates €9-18 and set menu €23-25 (lunch), plates €13-17, desserts €7 (dinner), brunch €21-27 (Saturday and Sunday).
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