Les Petits Bouchons

Les Petits Bouchons Restaurant (Brussels)

© Lola Piette

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Right at the end of Chaussée d’Alsemberg, there’s an old-fashioned bistro that been sitting there proudly since 2018, with banquettes, wooden paneling, mirrors and tiled floors, providing blues rock vibes and plenty of banter, brought to you by the Algoets. At Les Petits Bouchons, Muscron-native chef Thomas (ex-Café des Spores and Brigittines) and owner Sylvie treat those looking for a good time to carefully chosen wines, top-notch beers and select bistro fare – with high protein potential (large slices of pâté en croute, Utah Beach oysters, Guilvinec langoustines, tripe in cider, roasted sweetbreads) and hearty portions! Forget about vegetables, apart from the first (Belgian) asparagus of the season, dressed in sauce gribiche, grey shrimp and pickled mustard seeds. In the fattened chicken breast vol-au-vent, the puff pastry is overflowing with garnish and a slightly bland, floury sauce, plus morel mushrooms and asparagus chunks (ah ha!), with fries cooked in beef fat, to boot. Our bellies full, we pass on the bread from Callier bakery and skip the classic desserts – chocolate mousse, Irish coffee….// Ringo de Balmalon

FEELING THIRSTY? Some real head-turners! By the glass (€5.50 to €8): Frankstein, an Alsatian white from Léo Dirringer, La Fête au Carré, a Loire Gamay from Hervé Villemade, and, by the bottle (– €12 to take away), an Anjou chenin from the Mosse estate (€38), La Negra, a Roussillon red from Domaine Yoyo (€45)… and a hard-to-come-by lambic made with Alsatian grapes by Cantillon and Beck-Hartweg (€35 for 750 ml).

PRICE: Menu €42-80.

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