I love eating, which doesn’t come as a surprise I guess… I also like to try new places, both closeby as far away, with the only problem being that the eating at the faraway places happens less (as they are far away 🙂 🙂 ). So every excuse I get to travel and try them is good enough for me… of course some excuses are better than others! This time I had a really good one and is even one reoccurring every year aka my fiancée’s birthday. Although I usually take her abroad to celebrate it, this year I wanted to keep it closer, but still far enough from home that we can actually call it traveling. This year I took her to Namur, one of the bigger cities in the southern part of Belgium (aka Wallonia). It was already for a while I wanted to go to Namur as I don’t remember ever having visited it.
My main reason to come to Namur was because it was for a while now I wanted to have a meal at the restaurant of hotel the Royal Snail, Agathopede (I already said it and will keep saying it, the heart wants what the heart wants 🙂 ). I first saw the restaurant one of Gault Millau inspectors’ fb page, the pictures he posted made me curious… what pulled over the finish line was that a very good friend of mine also enjoyed her meal at Agathopede a lot. So my mind was made up. The restaurant is situated in the shadow of the Citadel with view over the Samber (River)… so an ideal setting to have a walk long river after dinner (hahaha, it rimes 🙂 )
I mentioned the restaurant is located in the Royal Snail hotel (which is a lovely hotel btw), so to get to the restaurant you have to walk through the hotel lobby. I already had a very good feeling about the place as I had the feeling just like when I visit a house or go to a job interview… the click is there and you just know it will be good! (or don’t you have this??). A few things I liked besides the good food/wine, very friendly staff (who even tried to speak in Dutch)and the beautiful interior… was (without doubt as important as the food) the good acoustics and room around the table, meaning that you didn’t have to shout to have the person across you to understand what you are saying and if you go to the bathroom you have enough room to actually get out of your seat without pushing over the glass of the people at the next table… 🙂 🙂 Oh and I also enjoyed kitchen window 🙂
Of course the reason we were here was to eat and celebrate my fiancée’s birthday… To warm up our taste buds the served us along nice glace of Blanc de Blancs champagne , Chips with mayonnaise Lemon Myrtle, a ravioli with wild garlic and Petits gris de Namur (escargots/snails from the “Ferme du Vieux Tilleul”) and as last amuse we had an egg filled with spinach and an espuma of smoked salmon. All 3 nice appetizers, although if you are not a garlic lover I think the ravioli wouldn’t be your cup of tea 🙂 as the scent of the “stock” they put on top was very garlicky (luckily I love all food (or almost)). Its good that the introduce the snails as “Petits gris de Namur” as this way most people have no clue what it is…
Our first course was green asparagus with morchella mushroom ‘yellow wine’ (not too sure what it is) and onions served with a 2011 white wine from the southern part of the Côtes du Rhône « Viognier » from Domaine viret made through ‘cosmocultur’
The second course was Foie gras with beetroot, smoked eel,apple and vinigar served with a wine that brought be back to my bike ride through the Loire valley, a 2012 « Chinon » Cuvée les Terrasses made by Domaine Pascal et Béatrice Lambert. I’ve never been a Foi gras fan, but it all depends how it is prepared (that actually goes for everything)… and this got proven again…
Our main course was pluma of smoked Bellota (ibéricomeat) broccoli, hazelnut , kohlrabi and miso. Served with a 2012 Spanish Bierzo from Domain Raul Perez.
We finished our meal with a lemon and gin berry dried foam… it literally melted once you put it in your mouth (very refreshing) and was served with Blanquette de Limoux (sparkling wine… I love bubbles)
Overall a very nice meal, although I think some people might find the portions smaller than they would want them to be, but it must be said that at the end I ate more than enough…so it’s all good 🙂 . There also hangs a very calm and relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant which gives you the opportunity to have a relaxed meal, I mean you don’t feel like hurrying to get out of the restaurant. OK, true the company also does a lot, but still…I liked the vibe that was around. I know I always say food is the most important thing for me when I’m going somewhere, but it mostly is to get to see the most beautiful smile in the world aka my fiancée’s smile! As when she is happy I’m an even happier camper. And let’s not forget when I give her a good b-day, she’ll do an even bigger effort for mine 🙂 🙂
I’m sure that next time in Namur I’ll know where to eat, I hope you do to
Hotel The Royal Snail/ Restaurant Agatophède
Address: Avenue de la Plante 23, 5000 Namur – Belgium
Phone n° : +32(0)81 57 00 23