They keep surprising us

I have the feeling I keep repeating myself every year when I write about the new Bistronomy guide! Everytime it is launched I say it is a very good reference if you wish to eat well and want to get NO Nonsense food in Belgium and that they improve every year! BUT IT IS JUST THE THRUTH! Who thought Steve and Johannes (founders and owners) couldn’t surprise anymore or make their guide even better, think again, they succeeded to surprise again (and I think I’m not the only one) they literally spread their horizon since the last edition, this time they went across the language and even country boarders. After being a set value in Flanders, chefs from the French speaking part of Belgium, Luxemburg and even from the Netherlands have found their way to Bistronomy and in the guide.


For who doesn’t know yet what bistronomy stands for, it basically means No Nonsense food/restaurants where they serve bistro dishes that are brought in a more refined way. Thinking back to my visits to bistronomy restaurant gives me a big smile and the taste for more… BTW it doesn’t stop with the food as most restaurants also have a very nice wine selection like Les Eleveurs in Halle or Mondevino in Borgloon to name a few… but I don’t need to re-discover America, the motto described by the Bistronomy founders (that you seen below) speak for itself and describe exactly what Bistronomy stands for… and in case you doubt restaurants can be all that, just try and be amazed! Steve and Johannes were that excited about their new guide it was already in the shops the day before the press conference 🙂



The Bistronomy story continues

Sunday I was at the introduction of the already 3rd edition of the Bistronomie guide. I’m a fan of the bistronomie concept! No I’m not saying this because they invited me for the introduction…. I’m saying it because they (Steve, Johannes and all the chefs who are in the guide) have the same idea as me about food… Keep it simple and no nonsense. For me it all comes down to that as you now more than ever you see people all going and wanting to go back to basics. Everybody (including me) wants honest food, for honest prices and without too much fuzz. A good example would be restaurant Les Eleveurs that changed its concept from having a Michelin star into stepping in the Bistronomie “concept”. To quote Andy De Brouwer “the fact that I can wear a polo-shirt instead of a regular shirt is a huge difference”… there obviously is more to it than only the clothing, but I’m sure you know where I’m getting at 🙂

The fact that the Bistronomie guide every year has more restaurants in it proves that what I said before is right :-)…if you know which ones got added, only one way to find out 🙂 🙂 When I read through the guide I’m always surprised how many restaurants I already did, but even more how many more there are still to try…


Bistronomie at its best

Les eleveurs logo

That I have a long restaurant wish list isn’t a secret, I literally have a spreadsheet subdivided per country and city which restaurants I want to do… you could see it as my list of how many restaurants to do before I ever die 🙂 and by the looks of it I’ll  be living for eternity ;-). Anyhow a restaurant that has been on my list for a while now is restaurant ‘Les Eleveurs’ lead by Andy De Brouwer who is already the 4rd generation  in the De Brouwer family  to keep the restaurant.

Old Les eleveurs

les eleveurs

Les eleveurs (2)

Maybe it was destiny, but there was no better time to visit restaurant ‘Les Eleveurs’ as lots of changes happend in its scenery as after a having had Michelin star and Andy being the Best Belgian sommelier, they changed their way of working and exchanged their Michelin starred food for an affordable and more basic Bistronomie cuisine. What this basically means is that they are a ‘bistro’ serving more gastronomical dishes than in a regular bistro, but still keeping it simple.  So I couldn’t have asked for a better table guest than Mr. Bistronomie himself Steve Engels 🙂

Bistronomie 2013

Something good to know before I go on is that ‘Les Eleveurs’ is a hotel and restaurant… so basically no excuses not to drink 🙂 that’s all I’m saying. I wanted to share this as with a top sommelier as Andy De Brouwer in the restaurant it would be a shame not to go 100% for the wines, beers and other great beverages (like Madeira or Sherry) they have.

Les Eleveurs’ Chef Nico Corbesier might be a lot younger than Sofie Dumont who used to be headchef at ‘Les Eleveurs’ (who decided to go her own way), but when it comes to experience Nico has already worked in lots of great restaurants and has been leading the kitchen upon Sofie’s maternity leave. I know it might sound cocky , but to my opinion age or where you learned how to cook or did chef school doesn’t really matter, it might influence you… you either have it in you or you don’t and I think Nico has it.

I don’t know if you guys like wild game dishes, but if you do it is worth to pass by ‘Les Eleveurs’  as they now have something called the “Wild Festival” (no, not the wet t-shirt kind). Basically they are serving different kinds of meat from wild animals (for the non-wild game lovers, they still have few other dishes on the menu). We took the tasting menu, this way we got to taste several things.

We started with an assortment of 4 pieces game pies with lettuce, red cabbage, celeriac and an authentic made remoulade sauce. With which Andy paired a white2011 Spanish El Pajara.

game pies

We continued our meal with a “vol-au-vent” of pheasant that Andy served with a Lustau Solera Reserva . A combo of one of my favorite dishes and one of my favorite drinks… so an easy score 😉

vol au vent

The main course of the evening was a deer loin with beetroot, pomegranate, truffle potato(purple), red onion and cherry sauce that got paired with a herby and bit stronger wine what is needed for piece of meat like deer loin (but not tooooo strong dough). It was  a French Malbec, Les Escures by Mas Del perie

deer loin

To finish this wonderful meal and evening we were served a nougat ice cream with quince and nuts that got served with a Gran Riserva PX by Toro Albala so basically stuff I like… because of the PX grape it is of course a sweeter drink, but a nice sweetness and not a toooo sweet drink.

nougat ice cream

Technically speaking ‘Les Eleveurs’ can be taken of my wishlist, but I think I’ll keep it on there as I’m pretty sure I’ll wanting to come back here and the experience will be as enchanting as this time!

Hope when you get to go you’ll be having the same opinion as me, but I’m sure Andy and his team will do their best that you do.

Restaurant  Les Eleveurs:


Address:  Suikerkaai 1A, 1500 Halle – Belgium

Phone n°:  +32 (0) 2 361 13 40

Bistronomie 2013

Bistronomie 2013

Yesterday the new Bistronomie guide for the year 2013 got introduced right in the heart of my favorite city in Belgium (Antwerp), namely at the “De Koninck” Brewery. For you who don’t know Bistronomie , Bistronomie is a guide of restaurants spread all over Flanders and Brussels that serve affordable gastronomy… (mostly also hidden treasures) What is not to like about that? Good food for a correct price?

De Koninck Brewery

Brewroom De Koninck

I can also say for a fact that there are some real beauties in the Guide like L’épiceriedu cirque, Barta vin, àl’improviste, Veranda, BistrotMi’ró and JEF to name a few I’ve been to! Although  there are still lots of them to try (my wishlist is getting inhumanly proportions). So I can really advice to go and get this guide or look on their website for more info! Hope you guys will like as much as I do!

Bistronomie guide  2013

BTW, I got a taste of my own medicine, you remember that in my previous blogpost I mentioned about ”gastronomical heart of Europe” that I was trying to make my fiancé curious about her birthday? Well now she will be using the Bistronomie for my birthday and I have no clue where she’ll be taking me 🙂 🙂 (Checkmate, that how they call that I think ;-))

Beer foodpairing at Bistronomie restaurants

I do hope one day Bistronomie will expand their guide with some great spots abroad (keeping my fingers crossed)

I would like to thank Johannes Denis and Steve Engels(founders Bistronomie) for showing and teaching everybody Gastronomy doesn’t have to be expensive!