Lunch – Tuesday, July 2, 2019
BOZAR is the Centre For Fine Arts in Brussels, and home to Belgium’s national orchestra. The complex also houses exhibits on theater, literature, dance architecture… and a 1* French restaurant. We had very limited time in the city, and with meals set aside for beers (obviously), choosing the other options was an excruciating exercise. I was drawn to BOZAR primarily because of some photos I’d seen of Chef Karen Torosyan’s pate en croutes – he is a legitimate champion at making them. Facing a wee time crunch, I ordered the 3-course lunch menu and supplemented with a signature croute.
Parmesan cream pâte à choux
Beef tartare tartlet, fromage blanc feuille de bric
A strong set of canapes – each one was technically excellent and very punchy in flavour.
Shrimp croquette, shellfish broth
Wow – so sweet and umami. I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of the broth, and it walloped me. I think some would think this overwhelming, but I loved it.
Bigorre black pork, duck, foie gras, pistachio
How could I resist this signature item from the chef. A thick slab was plated with a side of pickled carrots, and also came with a jar of pickled gherkins – I was instructed to help myself at any time, to any amount. This was a masterpiece and would’ve made the whole meal worthwhile on its own.
Scottish salmon tartare, “Caesar salad”
Duck with curry spices and honey
Cherries, summer squash, jus
Apricot, fromage blanc, rosemary
A great dessert with a slight savory quality from the fromage blanc. Mildly sweet and wonderfully light – perfect for the weather, as the last gasps of the summer heatwave continued to linger outside.
Did I mention that the menu dejeuner was only 49 euros, although I doubled the price with the add-on – still totally worth it. Nowhere in San Francisco would it be possible to get a meal of this caliber for ~$55. This was a strong 1*, and I actually preferred it to a significantly more expensive lunch I had the previous day at 2* Sea Grill. If I ever find myself back in Brussels, I am making a beeline to this restaurant with a group in tow so we can sample a selection of their pate en croutes.