Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 95

R E S TA U R A N T O F T H E M O N T H , B E L G I U M

The art of cooking TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT | PHOTOS: LA QUINCAILLERIE

Whether you go for the stunning architecture, the lively atmosphere or the fine Belgian cuisine, Brasserie La Quincaillerie in Brussels’ trendy Le Chatelain district is sure to deliver on all fronts. Entering through La Quincaillerie’s unassuming front, you cannot help but be wowed. With three floors of beautiful wood panelling, gleaming copperware, wrought iron staircases and a huge, iconic station-style clock at the centre, the place is a stunning piece of Art Nouveau architecture. The original design from 1903 was for a hardware store (‘quincaillerie’ means ‘ironmongery’ in French) courtesy of the architectural firm of Victor Horta, one of Belgium’s most famous sons. During Brussels’ golden age, before the outbreak of World War I, Horta designed several private and public buildings in this part of the capital, which has remained a hotbed for avant-garde artists ever since, buzzing with an adventurous spirit of innovation.

Free range “It is this pioneering spirit which we try to emulate in our cooking,” says general

manager Filip Tijssens. “For instance, most of the food we serve is sourced from our own farm Le Devant in the Bresse region of France. There, we rear our certified Bresse chickens and guinea fowl, Bayeux pigs and Hampshire Down sheep.” As well as high-quality, free range meats, the farm also produces most of the organic herbs and fruits for the restaurant. “And we work with seasonal vegetables as much as we can,” Filip adds.

The 250-seat capacity restaurant attracts a ‘bon chic, bon genre’ crowd of locals, businessmen and visitors from abroad. “It is always busy here,” Filip smiles. “And we regularly see tourists coming back as well. They really value our professional and friendly service, and they appreciate the lively atmosphere and the fine cuisine. They know it is exceptional value for their money.” www.quincaillerie.be/en

To accompany all this delicious, fresh food, La Quincaillerie offers an extensive list of wines and beers. “We have around 150 different wines, with a growing selection of organic wines, and we brew our own beer, La Principale, exclusive to our restaurant.”

Bon chic, bon genre But most of all, La Quincaillerie is famous for its excellent range of oysters. “Every year in October, we organise our own oyster market at the restaurant, where customers can taste a variety of fresh, new season oysters at market prices,” Filip explains. “We even grow our own oysters off the coast of the Île d’Oléron.” Issue 31 | July 2016 | 95