Discover Benelux | Restaurant of the Month | Belgium
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
A royal brasserie TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS | PHOTOS: BELGA QUEEN
Belga Queen is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, oyster bar, lounge and club complex in central Brussels. Housed in a magnificent 19th century bank building, it offers the highest quality Belgian fare with a modern twist. Diners in the restaurant sit under expansive stained glass windows surrounded by marble columns. In the vaults under the building there is a cigar lounge and nightclub. Diners can savour cold and hot oysters and lobster, as well as tempting seafood platters, in sumptuous seafood bar L’Ecailler, which shimmers with pastel pillars. There are over 230 accompanying wines to choose from. Dishes from the main restaurant can also be ordered. 78 | Issue 33 | September 2016
The talent behind Belga Queen is Antoine Pinto. Having fled Portugal as a 17-yearold political refugee, Pinto settled in Liège, where he studied architectural interior design at the Académie des BeauxArts. He financed his studies by working in restaurants. During his impressive career, he has founded over 100 restaurants in Belgium, including Dock’s Café in Antwerp, Pakhuis in Ghent, La Quincaillerie and Pasta Commedia in Brussels, to name a few. Pinto’s influence in each space is clear: he manages to capture the eye as well as guests’ taste buds. In Belga Queen he brought new life to the Hôtel de la Poste, a former bank which now houses the restaurant. Not only are his
interiors impressive, but they are equally comfortable and elegant. There is space for larger parties, as well as plenty of intimate corners for couples.
Home-grown delights Adjacent to the oyster bar lies the tempting beer and cocktail bar. With a superb selection of cocktails and a fine collection of beers, there is something here for everyone. In terms of food, Pinto’s ethos involves using the highest quality, locally grown ingredients where possible. This also includes wine from across the world from Belgian makers and sparkling wine produced in Belgium. Pinto serves unrivalled brasserie cuisine highlighting artisanal producers and sourcing surprising ingredients such as
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.