Expectations run high for Valentine’s Day, Martin Banks looks at some excellent dining options for those who want to celebrate in style. So why not fire up the feel-good factor and savour some super special treats being cooked up by some of the best restaurants across Brussels.
Located in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, the Michelin-starred restaurant Da Mimmo invites you to an extraordinary Valentine’s Day celebration. Chef Louis Verstrepen offers an exquisite menu at €195 per person, where each dish is a work of art: from the foie gras royale with red cabbage espuma to the lobster in cime di rapa mayogrette, including the sea urchin risotto with yuzu. A menu designed for an evening full of taste discoveries. Valentine’s Day menu: €195
La Villa Lorraine
La Villa Lorraine, is a Brussels institution run by Michelin-starred chef Yves Mattagne. For Valentine’s Day Mattagne is offering a unique gastronomic experience. Choose between the 5-course menu in the Lounge (280€) for a relaxed atmosphere, or the 6-course menu in the Restaurant (340€) for a more sophisticated dinner. On the menu: scallops and Dauricus caviar, “Maison Mitteault” foie gras and smoked eel, Robata blue lobster or even Nyangbo chocolate cream, raw cream and pure pear sorbet. A luxurious setting and refined cuisine, perfect for a special occasion. Enjoy!
Humus x Hortense
Not to be outdone, the award-winning Humus x Hortense in Ixelles is another pulling out all the stops for Valentine’s Day. It has a tasting menu and additional botanical cocktail and wine pairing. Some examples of what’s on offer include celeriac “Paris Brest”, homemade amazake, spelt forcaccia, wild mushrooms and Belgian saffron broth.
This place is particularly notable for being the highest placed Brussels establishment (ninth) in the annual top 100 vegetable restaurants worldwide. This is the 6th time that it has achieved this accolade.
In the heart of the newly renvoated Bourse in the heart of the city, The Brasserie seduces with its elegance and its cuisine which pays homage to Belgian classics. Discover revisited dishes with quality local products, such as Fernand Obb’s shrimp croquettes and the Grimbergen farmer’s fries. For Valentine’s Day, enjoy the special menu at €65 per person, which includes varied appetizers, scallops with salmon caviar, duck with beetroot and a delicious chocolate fondant to share. The experience is enriched by carefully selected food and beer pairings, under the guidance of zythologist Karl Van Malderen. 5-course Valentine’s Day menu: €65.
The Fifty One
You can mark the official day of love by tasting some lovingly-created dishes at The Fifty One, a popular tapas resto in Ixelles. With its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine masterfully led by chef Andrea Avella, The Fifty One is the perfect place for a cozy and gourmet Valentine’s Day. On the program for the special Valentine’s Day menu, dishes full of sunshine such as the pan-fried scallops with saffron white butter and caviar, the millefeuille of zucchini and porcini mushrooms marbled with smoked provola or the crusted rack of lamb hazelnut. For the occasion, the restaurant will also offer two cocktails in line with the theme, the Rhuméo and the Ginette.
Chef Andrea Avella, who’s worked in top Brussels eating establishments, is behind the stove of the open kitchen in this cozy resto. On one side is the restaurant while, on the other, is more of a lounge area where you can have a drink and eat tapas.
Timber is one of the newest restos in Brussels, it opened just last autumn and has already become very popular). Set in the heart of Brussels, near the Forêt de Soignes, Timber combines refinement and innovation. This restaurant is offering a surprise 3-course menu for Valentine’s Day. Under the direction of chefs Olivier Langlet and Andy Vandegucht, expect dishes where smoky meets seasonal flavors, featuring vegetables and meats. The experience is completed by a selection of wines and original cocktails. An ideal setting for an unforgettable romantic evening. Dishes include gamberoso carpaccio, slow-cooked veal with BBQ leek and smoked lobster medallion, avocado cheesecake and grilled pineapple. The price is a modest €95 per person with a glass of champagne. You will receive a warm welcome.
There is also a special Valentine’s Day Menu at Le Mess, located in the heart of the Arsenal. The fish and meat menu consists of mustard hummus, seaweed broth and roasted free range chicken and there is also a very nice veggie and vegan offering. This comprises of fennel, lentil parmentier and shallots and citrus salad. Each menu costs €60 per person. This place prides itself on seasonal cooking and has a nice terrace.
Dolce La Hulpe
Just out of Brussels and set in wonderful parkland is Dolce La Hulpe, which also has a special menu for 14 February. After a refreshing glass of rose cava, first up is amuse-bouches consisting of Verrine de potimarron, émulsion de truite fumée, Pépite de foie-gras au spéculoos et confit d’oignons rouges. The starter consists of a warm salad of lobster, conference pear, salade tiède de homard, poire conférence, ratte, ficoïde glaciale and a passion fruit jelly. The main course is a carré de veau cooked at a low temperature, with a corn purée, carrots, with thyme popcorn and a jus of sage. Dessert consists of a Black Forest déclinaison. There is also a vegetarian option, both are priced at a very reasonable €75 per person.
One of the longest-established (and best) Asian restaruants in Belgium is Bois Savanes, located in Saint Job, it has some great Valentine Day specials on its menu which will be available from 13 to 18 February.
These include a soup, Tom Kha Khung (€13.50) and Thod Mun Kaai, a chicken dish (€11.90). Two other offerings during this week-long period are Massaman Kaai Curry (€18.70) and a scampi dish called Khung Pahd Bai Gra Prow (€21.90). Easily accessible from Brussels, it is known for both its friendly service and fab food.
The terrific L’Orchidee Blanche will mark Vietnamese New Year on 16 February with a special 4-course menu (inc. aperitif) costing just €60 per person. Also available on 18 February. There’s also a full programme of festivities and a tombola planned at this long-established Vietnamese restaurant in Ixelles.