Festive dining: Aux Armes de Bruxelles and Chez Léon


In our festive dining article we look at two classic restaurants that are part of the same family.

Chez Léon
All year round – but especially in the festive season – there is one place in Brussels that you can really on look after your palate. Chez Léon is a veritable institution – a former friterie it is famous for its moules (and frites) but it has a wide range to its menu. And there’s something not everyone knows: next to the open view kitchen, there is a table which has seen it all. Located in exactly the same place and in the same décor as back in the day. Number “110” is the family table around which every important step in the Léon story has been decided over the course of the years.  It is here that the members of the Vanlancker family come together to eat, where many stars have sat. Give it a try to really soak in the restaurant’s ambiance.

Oh, and your meal won’t break the bank, especially if you have kids – they go free!

Aux Armes de Bruxelles
Rudy Vanlancker has always had a special fondness for Aux Armes de Bruxelles. He got his start in cooking there in 1972, as an intern from the Ecole Hôtelière de Namur. At the helm of Chez Lyon for 40 years, he witnessed the life cycle, rise and fall of the establishment of his illustrious neighbour. And now his dream of restoring it is complete, including a brand-new kitchen and the original leaded windows that offer a certain privacy from the hustle and bustle of passers-by.

The chef Cédric Callenaere serves up his specials and wine choices – the man is very careful about what produce he uses and is head-over-heels about Belgian gastronomy. So, we opted for starters Warm salad of lamb’s tongue with shallot vinaigrette and the Coquille ostendaise (fish, mussels, prawns, mushrooms, cheese). Our main courses were two signature dishes: Mussels in white wine & cream (onions, celery, white wine and cream sauce), fresh cut fries and the excellent ‘Rouge des Flandres’ grilled rib steak.

My dining partner somehow found room for, of course, Café liégeois (coffee ice cream sundae) to round off a wonderful meal in an elegant, historical establishment. www.auxarmesdebruxelles.com/en