Food Writing: Food & Ideas at The Poet

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Food Writing: Sharing food and ideas at The Poet.

Just around the corner from Place du Luxembourg, the Renaissance Hotel’s brand new restaurant has one of the things I love about an eating venue. Space – and lots of it.

I’m not a fan of elbow-to-elbow eating, so I was delighted be given a short tour (but fairly long walk) through the meeting rooms, lobby, oval bars and the restaurant – all blending into a single spacious unit. The ceilings are high, and the décor is fresh and modern. And the food and wine? Well, no complaints whatsoever – and each course was something we’d had before, but done that little bit differently.

We split the duo of croquettes, Belgian specialities done in a very crusty, spiky exterior and soft, delicious oxtail and tomato relish interior. The waiter allowed us to taste the wine in ascending order of strength until he reached the Cahors Malbec, perfectly rounded and ideal for our second course meat choices.

My eating partner plumped for the Poet Burger (Bocquillon beef 200gr, onion confit, bacon, AOP Tomme de Savoie cheese, sweet potato fries, truffle Isigny cream), while I ordered the Holstein Rib eye with a Mushroom sauce, seasonal vegetables and classic fries. My second surprise was just how juicy – not fatty – it was, succulent to the last bite.

For dessert, she went for the Bittersweet Chocolate Cremeux, and I spotted the Hervé, one of my favourite local cheeses. I expected it to be delivered on a plate with bread, but no, it was beautifully honey-and-nut roasted and came with a salad as light as gossamer.

The service was impeccable. Over coffees, we gazed out through the very high window, and I was already wondering what to have next time around. The North Sea Haddock with baby spinach… www.thepoetbrussels.com

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