The Icones restaurant, which is to be found in Martin’s Brussels EU on Boulevard Charlemagne, just down the road from the Berlaymont in Brussels, is all about rediscovery – in particular, the rediscovery of Belgian classics.
“It’s simply a question of ‘Belgitude,’ explains General Manager Andy Dubrai. “Our chef, Dimitri Musschebroeck, has made it his mission to revisit Belgian specialities and give them a complete transformation into something new and exciting.”
“Our menu is always very seasonal,” Dimitri chips in. “That way, we can ensure the freshest main courses and starters the whole year round.”
And to assist clients in their search for the best of Belgium, the specialities in question are marked with an ‘Icones’ logo on the menu – delicacies such as sole fillets in a Timmermans Lambiscus Faro sauce, with shrimps, chanterelle mushrooms and boiled new potatoes.
And, as far as experimentation is concerned, you couldn’t do much better than the Paris-Brest de Petits-Gris de Namur au chèvre frais au pesto – Andy explains the story behind this creation: “The Paris-Brest pastry is French in origin, originally consisting of a choux pastry filled with praline mousseline cream, topped with sliced almonds. It was first made by Maisons-Laffitte pastry chef Louis Durand, inspired by the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race in 1891, for which designer Pierre Giffard was asked to make a cake shaped like a bicycle wheel.
“For our part, and after much discussion with Dimitri concerning snails and their presentation, the Paris-Brest, while visually similar to the original version, has become a savoury creation, in which the mousseline cream is replaced with an espuma pesto with snails on fried goat’s cheese and dried tomatoes.”
And for my part, the choice was only too easy – a very traditional contrefilet of beef, ‘Artisan Dry Aged’ for 28 days, with home-made French fries cooked in (what else?) classic beef dripping. Delicious does not come close – quite simply one of the best steaks that your correspondent has ever enjoyed in his 13 plus years in Brussels so far.
And the wine list is complementary, without being excessive, featuring discoveries from all over Europe and beyond.
And, as Andy adds, it’s also all about sole and shrimps this season: “Dimitra is, like all chefs, also influenced by trends and new products that our suppliers tempt us with throughout the year.
However, talking about ‘Belgitude’ without putting sole and shrimps at the forefront would be a serious breach of etiquette – they are quickly becoming one of the restaurant’s ‘iconic’ dishes. And, needless to say, many of our recipes also feature another great Belgian speciality, namely beer! Enough said – Icones awaits you, bon appetit!
Martin’s Brussels EU
Boulevard Charlemagne, 80
Tel. +32 (0)2 235 1710