Quartier Libre (Brussels)

So, I think I might have found a new restaurant buddy… a new “character” for sharing dining experience on the blog. And he shall forever be named THE SENATOR. Quite a cool ring to it, don’t you think? And trust me – when (if) you meet him, you will completely smile/nod and say “yes… The Senator is a perfect name!”. (And it is not just because he is American… promise!)

Mr Draper, The Senator & I meandered down Rue Lesbroussart earlier this week in search of a restaurant… not just any restaurant… something new, something tasty, something different… and finally settled upon Quartier Libre. We had plans… but sadly summer opening hours put a bit of a spanner in the works!

Unobtrusive from the road – you would never imagine that this little venue had so much spunk (aka attitude). But as soon as you enter the front door, greeted by friendly waitron staff and seated… you see the place for what it is… funky, relaxed and screaming “visit me again”. (which we will do)

Naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling… clean table tops… basic but cool interior (hipsters would “get it”)

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There were 3 “starter” options & we ordered all 3 of them – aubergine caviar (yum), feta/olives & potato tortilla…. nibbled with a bit of bread (and a good portion of rose wine)

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The main concept is pretty simple – there is an individual “menu” (17€ per person) broken into 4 categories (meats, vegetables, grains and chef’s suggestions) – whereby each person selects one item from each category (i.e. one page per person). Explanations of each category are described on big chalk boards on the walls.

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With only 3 of us – we decided to try 3 items from each category by playing the game of “elimination” per category… which left us with the following:

MEAT: sliced beef, Nems & lamb meatball
VEG: Shitake mushrooms, Aubergine gratin and a cucumber salad
GRAINS: (fishy) risotto, Potatoes & buckwheat type salad
CHEF: Courgette/feta crumble, peas with grapefruit & dim sum

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MINE: clockwise from top left: cucumber salad, buckwheat salad, lamb meatball & courgette/feta crumble

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THE SENATOR: clockwise from top left: Nem, Aubergine gratin, Dim sum & risotto

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MR DRAPER: clockwise from top left: beef, shitake mushroom parcel, peas with grapefruit & potatoes

The firm favourites turned out to come from the Veggie category = Shitake mushroom parcels & aubergine gratin… NOM NOM NOM

Would I return? Definitely… and since they change the menu every 3months – it makes it even more of an incentive to see what will pop up on the boards next!!

Quartier Libre

address: 16 Rue Lesbroussart, 1050 Ixelles

telephone: +32 2 644 9400

Opening hours: Monday 12-2pm, Tuesday to Friday 12-2pm and 7-10:30pm, Saturday 7-10:30pm



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