l’estrille du vieux bruxelles, brussels


Brussels is one of my favourite European cities. i like the manageability of its size – a day of exploring quickly gives you your bearings and a sense of this cosmopolitan and accessible city. the art that you encounter around you (look out for imaginative graffiti livening up walls of the buildings around you) and the relaxed street-café culture are both very welcoming. throw in the beautiful architecture and you have plenty to celebrate.

last week i spent the day there, introducing my friend Johne to Brussels’ delights. it was a scorching day and high on our list of priorities was lunch in the sunshine. last time David and i were in the city we discovered l’estrille du vieux bruxelles, a restaurant with a real suntrap of a courtyard. a repeat visit was the obvious and easy choice.


the restaurant is set back off the main street, through an old stone arch – some of the building dates to 1587. the available menus include “la ronde prestige de l’estrille” for 32.70 euros which we settled on and chose a bottle of bone dry beaujolais rose to accompany it

the meal comprised six small portions of different dishes (shown in the picture below, comprised in clockwise order, starting with the one in the noon position):

  • le carre d’agneau, gratin dauphinois
  • le duo de st jacques et scampi
  • le filet de thon rouge, risotto a l’ostendaise
  • le croustillant de canard, poires au sirop
  • le filet de sole, sauce de riesling
  • le foie gras de canard en terrine (served with toasted brioche)

this belgian style tapas menu was a lovely way to sample a variety of dishes. all of them were good but nothing shone – i think the a la carte menu would have been a better choice. the high potato content (three of the dishes) meant that we were full by the time our little dishes were empty so nothing else on the menu was explored.

i don’t tend to write about restaurants that haven’t thrilled me with their menu. in this case the food was ok, but it was the lovely surroundings that captured my imagination and make it worth a visit. that and the potential of the dishes on the main menu.

l’estrille du vieux bruxelles

7 rue de rollebeek

1000, bruxelles

tel: +32 (0)2 512 58 57