It is an indication, of course, of a father’s love and affection for his offspring.
Situated amidst trendy fashion shops and boutiques at the heart of a really bustling part of Brussels, Bonsoir Clara was named after the daughter of one of the original partners.
While the ownership at Bonsoir Clara has long passed to new hands, the same love and care goes into pandering to the needs of today’s diners. That applies to both the service and cuisine at this restaurant, both of which are first class.
The food here is described as a “gastronomic visual novelty” and, like the setting, that is an apt description.
That is partly due to the very inventive décor/lighting which reflects the warmth and relaxing ambience of a southern French city.
On one side of the restaurant is a wall covered with a patchwork quilt made from warm-coloured material while another wall is full of stained glass panels. The setting (the creation of interior designer Frederic Nicolay) gives a flavour of the cuisine which is every bit as clever and rewarding.
There are some great Belgian classic dishes such as croquettes, a lovely lamb shank and Irish steak but, alongside these, you will find what might be called slightly more ambitious preparations.
These include marinated salmon perfumed with spices, beef carpaccio with olive oil and pan-fried St Jacques with a vegetable puree.
Starters (cold) include a terrine of duck fois gras, sashimi of salmon marinated with poppy seeds, while hot starters feature homemade shrimp croquettes served with a shellfish coulis
The current card boasts braised veal steak on the mains along with a mouthwatering candied duck leg, gratinated with brown sugar and served with white cabbage stew; look out too for some great fish options, including a ravioli of scampi served with creamy coconut juice.
The same love and affection goes into the deserts which, as well as the Belgian classics, include fresh pineapple, tartine with mint and lime sorbet and black chocolate mouse with ginger confit.
The a la carte is relatively small but, more importantly, there is a lovely selection of dishes and all are delightful.
They are the work (and fertile imagination) of its talented Marrakesh-born head chef Omar Ghojdam who brings his Mediterranean influence (not least in the use of olive oil) to bear in the imaginative creations he concocts.
The prices are very reasonable, and there’s an excellent choice of New and Old World (and bio) wines, all carefully selected, plus some nice Belgian beers and spirits for an aperitif.
The restaurant, which is divided into two long dining rooms, is located in one of the busiest parts of the city, just a few metres from the Bourse, and also enjoys a vibrant lunchtime trade.
If you happen to be in the area around lunchtime during the week, there is also a particularly good value-for-money card available (Monday to Friday only) which is priced just €15.50pp and comprises a starter, main and coffee or tea. The choice changes every day.
If you are looking for a venue for a group booking (maybe a party or official function) there are special menus available, depending on the budget, and the interior can be adapted accordingly; Seating up to 100 people.
Good to know:
- 22-26 rue Antoine Dansaert – Brussels
- 02 502 0990
- Closed Saturday and Sunday lunchtime.