Les Brigittines: My terroir is my gourmandise

This evening didn’t turn out as planned at all. I imagined a rather calm dinner and was thinking to meet up some friends afterwards for a drink. But when Johan and me entered the restaurant all of these plans became a forgotten little detail of the past. You’ll soon know why.

Although ‘Les Brigittines’ is located in a an area that I passed by frequently and is also close to some of the main sights that one has to see in Brussels, I never noticed it before.

You enter into a big space, with a rather dark interior: heavy brown, wooden tables, benches, vintage chairs with dark green leather cushions, forest green walls and a big bar that catches most of your attention. Old paintings cover the walls; fresh flowers are on every table. In the middle of the room there is a big, heavy, wooden commode with even more fresh and colorful flowers on it. It’s a very cozy, romantic and mystic atmosphere that fills the room. There is some kitsch to the whole place, but it’s just the right amount. Johan said he could imagine lively parties here back in the days, with nice music playing and people forgetting the time. He was quite right.

Dirk Myny, the very friendly, funny and open chef of the restaurant opened the place 23 years ago. He greeted us, accompanied us to our table, which was hidden at the one end of the room, offered us an aperitif and asked whether we eat everything. A big ‘yes’ left my mouth although I didn’t know what exactly he was referring to when saying ‘everything’.

Paired with a matching white wine, the dinner started with an incredible side of pork, with a very delicate and incredibly tasteful tuna Tatar placed on top. The tuna was seasoned with spicy ginger, fresh cilantro and green lime. Dirk described it as ‘marriage between land and sea’ and a feast it was.


The next dish was Belgian asparagus from Malines, with a thin slice of ‘lardo di Collonata’, a delicately tasting type of special cured Italian bacon, and morels. After this our taste buds got more than pleased with a Brandade of cod, a dish made from mashed potatoes mixed with a quite salty fish because of the Iodine in it. That dish came along with a Geuze, a special, quite sour Belgian beer, fermented in a copper barrel for over a year. The interplay of these two tastes was right on the spot. Each one alone might have tasted very salty or very sour to some, but together the tastes brought the whole dish into harmony.

Our attention was shifted from our plates to a table not far from us. Loud Belgian music started playing and Dirk entered the room with a big pot. He stopped at one of the tables, stuck a spit into a whole roasted chicken, lifted it up and showed it to the obviously surprised crowd sitting around the table. He put it back into the pan, returned to the kitchen and the music turned quiet again. I guess he sliced the chicken into portions back in the kitchen, but I never saw that, because my attention returned to the plate in front of me.

The next two dishes were quite different from the rest and this was the moment when I understood why the chef had asked us earlier whether we ate ‘everything’. Cervelle of veal à la grandmother Myny – veal’s brain seasoned with a lot of lemon and other ingredients unknown to me, a dish that I surprisingly didn’t dislike. After this: pieds de porc – pork feet prepared in a Southern French way with capers, pickles and hard boiled eggs. I have to say this dish wasn’t something I would normally order, but I am sure people who like these kinds of delicacies would’ve been very pleased with it. I guess it is simply a matter of getting used to it. The friendly waitress changed our cutlery to a fish knife and so the steamed cod with olives that was served after the pig foot was something that was very much in line with my taste; perfectly tender, almost falling apart when digging your fork into it.

The dessert was quite a surprise: confit of Aubergine with orange sorbet. ‘What is an eggplant doing in my dessert?’ was my first thought, but it was soon forgotten when I took a spoon of it, together with a bit of sorbet. The eggplant is cooked in sugar for around 11 days, brought to a boil several times a day and then cooled down again.

The end of the night? No. After his shift ended, Dirk Myny showed us his amazing collection of wines, opened a bottle of Champagne, then a bottle of the wine I wanted to try for some time already: Exode from Serbia, made by the famous sommelier Matthieu Dubrana and chef Nicolas Scheidt (Yes, the one I talked about in my review from last week on ‘La Buvette’).


It’s a wine that has a note of cabbage, which is the part that some people apparently don’t like at first sip. I liked it a lot and the same was the case for the next wine bottle he opened, a red wine made from a grape variety called Grolleau – light and nice to drink. We talked a lot, drank a bit and over time more and more people joined. This is how Johan’s and my night at ‘Les Brigittines’ came to an end. When we walked out of the restaurant we realized how quickly time here had passed by.

This restaurant is a place to go to if you want to experience an unforgettable evening, with traditional dishes that have a modern and special twist.

Prices: set menus are between 48€ and 55€ for 4-6 courses, around 15-18€ for a starter, 24-30€ for a main dish, wines range from 25€ up for a bottle
Good to know: https://www.lesbrigittines.com
Address: Place de la Chapelle 5, 1000 Bruxelles