There’s a small part of Brussels that is locally known as the “stomach” of the city.
Even those with only a passing acquaintance of the city will not be entirely surprising to learn that the area in question is the “Petite Rue des Bouchers”, in the shadow of the Grand Place.
The quarter is absolutely teeming with places to eat, of course, although some of them, arguably, are of questionable quality.One happy exception is Mozart, a relative newcomer to the city.If any restaurant in this area is deserving of the “stomach of Brussels” tag then it’s this place.
The speciality is meat, be it in the form of spare ribs or steak and it really is heaven for the carnivore.
Probably the most popular item is the “all you can eat” ribs option which is very affordable and reasonable €18.25. All the ribs are served with a healthy jacket potato and Mozart’s “famous” garlic butter. There’s also a nice choice of sauces to accompany the ribs – nature (without sauce); classic (sweet and spicy) and the in-house special sauce (smokey/honey).
The restaurant has built its excellent reputation on the quality and taste of the ribs it serves and, as delicious as they undoubtedly are – there are other equally nice dishes on the main card from which to choose. The steak (entrecote or T-bone) is also superb but, if red meat isn’t your thing, there’s also chicken skewer, Ghent chicken casserole or lamb chops.
For the non-meat eaters out there, the list of main courses also includes grilled prawns, fish stew and grilled salmon filet. Last but not least, for both non-meat and fish eaters, is a vegetarian quiche.The little ones are also well catered for with a choice of either a half portion of ribs or meat balls in tomato sauce.
If you’ve room, you should also try one of the lovely starters, including garlic bread or a recommended smoked Norwegian salmon.
Those with a real appetite might also be tempted by the range of mouth-watering deserts which range from the good old Brussels waffle and Dame Blanche to cheese cake and warm apple pie.This is great fayre and can be “washed down” with a terrific selection of drinks, which include some excellent Belgian beers and also a particularly good choice of after dinner drinks.
Considering the quality of everything that is served here – be it food or drink – the prices are amazingly reasonable, particularly when you contrast them with what is being charged for an often inferior standard of cuisine in restaurants nearby. The main courses, for instance, start from a mere €13.50 while a starter can set you back just €3. One thing is for sure – you certainly won’t break the bank when dining at this restaurant.
If you are in any doubt about the quality of the ribs, in particular, just pay a quick visit to its Trip Advisor page and you will be very impressed by the consistently excellent reviews posted by people from all over the world who have paid a visit. There are no chips served here but, hey, why do you need them when the jacket spuds come with such a great sauce (made from a secret recipe!). Be warned: the ribs weigh 550-600 grams so come with a big appetite!
The restaurant, which can seat up to 220 diners, is, in fact, the latest Mozart to open in Belgium. The first was in Aalst, in the Flemish region just north of Brussels, last November. There will be another one opening in Sint Jakobsstraat, Brugge either by the end of the year or early 2019; while the Brussels version opened only in July but has already gained a reputation for the quality of its food and service.
There are three Flemish men behind the business, Steff Lievens, Selim Imeri and Ives Vankerck, each of whom used to work for some years at another Brussels restaurant. Each of the Flemings have severed their links with that one and ploughed a lot of time/effort/investment into Mozart. Each has brought their own expertise (Steff’s being in building renovation, for instance, while Selim’s a management expert) and they were also followed by the chef Gary Delhaye and Vanessa Derijke who looks after front of house affairs here).
The Aalst resto has proved a huge hit, being fully booked most nights, and there are hopes to also open up a Mozart in Antwerp and Ghent (in fact, 2 to 3 each year across Belgium!).
The interior is very quirky with lots of retro-style furnishings and items, mostly sourced from local markets and 2nd hand shops. It’s got a great nostalgic and evocative feel (with hundreds of books on the shelves) and unlike anything else in Brussels right now.
The restaurant had to be totally renovated as the previous business – also a restaurant – had been shut for over two years.
Another great “selling point” is the fact that it does not try to “rip off” clients who like a wine with their meal.
You pay for the house wine “by the centimetre”. You are welcome to take your own glass along and, as the staff will measure the bottle, you pay only for the amount you consume.
What a very refreshing change that is from the many restaurants in Belgium which grossly overcharge for wine. In the Middle Ages, most of the shops in this district were sausage manufacturers and pork butchers and there is no better place to eat meat than here. You know a place is worth trying when it is directly and heartily recommended by a direct competitor, as was the case with Mozart.
It is open 7/7 in the evening and also both lunch and evening on Sundays.
If you haven’t discovered Mozart yet should you should – you’ll enjoy a very harmonious dining experience!
Good to know:
- Name: Mozart Brussels
- Address: Petite rue des Bouchers 18-24, Brussels
- Contact: T 0493 966 929