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Belgo

j
Joe Feb 8, 1999 06:11 PM

Had dinner at the newly opened hot spot Belgo this
Sunday to find it surprisingly half full (couldn't even
get near the bar on Saturday). Despite all the
post-modern decor flash, I found the food to be rather
ordinary. The Chimay Trappiste cheese croquette was
presented with a simplicity that would make Howard
Johnson blush, although the actual cheese itself was
quite tasty. I chose amongst others, the Kilo 'O
Moules poivre verte. The quality of the, in this case
New Foundland, mussels was excellent, and the overall
impression of the broth was aromatic but a little flat.
I feel the place has potential, but the food part needs
to live up to the hype. The Belgian beer selection on
the other hand was more than a

  1. r
    rebecca Feb 8, 1999 10:25 PM

    We went for an opening special--they treated us which
    was fun--the mussels were good, broth ok (we had a
    bacon one). The beer great and we got very drunk. The
    app. was quite good (scallops and braised endive) and
    the fries were good, but not outstanding. The mashed
    potatoes, excellent. Wild boar sausages, very mediocre.
    We had a great time, but it was free, and we thought it
    was actually overpriced--if we had paid. The dessert
    waffle was great, but we were to full to eat it.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rebecca
      r
      robert sietsema Feb 25, 1999 01:40 PM

      Please note, re complaints about the quality of the
      food, that Belgo is an English chain and not a Belgian
      one, and some of the presentation of the food and its
      generally jocular presentation is English rather than
      Belgian (although Belgians own the English chain).

      1. re: robert sietsema
        w
        wendy c Jun 2, 1999 07:24 PM

        I would love to hear more about the decor and service
        at Belgo. Was the food served by monks?

        1. re: wendy c
          w
          wonki Jun 3, 1999 12:24 PM

          wendy c(anada?),

          belgo is pretty disappointing. the entrance is pretty
          cool, a long ramp in a tunnel leading to the dining
          room. the dining room is a bunch of long tables lined
          up with wooden chairs. it's kind of a cold modern look
          and the room itself is very cold as well
          temperaturewise. don't wear shorts. i got the kilo of
          mussels which is just way too much for one person
          unless you're extremely hungry or love mussels. the
          sauce was so sparse and definitely not soaked into the
          mussels, so basically you're eating mussels without
          sauce except what you can dig up from the bottom of the
          bucket. truly disappointing. the fries were good, but
          nothing extraordinary. maybe it would have helped if i
          was drunk on some beer but it was brunch so i wasn't in
          the mood. sorry, no monks serving you, just ordinary
          people. our waitress was nice enough though. quite
          frankly, i don't see what the big deal is with the
          place. eating a bunch of mediocre mussels gets old
          real fast and becomes somewhat of a chore actually.

          1. re: wonki
            j
            jonathan gold Jun 3, 1999 06:09 PM

            Belgo's not the greatest place in the world, but

            portions too big? Never! My four-year-old daughter

            ate an entire kilo of mussels herself there...after

            first polishing off a smaller appetizer portion!


            Still, as Mr. Sietsema has correctly pointed

            out, the mussels are better at La Petite Abielle

            (and I dig the fries, though not the attitude, at Markt).

            1. re: jonathan gold
              w
              wonki Jun 4, 1999 10:26 AM

              not that i don't believe . . . but i don't believe you.
              :-) are you sure she had a whole kilo and not one of
              their special combos? i mean, there are at least 50
              mussels in that pot. there were four of us, each with
              a kilo. only one of us finished the whole kilo. i'm a
              pretty big eater, and although i'm sure i could have
              finished if i had forced myself, i left a good 10 in
              the pot. and after the first 20 or so, i had had more
              than enough. it was just tiresome and didn't taste
              good enough for me to keep eating. i just thought it
              would be such a waste if i didn't keep going. but hey,
              if your 4 yr old did eat a whole kilo, more power to
              her. at least she's got a good healthy appetite.

              1. re: wonki
                j
                jonathan gold Jun 4, 1999 10:42 PM

                Did I mention she REALLY likes mussels? I think it was the first time she's ever had as many as she wanted--usually she just picks them out of the boulliabaisse or whatever.


                But the fries at Belgo really do bite.

              2. re: jonathan gold
                d
                Dave Feldman Jun 5, 1999 02:11 AM

                Jonathan,

                Does your daughter go for older men? My 14-year-old
                nephew started a lifelong passion for shellfish when
                he was about your daughter's age, and gobbles up
                mussels, oysters, crabs, clams (possibly his favorite)
                with gusto and more than a little elan.

                I love watching junior chowhounds. You know that a
                kid who is so open to new sensory experiences is bound
                to be an interesting adult.

      2. j
        Josh Mittleman Sep 2, 1999 12:08 PM

        We finally made it to Belgo last night. It's basically
        a children's restaurant: deliberately loud and crowded,
        with decor reminescent of a high school cafeteria. The
        waiter's pseudo-monastic dress is too half-hearted to
        be truly amusing, like something out of
        sleep-away-camp theatrics.

        The beer list is exceptional, though they were out of
        my first choice and my second had definitely been badly
        stored.

        Asparagus appetizers were excellent. The mussels were
        good, but no more. The fries were OK, but were nothing
        like proper Belgian frites. My wife's duck breast was
        overcooked.

        I'm sure I can find a better moule-frite, and the whole
        meal was badly overpriced.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Josh Mittleman
          b
          Barbara S Sep 2, 1999 05:52 PM

          We were there in late spring. Couldn't agree more.
          Very disappointing to say the least.

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