- wonki kim Mar 22, 1999 11:22 AM
read the sunday styles section of the times yesterday
and was wondering if anyone knew of belgian frites
places along the east side of manhattan, anywhere from
uptown to downtown. by the way, great belgian
chocolates can be had at the neuhaus shop at saks
fifth. they also have a store on madison in the 60s i
believe. best damn chocolates out there.
you'll never eat godiva again (unless you're like me
and trying to win diamond stud earrings for your
girlfriend). didn't win. can't finish the chocolates
either. i've learned my lesson. although more
expensive than godiva, they sometimes go on sale for
50% off at saks. definitely worth it, even if not on
Welcome to Chowhound. I definitely enjoy your style.
The fairly new restaurant called Belgo has Belgian
frites. I'm only familiar with the Belgo outside of
London, but those were fabulous, as were the mussels
and of course the Belgian beer. Maybe someone can
comment specifically on their frites in NYC. pat
re: pat hammond
I haven't been able to access the Chowhound site for
months. My computer was dying and I just got a new
one yesterday. I am glad to be back...and
coincidently we are going to Belgo tonight for dinner.
Another couple suggested it, they live on Mulberry
ndsay it is great! Do you need reservations?
How is the food? Anyone?
re: Michele Fuchs
I have only been to Belgo once, but I was completely
unimpressed. The service is horrendous, the crowd was
composed mostly of foreign tourists the night I went,
and the food is mediocre at best. The mussels
themselves were pretty good - plump and tasty. The
sauces were not up to par. I had a cloyingly sweet
and thick tomatoe sauce (yes, it was more of a sauce
than a broth). The fries were cold and soggy. The
beer selection is good, yet be prepared for the
waiters to screw up your drink order more than once.
All of the other non-mussel dishes that we had were
not very memorable.
I don't mean to rain on your parade (or your dinner
tonight), but there are now so many great Belgium
places in NY serving much better moules frites in a
non-theme park, non-touristy, non-caverernous setting,
that it seems kind of a waste to go to Belgo.
Sorry it took so long to post...I have been EXTREMELY
busy at work and haven't had the time to do this
justice, so here goes...
Let me begin by saying the food was good. We had the
onion tart, mushroom tart/pastry(?), and the
lobster/shrimp seafood melange (?) to start. They were
all very good. We accompanied these with different
biers and champagne, many rounds due to the food
arrival time being so SLOW! No fault of the extremely
sweet waitress Bonnie, who felt SO BAD! Then, both men
in our party ordered the steak frites and both women
ordered the poached sole. The steak frites was the
way to go but the sole was very good, it came with
muscles and shrimp on the side. I don't like muscles
and the shrimp was overdone. The sole was delicious
but the dish was not for me, it wasn't the
restaurants' fault I liked the steak better, AND THE
What was their fault was the terribly slow kitchen and
though I shouldn't be mean, the attitude of the
hostess at first (sorry Jim). They tried to seat us in
the basement dining area which was at least 100
degrees and half empty, the wait upstairs was 40
minutes to an hour because they take walk-ins and that
is where the action is (the bar, the people in the
know). Since we had reservations, they sat us in 30
All in all we had a good time, the director of
operations, Allison Vichers came over to apologize and
then comped the meal! Very nice, but very
appropriate. BTW: Communal tables, hard wooden
benches and VERY loud! Nice concept though, GREAT
bier/wine list. All levels, from $8 to $80.
On the way out, Allison introduced us to the chef, who
was also very charming and we had a bit of a laugh at
the whole evening. I would give it another try, maybe
I would wait a few weeks but after extending herself
to us and of course the comping of the meal, I do
believe I owe it to them to try again, and I repeat,
we did have a great evening overall.
re: pat hammond
Thanks Pat, I was trying to be fair, honest and not
too hard on them, though I didn't want to lie or
I do like the concept and the nabe.
BTW: Jubilee on East 54th also has great moules(sp?)
frites and steak frites, etc. Thursday night Jazz,if
they still do it. Cute small space. Used to be Cafe
Europa (not the cafeteria style place) an eclectic
little restaurant that I used to frequent for lunch
when I worked near there. Nobody remembers it ( I
think?), they used rocks for the coat check and they
had the best baby lamb chops with these incredible
noodles like luction, macadamia crusted fish, any
fish,depending on the day etc. but they are closed so
Anyway, hope you enjoy! Happy holidays!
re: Michele Fuchs
Cafe Europa! And here I thought *I* was the only one who remembered it! I miss that place more than almost any other ex-restaurant in town. Besides all the stuff you mention, they had an incredible wine list, stuff you never thought you'd have a chance to try (old burgundies etc.) at prices even I could afford. For an anniversary dinner I ordered a Vina Tondonia Reserva (or was it a Gran Reserva? we had a lot to drink) 1970, and it was incredible. I've often wondered why they closed. If anyone involved with the place is reading this -- you are remembered with gratitude!
re: steve d.
I also thought that my ex-boss and I were the only
ones who remembered as well, except for those we
brought there for lunch. We always had a great time.
Do you remember those tiny noodles they used to serve,
even my mothers luction cannot compare. The wine list
was wonderful, sorry I forgot to mention it. Do you
have ANY idea what happened? Also...what kind of
restaurant was it exactly? I remember it being
eclectic something? I cannot recall what they called
themselves. I second the fond rememberance!
Well, you didn't rain on my parade (or dinner
rather)...mother nature is taking care of that
But...you may have saved me from a horrific dinner!
Any other suggestions, I cannot find the Times article
that was from a week or two ago discussing Belgian
Any help would be appreciated! Thanks again!
re: Michele fuchs
Waterloo has great moules frites. The setting is kind
of industrial and sparse in a very downtown kind of
way (if that makes any sense) and it is a bit out of
the way, but worth the trip.
The people who own Waterloo also own another
restaurant, I believe it is called Le Zoo(?). They do
not take reservations and it is usually very packed,
but I also heard that the moules frites were top notch.
I have been to Le Zoo, a long time ago and though I
cannot recall what I ate (over a year ago, at least)I
do remember it being very good for what it is...a
small cozy hip bistro in the west village.
I e-mailed my friend about Belgo and she replied that
it is the "new" favorite nabe place of her friend, who
happens to have high standards. Though I usually have
to trust my "chowhounds'" opinions, I am unfortunately
unable to make this deternination, the dinner is,
afterall, to get together for her engagement and the
choice is theirs (the happy couple).
I will be sure to write first thing tomorrow to give
my opinion, if I am able...hahaha!
At least I can get drunk on bier(sp.?)and maybe won't
notice how bad it is! Only kidding, if I am going I
will go with an open mind!
Til tomorrow morning...
re: Michele Fuchs
I went during the first few weeks that it opened, so
maybe this has something to do with the horrible
service and mediocre food. Everyone that I have
spoken with has agreed that the quality of the mussels
are good, it is just that the execution is not. The
sauces are poorly seasoned, have the wrong
consistency, etc. I would also advise to stick to the
mussels for an entree.
Hopefully, Belgo has finally hit its stride. I also
live in the neighborhood, and I was very disappointed
that the restaurant did not live up to my expectations
because I would love to have a fabulous place for
moules frites in the 'hood. So please report back on
The stand on Second Avenue and 7th Street does the fries very well. Make sure you pile mayo and red onions on them!