Brussels: Especially Bruges and Ghent, comfortable with great food
We'll be staying in Bruges for a week with our 3 year old daughter, and are looking for great food in places where a well behaved youngster will not be out of place. We've been to Bruges before and done the 3 star thing, and know how good it can be. But I don't think a 3 year old would be comfortable in those places (and I don't think most of those places would be comfortable with a 3 year old as a customer). She's a very adventurous eater, and is looking forward to moules frites.
We'll be staying near the main square in Bruges, so things walking distance to that would be most appreciated, but if you have something else outside that range that is fantastic, please do tell. We'll be taking a day trip to Ghent, so any recommendations there should be in the more touristy areas (not always great for food, I know).
Thank you very much in advance for any help you can provide.
We had a nice time in Belgium despite some miserable weather. While we didnt' go to any starred places, we did go to some very nice ones, and never felt as if having a child along was a problem.
On our day in Ghent we went to a place called Pakhuis which is down an alley near St. Michielsbrug. Stylish place - remodeled warehouse turned into a bistro-brasserie. It was a cold wet day so we started with the soup, a mushroom soup if I remember correctly. Got a bottle of a red Rhone to help us warm up, sorry I don't have the info on what it was, but it was good, and fairly priced (as far as you can say that with the dollar the way it is). Mains for both adults was fish with a panko crust. This was wonderful. My husband loved the potatoes that came with it, those I was less impressed with but this is just a matter of taste- they were perfectly well made, just too thick for me. They brought Lulu a chicken and french fry thing (we normally just get her an appetizer or two, but they seemed to think this was the way to go).
In Bruges every meal we had was wonderful, but also beer filled (not to worry, we were walking our daughter around) so I don't have all the info. But an especially good meal was at Bistro de Schaar (Hooistraat 2) which specializes in grilling. I started with snails with mushrooms and a curry cream sauce, husband had smoked salmon. Lulu took bites. I then had grilled prawns served with a garlic butter sauce, husband had grilled monkfish with a sort of mustard sauce on it, and Lulu got a steak. Everyone very happy with this meal. A real find, although a bit out of the center of things.
Our landlady recommended a place just around the corner from where we were staying and we had a nice meal there too - De Bekoring. This is close to the Love Lake. Both started with scallops and endive in a cream, wine sauce. Husband had a grilled dover sole with bernaise on the side, loved it. I had the north sea boullaibaise (sp?) which was good, but not as good as a similar dish I'd had the day before on the Markt (stunning that I had such a great meal in the heart of tourist-land, but true - sadly, I didn't write down the name of the place).
Lulu's very favorite food thing was the waffles sold on the street and train stations. All in all, a very easy place to go with a small child.