Brussels, Brugges, and Amsterdam in May
I have reviewed the posts on this board and I have found them very helpful. I was hoping to receive a bit more targeted advice. I am looking for restaurants to eat dinner in: 2 dinners in Brussels, 1 in Brugges, and 2 in Amsterdam.
I need them all to accept reservations, and while accepting credit cards is not essential, it is preferable.
My family, while adventurous eaters, are not keen on offal. In addition, we are not really looking to dine in ethnic restaurants while we are there (ie. no Japanese, Indonesian, etc.) as we would prefer to stick to more traditional meals.
While we are willing to spend money to eat well, the restaurants I am looking for do not necessarily need to be Michelin level. In addition, my father refuses to go anywhere that requires a jacket and/or tie while he is on vacation.
If anyone has memorable restaurant in these cities, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Here are four of my favourites in Brussels; all take reservations and all accept credit cards.
Le Fils de Jules (www.filsdejules.be) - Basque and Landais cooking in the Place du Chatelain neighbourhood, which is a 10-minute tram ride from the center. If you've got foie gras lovers in the family, this is the place to go (I never count foie as offal!); they also do a lovely cassoulet and massive veal chop.
Le Fruit Defendu (http://sites.resto.com/lefruitdefendu/) - also in the Chatelain quarter. Seasonal French cuisine, with an emphasis on fish. A good, carefully selected wine list.
Le Fourneau (www.evanrestaurants.be) - "small plates" in the Saint Catherine neighbourhood, which is right downtown. I had an amazing rendition of a Belgian classic, salade liegeoise, here, sparked with unexpected and delicious prawns.
In 't Spinnekopke (www.spinnekopke.be) - Resolutely Belgian cuisine a la biere. The cooking is solid if not stellar, and the ambiance is that of a cozy neighbourhood estaminet. It's about a ten-minute walk from the Bourse downtown.
One of our favorite meals in Amsterdam was at De Witte Uyl.
The website will give you some idea of what's served, and it's not a fancy, jacket-requiring type of place. Visaandeschelde was also a fantastic meal, especially if your family likes good seafood. It's near the RAI Centre, which is not in the centre of Amsterdam, but it's only a short cab or tram ride and worth the effort.
A good place to look for suggestions is the 10Best website. Their recommendations are usually reliable.
We'll be in Bruges and Brussels in mid-June and can report back if that's before your trip.
From a Amsterdamfoodie point of view: I think the witte uyl is a bit of a tourist trap.
Best value for money/no tie & jacket required are to my opinion:
lastage (3 coursemeal € 36,-) www.restaurantlastage.nl
restaurant anna just opened excellent food: www.restaurantanna.nl
Le hollandais www.lehollandais.nl