All posts tagged “duck

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Great little Italian – La bottega no. 3

La Bottega No. 3Tiny and busy, Bottega no. 3 is already a neighbourhood favourite in Chatelain. It’s the perfect alternative Italian, with slightly kitsch decor, personable service and good music  – not to mention great pasta. Despite the tiny kitchen, they also manage to cater for larger groups by serving three big antipasti platters to a company of twelve, and then a selection of the chef’s pasta – all to share on oddly matched china.

Antipasti platterThe scrumptious antipasti platter is packed with all kinds of delicacies, like truffle infused salami, mustardy ham, broccoli soufflé and several kinds of cheese – the nutty, tangy kind that almost stings a bit. Matched with good wine, and nice music streaming out from the huge speakers in the window, it’s a snug place to see an evening away.

Truffle pastaThe pasta we were served came in three formats: one for the veggies with truffle and mushroom, some with salmon and capers, and some with duck and ginger, all served on three huge platters to us to scoop from. They were all of perfect consistency, and the sauces well-paired. The unconventional duck was my favourite, but the vegetarians were also satisfied with their slightly more limited selection. The final of the evening, tiramisu and apple cake, set the comfort tone high. Bottega No. 3 is a little pricey, but serve reliably tasty pasta, and everything surrounding the eating experience is very pleasant. We left satisfied and in high spirits. 

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Mushroom orgy at Café des Spores

Tomato, watermelon and mushroom salad

Last week my best friend and I discovered a little gem in Saint Gilles called Cafe des Spores. It’s a restaurant specialising entirely in mushrooms. We thought it sounded quirky, as well as brilliant, as we are both mushroom lovers. But we didn’t expect it to be exquisite gourmet food.

Truffle soup

The meal began with three little dishes: truffle soup, fried mushroom dumplings and stuffed champignons. The truffle soup was delicious, and as expected with truffle, the smell was divine. The dumplings were nice, but probably my least favourite part of the meal – tasty, but rather simple.

Ginger and mince stuffed champignons

However, the stuffed champignons were spectacular, on many levels. First of all, they arrived sprinkled in some sort of dried fish flakes, which fluttered like butterflies in the heat for several minutes. Marianne and I were so freaked out that we asked the waitress if part of the food was alive. She just giggled at us. Having overcome our fear, we dug in and were shocked by the taste explosion. Tangy ginger, umami-fishy flakes, rich meaty stuffing and mellow mushroom mixing wildly. Perhaps that sounds weird, and it was, but it was also absolutely delicious.

Mushroom gnocchi

For starters we had a salad of watermelon, tomato and mushroom (pictured at the top of the post). It was very refreshing as the sweet and sour flavours came together with the dense mushrooms rather unexpectedly. But it was very tasteful, and we scooped everything off the plate rather quickly. We also has mushroom gnocchi, which was mellow and autumnal, tasting of porcini (although, as can be seen from the picture, it was some other sort of mushroom – I’d never tried it before). It wasn’t as sensational as the salad, and the gnocchi were a bit too soft, but it was still nice.

Duck with girolles

For mains there were two choices: duck with girolles and a salmon dish. As salmon is more staple than chicken in Sweden, we both opted for the duck, especially as it was accompanied by our favourite mushroom. The duck was perfectly pink inside, and the girolles packed with flavour. While it looks like a rather small main, it was just the perfect size at this point.

Truffle pecorino

Since neither of us are dessert people, we opted for the cheese with cherries instead of mushroom-infused sweet stuff. The truffle pecorino was very strong, and tangy to the point where it almost hurt our mouths. It was again something of a taste sensation, and a perfect finish to the meal.

Le café des spores

These unexpected taste trips coupled with high-quality house wine, friendly service and nice atmosphere meant it was a lovely food experience, perhaps the best I’ve had in Brussels so far. The bill, which came at 71 euros, felt perfectly reasonable given the high quality of the food. I will definitely be going here again.