Venerable Brussels "institution" awarded top quality label

Restaurant Vincent, a venerable Brussels establishment, has a seafaring theme and, in terms of fine dining, it really does take you on a voyage of culinary discovery.

Since opening way back in 1905, its walls have been adorned with lovely Art Nouveau ceramic tiles portraying various nautical scenes. It’s so good that the artwork now has listed status.

Customers have flocked to marvel at it – together with the terrific cuisine – for many years.

In fact, the importance the owners place on authentic and locally sourced Belgian food was recently acknowledged by the city’s tourist authorities who awarded it a “Brusselicious” food label. These recognise eating establishments for the excellent quality of their cuisine.

The label is also official acknowledgment for those establishments, such as Restaurant Vincent, which are flying for the flag for authentic and genuine Brussels and Belgian cuisine.Given that there are so many places to eat in the self proclaimed capital of Europe this is not an easy-to-come-by accolade.

However, anyone who dines here will soon discover that, in the case of Restaurant Vincent, it is a particularly well deserved award.

Contrary to the maritime feel (a converted old fisherman’s boat right in the middle of the restaurant is a popular choice of table for many guests) the emphasis these days is very much on meat.The terrific meat served here is sourced from Hendrik Dierendon, a leading butcher at the Belgian coast, with the idea being to promote the undoubted (but sometimes underrated) merits of Belgian food.

With many Brussels restaurants still trying to win back trade lost by the awful terrorist atrocity that struck the city last year (and other issues such as a local pedestrianization scheme and the controversial decision to restrict the use of outside eating areas in the city centre) that is a particularly commendable objective.

The a la carte choice features various types of very succulent steak with all the meat having been carefully selected by its Flemish supplier. It can be grilled or flambéed (a Vincent speciality) but, however it’s cooked and served, this is very tasty and satisfying food.

There are lots of other traditional and mouth-watering Belgian dishes, including asparagus and carpaccio de Rouge de Flandre.

Considering the quality it’s all good value for money as well, including the €18 two-course lunch option.

One of the oldest restaurants in Brussels, the interior, which was designed by Belgian Celestin Joseph Helman, is a wonderful tapestry of tiled walls and murals. It’s hard to take your eyes off it.The waiters are friendly and happy to take you through the splendid menu and also explain the terrific history of the place.

This is nothing especially “fancy” - just well cooked, good food and wine – a delightful Brussels eating experience.

Now part of Accueil Tradition, which comprises other local restaurants/cafes, this is one place that’s leading the Brussels’ fightback from those tragic events of 2016.

It’s situated right at the heart of the city’s tourist area and close to the fantastic Grand Place.

If you’re looking for a classic Belgian/French dining treat, head for this Brussels “institution.”

Restaurant Vincent

Rue des Dominicains, Brussels

02 511 2607

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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