Olde worlde charm of cosy Brussels eatery

They say looks can be deceptive and, in a way, that is the case with ‘t Miservstand. From the outside, you could actually be forgiven for thinking you’re somewhere in the middle of rolling countryside.

The fact that this eatery has a lovely, rustic and purposely old-fashioned façade should not be too surprising because this is, after all, a 300-year-old building (it dates from 1640). The oak beams and tiled floor add to the olde worlde charm.

It is, though, at the heart of a particularly bustling part of Uccle with trams (convenient if travelling by public transport) rumbling past at regular intervals.

Once inside, its appearance is slightly overtaken by rather modern décor with a great selection of black and white photographs and artwork of screen icons like Paul Newman, Sinatra, Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe.

The Franco-Belgian menu also features some great old classics but, brought up to date, with an innovative modern twist.

 There’s a terrific choice, ranging from the sort of traditional dishes you’re grandmother would’ve been proud of, such as meat loaf, sweetbread and Flemish stew, to what could be described as more “contemporary” creations.

There’s certainly no shortage of choice,including a fixed priced “menu brasserie” (an exceptionally reasonable €29.50) which is changed every two months or so. Currently, it features snail, chicken croquette and a gratin of St Jacques for starters, plus a nice selection of mains dishes such as beef kebab, crispy chicken, kidneys with mustard, while there are four deserts to choose from.

The suggestions menu, meanwhile, currently has sushi, pork nems, fried St Jaques, snails and bone marrow for starters, with grilled salmon, red tuna, sole, sweetbread and Black Angus hamburger for mains. Another dish is T bone steak (for two) which is among the most popular with customers.

The a la carte, or “classics” menu,  features another of the restaurant’s best sellers – steak. There is a nice choice of steaks and sizes, along with an equally good selection of sauces to accompany them.

This card, fixed throughout the year, also has some nice starters plus pasta and those great Belgian classics: stoemp, carbonnades and steak tartare.  The kids are not forgotten either with a special menu enfants and children under the age of 12 eat for free (one child menu per table).

Whatever your choice, the emphasis is on great seasonal products and home-cooking.This is one of the restaurant’s biggest assets but not the  only one.

Another is the delightful décor (look out for the well-stocked wine cellar, visible via a glass floor) and a marvellous terrace and garden which can seat up to 120 and is renowned as being one of the best in Brussels.

Also worth noting is the spacious room at the rear which can be used for special events, such as parties and business meetings, seating up to 35. It also has a large screen which has been used to broadcast football and other sporting events.

Another plus here is the very friendly ambience, partly generated by staff some of whom have worked here for several years, usually a good sign in the often fast-changing horeca trade.

The welcoming owner insists on the highest standards, one reason why its loyal “army “of customers return year after year.

But this is a place that will also appeal to younger people, partly for the lovely “modernistic” décor but also because there really is something for every taste on the menus here.

Budgets, of course, can be tight, not least for younger folk and the very affordable prices (mains start from a meagre €12 and there's a good value 2-course lunch option at just €14.75) are another good reason for its perennial appeal, together with the availability of a car valet service, particularly useful in this built-up area.

Look out also for the well-stocked wine cellar (a great choice of French reds and whites) which is visible via a glass floor.

The latest “fashionable” restaurants come and go but it’s good to know there is an “old reliable” you can rely on for top-class food (and service) and ‘t Misverstand is undoubtedly one such place.

Its Trip Advisor ranking – consistently rated as 9 out of 10 – is an accurate reflection of how this place is regarded by people who eat there. There’s also valet parking for lunch and dinner.

The name of this delightful restaurant translates as “misunderstand” but, be sure, there’s no mistaking the quality of cuisine (and service) on offer here.

't Misverstand

916 Chaussee d’Alsemberg, Uccle

02 376 2398

www.misverstand.be

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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