Beer and food, those are the words that best describe Alain Fayt’s restaurant Restobières. Combining in perfect harmony traditional dishes with renowned Belgian beer, chef Alain created the ultimate Brussels dining experience.
If you’ve ever found yourself walking around Brussels Grand Place looking for a local restaurant while wanting to avoid tourist clichés, look no further, FAIM magazine has found it for you. Located in the cozy Marolles neighborhood, all you need is to take one step inside to enter another world, Alain’s world. While you may be thinking there are a lot of knick-knacks all over the place, not one object is placed there by coincidence. Each and every one of them is a representation of Belgian history, but also Alain’s history and, more importantly, Brussels’ history.
Each object is a representation of Belgian history, but also Alain’s history and, more importantly, Brussels’ history.
I sit down with Alain to hear about how he developed the successful Restobières concept. He opens a bottle of beer – the one he brews himself and sells exclusively at his restaurant For Mi Diable, “a beer that everyone likes”, he explains – and begins telling his story. When the restaurant was still Les Trois Chicons, Alain used to come to have a drink and a meal. So he decided to buy the place in 2001 and create the ambience the restaurant shows nowadays. He assures that his love for cooking came quite simply, from having to cook at home when his father was away at work. This love evolved over the years when he began working at restaurants and then setting up his own catering company.
Alain’s story is not limited just to cooking and his past can be retraced through all the objects placed in the restaurant. Like that time when, after having received an award from the NATO during his time in the army, he got to meet the royal family, so today we can find all sorts of objects relating to them hanging on the walls. Actually, the ambience is a very important part of the dining experience, and we might often overlook at it while eating delicious food and excellent beer.
After our talk, comes the time for food. We start our feast with a delicious creamy spread to eat with fresh bread, cut right next to our table. We order a bottle of curieuse neus (curious nose) beer to go with it. Following the chef’s recommendations, we share the pâté maison au foie gras à la rochefort as appetizer. Then the famous carbonnade flamande (a Flemish meat stew) and the paupiettes de filets de sole et saint-jacques (flounder fillet). Each dish as delicious as the next one and, to end the experience, we go for the “not-sweet-tooth” option, the trio de fromages belges.
The ambience is a very important part of the dining experience, and we might often overlook at it while eating delicious food and excellent beer.
Total price for two people: 87 euros (a fair price for Brussels and for those quality dishes).
Good news for satisfied customers: Alain wrote a recipe book, La Cuisine à la bière, available for 20 euros.