Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tour D'y Voir - Brussels

Trying new food is like crack. I'm pretty temperate and boring at home. In Denver, this means lunch is either Chipotle or Panda Express. Dinner is eggs, pizza at Whole Foods, or proteins bars before and after crossfit workouts at Apex Movement. Then introduce me to a new restaurant and watch me go crazy. Unlike others' entertainment budgets, mine is dedicated solely to food. This is amplified on my weekend trips from Portugal.

Tour D'y Voir is a crazy example. I discovered the restaurant Saturday when a Brunello Cucinelli store caught my attention. I was there too early for the advertised lunch special and wanted to wander. Then five minutes after Sunday breakfast, I was across the street eyeballing the place. I walked past it and noticed their lunch special advertised. A good sign, but I just ate. I walked away, I walked back, Tintin preached that I already ate, Captain Haddock added "blistering barnacles! eat man!". Captain Haddock won.
Welcome to Tour D'y Voir, home of the €16 three course lunch special. Read their online menu and you'll understand why Captain Haddock won. Located on Level 1, above a salad place, I was nervous that I was dressed improperly (shorts, tshirt, backpack) and that a reservation would be required. Fortunately, their staff put me right at ease, assuring me there was room and ushered me to their left side dining area.
This place is elegant and refined without being snobby. Notice the outdoor view, the furnishing, the paintings and their fetching menu:
 If you're ordering their lunch special, you won't require this menu. It's certainly fun to browse, though. They also have a nice wine selection. Sunday's lunch was not written anywhere so you must forgive my secondhand descriptions and be satisfied with pictures. The server apologized that first course could not be well translated into English, but I was sold with the words "pasta, cheese".
Even then, words were missed in translation. Here we have a small salad with a fruit vinaigrette (framboise perhaps?) accompanying the cheese (fromage) stuffed pastry (not pasta) topped with a tangier vinaigrette. The softened cheese had notes of sweetness (amazing my handwritten notes read). The pastry shell had the consistency of flaky phyllo dough.
The second course featured chicken and vegetables. The baked potatoes were lightly seasoned without their skins. The vegetables were cooked perfectly soft and retained their flavor essence. Not mushy, but separated easily with a fork. The chicken had such a savory smell. It was slightly moist with no hints of dryness. Bedding the chicken was brown gravy and two large onion slices. The onions were cooked until naturally slightly sweet.
Finally, I finished with the third course. It was a choice of coffee or dessert (beer cake). This beer cake was simply amazing. There is a slight beer-like taste amongst its doughy consistency. It doesn't overpower you, but simply states "I'm different than the rest". It was topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. Like snow, powdered sugar covers the plate. The crust was flaky and underneath was a dark brown boba-like layer. Each scoop of dessert revealed a new delicious flavor.

Tour D'y Voir opened my eyes to Brussels fine dining scene. I wanted more. Even if I missed Brussels Resto Days, I still had this lunch special. It even bettered my entire 2011 Denver Restaurant Week experience. The staff was friendly, helpful, quiet and efficient. The dish pacing was great and in between I had complimentary seasoned olives, bread and butter.
I strongly recommend this place for its service, decor and most importantly, it's food. And it's dog friendly too.
Enjoy the rest of the pictures. Here we have this dining area's bar (there's another dining area to the right as you come up the stairs).
Tour D'y Voir slowly filling up. Hushed conversation filled the room. Dress ranged from casual to business.
Comfortable seating for drinking enjoyment and conversation. Notice the artwork too.
The box containing my €16 bill.
Tintin and Snowy downstairs.
Captain Haddock at Level 0.

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