Thursday, January 14, 2010

Saint-Amours in Bruges

Bruges, Belgium

Ry & I were in Belgium, land of good food, and decided to try one of the more notable restaurants in Bruges, Saint Amours (Also known as 'T Voermanshuys). The restaurant is in a vaulted basement, and very romantic. The main dining room has about ten tables total, and on the evening we were there (In the major off season), it was about half full, all couples. Definitely not a singles scene, and all of us were clearly out-of-towners, so not a locals-joint, either. The cuisine was definitely "Haute"- there was a lot of gelees and ice creams.

Ry and I were served an amuse-bouche that featured several preparations of fish. Now, full disclosure, not my favorite genre, but I tried everything. There was a lobster consumme, that I didn't love, but didn't hate, either. I could detect a nice buttery flavor to the broth. Ry enjoyed it, and the bite of lobster within as well. There was also a piece of white fish, served cold, over a smoked salmon cream. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this quite a lot.

We shared an appetizer of pheasant stuffed with foie gras, which was quite decadent. The pheasant was served cold, and on the side eight or so small deconstruted bites accompanied the dish.

For my entree, I cut to the chase and ordered the steak frites, which was phenomenal. The steak was tender and flavorful, and served with a really nice jus. The frites were by far the best we had on the entire trip. Skinny and salty. Ryan had a haddock in a cream sauce, which was delicate and really clean.

For dessert, I opted for the cheese dish. We were dissapointed to discover they had sold out of the chocolate cake (booo), so Ryan instead chose a pear dish, which was good, but not exactly chocolate, if you know what I mean. The house red and whites were quite nice, but no other wines are available by the glass, though the wine list looked really nice.

For the money, this place was fantastic. We were shocked by how highly-priced and touristy most other restuarants were, so given the fact that We were having 40-plus euro lunches, we thought this place was a steal- I think all said and done, it was around 150 euro. If you ever find yourself in Bruges, I'd definitely check it out!!

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