L’Atelier de la Truffe Noire — Brussels, Belgium

One of the top restaurants in Brussels is the one-Michelin-starred restaurant, “La Truffe Noire“. This restaurant, which features truffles in nearly all of its creations, has a less-expensive sibling restaurant “L’Atelier de la Truffe Noire“.  My wife and I went to the
latter for dinner on our recent trip to Belgium.

I started with the vegetable consomme (check out the menu), which was a vegetable soup in a light broth with a strong truffle flavor. This was  quite good: the vegetables were fresh, the soup was not too heavy, and the truffle flavor enhanced the soup.  My wife pointed out, though, that this may not have been completely vegetarian, because it may not have been made with a vegetarian stock. (Normally, I wouldn’t have ordered a soup if I knew it was made with non-vegetarian stock, but it didn’t occur to me to ask while I was there unfortunately.  If you’re considering it, you may want to ask.)

My main course was a tortellini in a Parmesan cream sauce with black truffles. This was perhaps the most surprising of the things I ate at this restaurant. Despite the clear presence of truffles, the truffle flavor didn’t really come through. The pasta was very good, but it just tasted like a very good tortellini in cream sauce, without much in the way of truffle.  I would recommend the dish — as I said, it was quite good — but if you want something that’s very truffle-heavy, this isn’t the dish.

My wife went with the scrambled eggs with black truffle and toasted baguette (pictured at the top of this post). I tried some of her entree, and it was great. The eggs were a really simple preparation (creamy, almost “soupy” French-style scrambled eggs) with undertones of truffle. The simplicity of the dish really allowed the truffle to come through, and the creamy eggs went well with the crunchy toasted baguette. I definitely had some entree envy.

For dessert, we split an apple tart. I was unimpressed, even though I usually love apple desserts. The “crust” part of the tart was very good, but I thought the apples were kind of bland. Some cinnamon or sugar (or both) would have done wonders.

All in all, L’Atelier de La Truffe Noir was a very good restaurant in Brussels, especially if you like truffles. It is also relatively affordable; its sibling may be higher-rated, but it’s also much more expensive. The various dishes might feature more or less truffle in the flavor profile, but everything here was well done. The only caveat I’d add is to keep expectations in check for dessert: at least in my experience, it was not a strong suit. But I’d certainly go back: especially relative to most restaurants in Brussels, this place had a lot of vegetarian options, and those that I had were generally good.

The menu that was in effect when I visited (it changes every three months) is below.  And yes, this is the “cheaper” restaurant! (Return to the body of the post.)

Starters
Consommé of vegetables flavoured with white truffle oil 14.00 €
Crisp vegetable salad with aged Balsamic and parmesan cheese 16.00 €
Carpaccio of marinated salmon with dill, vinaigrette with Granny Smith 17.00 €
“ Vitello Tonnato ” with capers and poppy seeds on a bed of mache and endive 18.50 €
Beef carpaccio with roquette and parmesan cheese 19.00 €
Brésaola carpaccio with virgin olive oil and lemon 19.50 €
Shrimp cocktail with fresh tomatoes and parsley 21.00 €
Half lobster “en Bellevue”, aromatic salad 24.50 €
Home made foie gras with Noirmoutiers flower salt, truffle julienne, toast 26.50 €
“L’Atelier” truffle salad (Iceberg, wintercress, oak leaf, mache, parmesan cheese) 36.00 €
Luigi’s beef carpaccio with black truffles 39.00 €
Main courses
Vegetarian lasagna with mild peppers 16.00 €
Cannelloni with ricotta cheese and spinach 16.00 €
Grilled diced of chicken with soya sauce and a salad 18.50 €
Plate of assorted italian delicatessen 19.00 €
Grilled scampis with an aromatic salad 19.50 €
Plate of Parma ham and mozzarella di buffala 21.50 €
Beef tartar flavoured with white truffle oil 23.50 €
Tortellini with parmesan cheese cream and black truffles 29.50 €
Scrambled eggs with truffles, toasted bread 29.50 €
Millefeuille of potatoes with truffle cream and fresh black truffles 38.50 €
Royal Feast with truffles “Louis XV” 49.00 €

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