Alexandre is a restaurant located a few steps away from the place Rouppe and is the place which earned Alexandre Dionisio his first Michelin star. But since he took off to higher levels (let’s say the 23rd stage of the IT-Tower), from now on a woman is in charge in the kitchen. Isabelle Arpin forms a feminine duet with Anca Petrescu (wine waitress and the place’s owner) They hide behind this male eponym well-known in the capital.
A short time ago, I had the pleasure to benefit from a “La Fourchette” offer which allowed me to have a “discovery meal” in a gourmet restaurant. Given the recent change in kitchen, it was the perfect occasion to go there! It was thus without any a priori that I found myself at Alexandre in good company on a Friday at noon. Anca welcomed us as we sat down next to the window. Our menu consisted of three appetisers, followed by three dishes and in accompanying a glass of Riesling (Jean-Louis and Fabienne Mann, Chemin de Pierres): the perfect programm.
I’m not keen on shellfish and crustaceans, I therefore receive slightly adapted appetisers. The foie gras, served with its range of Jerusalem artichokes (prepared in three ways: cream, crunchy, and in raw small dice) deserves a special mention. Exquisite! On the other side of the table, my guest very much enjoys her meal too. We are as happy as could be.
Bread is served, we prepare ourselves to receive our dishes. This place ensures you go on a world tour, so much each dish has its own identity and savours. The meal starts with lacquered pork belly served with a large prawn tartar with an Asian touch. On our plates, we find a strong-tasted Tom Kah Kai frost which is a true delight. The menu continues in crescendo, whereas we are served roasted squab with oriental flavours. It is plainly to die for. A lumpia with dates and apricots, accompanied by a squab juice caramelized in orange blossom. Amazing! Sole negative note: the main course is outshined by the two preceding dishes.
To top off our meal, we can choose between two desserts. My guest gives the chocolate version a whirl, whereas I take the citrus fruits one. I enjoy this citrus fruits cream (orange, grapefruit, Kalamansi lemon) with a candied ginger sorbet rosemary meringue. Impecable to round this lunch off! We are spoilt a little more with preciousnesses (among which there is a really really good dulce de leche cake) before we have to dash.
Throughout the meal, Isabelle Arpin’s hallmark, influenced by her Spanish and Egyptian origins, can be found. We discover a fine and female cuisine but there’s not just that to it! In the end, who said a man was needed to form an unmissable duet?
Alexandre – Gourmet restaurant
Open from Tuesday to Saturday
Rue du Midi, 164 1000 Brussels
Translated from Chez Alexandre by Feodora