Bruges, Belgium’s Malpertuus: city center but the intimacy of light years away [classic article]

In any famous tourist destination, the vast majority of restaurants are packed with, well, tourists. They can feel like theatrical set-ups, completely devoid of charm. The food is the lowest level they can get away with. When this isn’t the case, you breathe a sigh of relief. And that, dear reader, is why Bruges, Belgium’s Restaurant Malpertuus is so special. I’m so glad that I was hosted to be able to experience it!

For a unique atmosphere, take your meal in the Medieval 16th century cellar with roaring fireplace. But this is no “Medieval Times” . . . the cuisine and background music — Euro pop — is modern. On the table were olives and little garlic crisps that you do see frequently at Belgian restaurants.

An amuse bouche of veloute’ of asparagus and coulis of cauliflower was served. It was mild in flavor, but accented by minced raw onion.

House salads are tossed with fresh herbs.

I got to taste the rabbit prepared with beer and onions: the meat was sweet and tender.

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