Comme Chez Soi Brussels, Belgium

This great three-star Belgium restaurant remains a bastion for traditional food. Chef Pierre Wynants, capably assisted by rising star Lionel Rigolet, still manages the kitchens of this famous venue nestled on the back streets of Brussels, only a 15 minute walk from the historic, still awesomely majestic Grand Place. Our lunch there was superb, with everything impeccably cooked, presented, and flavorful. This is not exactly a place where diners are wowed by creativity, but is reminiscent of a Belgian version of the famed Paris eatery, Taillevent. The welcome by Marie-Thérèse Wynants is warm and inviting, the service is brilliant, and the food quality impeccable, but never flamboyant or overly showy. Everything we had was done perfectly, and the flavors were both refined and intense.

The wine list is impressive. We had a superb bottle of 1999 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste.-Hune, followed by a fully mature, gorgeously opulent, full-bodied 1990 Gruaud Larose. This is the kind of restaurant I would patronize frequently as I admire the traditionalism, purity, quality, and obvious respect for the classics of cuisine.

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