Selecto serves comfort food, though you wouldn’t know it to look at it. It’s a bright, open space with attentive, formal staff. But as Rue de Flandre’s latest homage to slow food and ‘bistronomy’, the restaurant uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to serve up creative, French-inspired food meant to warm the body and soul. Its meats are dressed in rich, creamy sauces, the pork proudly dons its fat and the chef is not shy about using salt or butter. At times it lacks refinement, but then your beef carpaccio and fois gras entrée arrives, or the Montélimar nougat dessert, and you forget your doubts.
Selecto lacks a decent beer list, but makes up for it with its interesting and well-priced wine list which focus on small producers of organic and natural wines. As an aperitif, the prosecco méthode zéro is thoroughly recommended.
The concept is simple: you choose your two- (€32) or three-course (€38) meal from a short menu of entrées, mains and desserts that change regularly. You can enjoy all the best sides of Selecto, including a glass or two of a surprising and delicious house wine, for around €50 per person. But for those on a tighter budget, they offer a daily two-course lunch for €18.00.
95-97 Rue de Flandre, Brussels, tel 02.511.40.95;
I ate here with a couple of friends a few weeks back and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. We had booked late, so we were seated in the kitchen, which turned out to be a great opportunity to watch and listen to the chef's as they prepared the evening fare. The service was attentive and knowledgeable and I daresay friendly, so unlike my usual experiences in Brussels. The homemade bread was so good we ate two baskets. My starter of Raviolis stuffed with foie gras, duck and mushrooms was so good I could eat it every day. My maincourse of the Sea Bass (Bar) was equally good...it was served on a pumkin 'crisp' ( like a fruit crumble, but savoury instead of sweet). As we had eaten too much bread, we had no room for desserts, but would love to try them on my next visit. All told, Euro 50 per person... fairly reasonable considering the quality and experience. I hope they stay around!