Chef Chat

Belgian Dinner Delight

Last week, we interviewed Chef Andrew Klarman of Jeannine's Bistro. Then we tried his traditional Belgian cuisine for ourselves.

When we arrived, we were greeted by an elderly gentleman playing the accordion. The accordion is not something you expect as house music, but it was a nice surprise. Some of the customers were drinking wine, but the majority were indulging in Belgian beer. (Nothing goes better with Belgian cuisine than Belgian beer.)

We started off with a cup of the pureed white bean soup, the soup of the day. It had the creamy texture of a cream-based soup but without the richness -- instead, it was nice and mild. Our dining companion ordered a salad of Belgian endive and vegetables dressed in a simple vinaigrette.

For our entrees, we ordered two of the seven types of mussels on the menu, moules escargot and moules au curry. The perfectly tender moules escargot were served in a buttery garlic sauce with whole chunks of garlic. Our dining companion, who is a mussel fanatic, said they were the best mussels she'd ever had. The other mussels came covered in a creamy curry sauce, which was thick and flavorful with a bit of a spicy kick. The curry mussels were a nice change from the mussel preparations we have had in the past.

And of course, we had to order French fries, or Belgian fries, as the restaurant calls them. The thick-cut, homemade fries came in a traditional paper cone dusted with salt and pepper. We can definitely see how readers like andylowatco would go to Jeannine's Bistro just for the fries.

After our meal at Jeannine's Bistro, we are definitely Belgian food fans. Next time, we'ss be adventurous and try some of the other specialties on the menu.

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Jane Catherine Collins