Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Belga Cafe in Eastern Market

I recently popped by Belga Cafe in Eastern Market for drinks and snacks before a Nats game. If you haven't been, it's a really cozy spot with a cute little patio out front, really friendly servers and bartenders, a nice albeit rich menu, and a great Belgian beer list. The weather was just perfect, a little dim for not-so-late in the evening, but that beautiful cool and crisp that is the beginning of fall. The lighting is dim and the general ambiance quite pleasing and comfortable, much like a good, authentic European bistro. We sat at the bar for ease of service, and because with such an extensive beer and drink menu it's a joy to watch what others order and explore with your own choices a bit. I stuck to my typical, at least as of late, Pinot Grigio. My friend, however, tried several selections on the beer menu, including an Orval Trappist ale and a De Koninck. Both were fairly rich and full of flavor, and really tasty. We split Lauwe Asperge Salade, or baked asparagus with frisee salad, slices of salmon “mi cuit” with coriander-butter. Wow, what a gorgeous combination, with the crisp greens and asparagus with the rich and melt-in-your-mouth salmon and the strong essence of butter throughout. Yummo. I also had the Vegetarian Plate which features pan seared salsify with nutmeg roasted market vegetables with balsamic and herbs’ oil caramelized belgian endives sprinkled with sherry-vinegar grilled asparagus. I don't generally each potatoes or starches of most kinds, and without those items I thought the plate was a bit small, but it was tasty nonetheless. The vegetables were roasted nicely until still slightly firm but infused with the oil and vinegar flavors quite nicely. My friend had Hoeve Kippetje Uit Brabant, or breast of chicken with braised Belgian endives and roasted fingerling potatoes. The chicken was crispy yet still moist on the inside, especially the dark piece of meat, and the endives tasted as though they had soaked overnight in butter. Certainly not light fare, but quite tasty and a great match for beer and wine for sure. A great spot for a pre- or post-game drink and snack for sure.

Belga Cafe
514 8th Street in SE DC

1 comment:

Anna said...

This place also does a great, albeit very popular and thus crowded, brunch. Try the green eggs and the waffles with caramelized apples.