Day two of Liège and after tramping up the river to La Boverie to look at, frankly, not very much (local boy Luis Salazar, while pleasant on the eye, seems to make one trick ponies seem protean creators) I was definitely in the mood for food. As were my old chums of many a European lunch of the past few years.*
Leblanc, a butchery-restaurant, despite its name is face-slappingly red on the inside. Or perhaps I was still in a state of fragility following an evening of darts, heavy metal in Warzone and gallons of Belgian beer avec les Liègois the evening before.
It’s no surprise to find that the menu goes large on meat. In fact in the way of mains the menu instructs piscaterians and veggies to either max out their starter or ask their waiter what there is out back. Fortunately we were a party of carnivores so that wasn’t a problem.
While we perused the menu we thought we might get an aperitif of the local hooch, peket. However, we had to order everything at once and the peket, despite being ordered, never arrived. Though neither were we charged for it at the end.
With meat for main I had a starter of shrimp croquette. The server, who wasn’t easily distinguished from a curmudgeon, didn’t enquire whether I wanted that in starter or main size and I forgot to specify so I ended up with two croquettes the size of house bricks on a bed of prawn sauce with a smidgeon of salad. They were delicious and deceptively dainty in their superficial massiveness and for once I had the appetite to handle Big Grub.
The main of locally-sourced fillet beef was a thing of perfection. Butter soft, cooked the way I like it and everything a piece of high quality butchery should be when it arrives on the plate. That is, the focus of the show. A peppercorn sauce helped me devour a bucketload of chips and I can’t remember what the veg was as I was in a beef-induced reverie but I know there was some.
My two fellow diners were less gruntled with their beef but not catastrophically so. A good burgundy at around 30 quid was a perfect accompaniment and we erred on the side of caution in not going for a two bottle lunch.
Dessert was declined in favour of coffee and also because we weren’t really feeling the big lunch vibe. Already a jolly party we were by no means discontented, but with one server struggling to keep pace with the demands of a fairly busy room the extra bonhomie that you need from a host to encourage an all out assault on the waistline and liver was definitely not forthcoming.
To see which other restaurant I’ve been to go to the google map …
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).