Beer connoisseurs can appreciate an eclectic selection varying in color, flavor, and style, while showcasing different regions. Among the countries with a longstanding pedigree in beer production is Belgium, known for its versatile arsenal of brewers. Since flying to Belgium requires a lot of planning and money, a trip to Midtown’s Brabant restaurant will transport you there with an authentic take on Belgian dishes complemented by a wide selection of national beers.
Named after the historic region in Belgium that was later divided, Brabant is classy and adheres to the traditional Belgian brasserie. The walnut interior is quite spacious and is complemented by a white marble countered bar.
When it comes to the beer selection, Brabant delivers with 50 Belgian beers by the bottle and 10 more on tap, each served in a glass branded with the beer’s logo. The menu includes St. Barnardus Abt 12 ($12), featuring hints of Cognac and espresso, and Petrus Aged Pale ($8) for a sweet apple and oak flavor. Selecting one beer may be quite daunting given the options; however, the bartender is quite knowledgeable and will help you navigate the menu.
With a beer in hand, take a look at Brabant’s array of appetizers that are perfect for sharing. Order a round of croquette de Gruyerè ($8)—the original Belgian cheese croquettes that are crispy and oozing with goodness—and Bitterballen ($7)—Benelux sirloin-filled round mini croquettes complemented by tangy mustard. Of course, you’ll want to share an order of the classic Belgium frites ($6)—crispy hand cut fries served with mayonnaise and ketchup.
If you crave moules then Brabant will not disappoint with its selection of mussel pots ($22) all served with fries. Go classic with the mariniere, which offers a white wine marinade with garlic and leeks. If you are feeling adventurous, consider the wild Duvel, which combines buffalo hot sauce, Stilton Bleu cheese, garlic, and Duvel beer. This one offers a bit of a kick.
The main course merges together a number of familiar dishes with Belgian flare. Burger lovers will enjoy the Brabant burger ($16), a 10-ounce blend of ground beef sirloin, short rib, and brisket topped with grilled speck and a dollop of scallion aioli all served on a brioche roll. Such a meaty combination offers up one hearty meal.
To stay on the cheese route, check out the Belgium mac & cheese gratin ($16)—Gruyerè cheese blended together with béchamel, Ardennes ham, spring onions, and black truffle sea salt all baked in special clay pot casserole. Meat lovers will rejoice with options such as the short rib carbonnade flamande ($21)—boneless beef short ribs braised in dark Leffe beer, caramelized onions, prunes, and apples served with truffle whipped potatoes and petite carrot garni—the slowly braised ragout of Ardennes wild boar served with homemade chive spaetzle noodles ($20)—or the classic steak frites ($29), a 16-ounce Hereford strip steak topped with Cognac peppercorn sauce and served with fries and salad featuring Stilton Bleu cheese.
A night in Belgium would be incomplete without dessert. Have no fears. You will satisfy your sweet tooth with one of Brabant’s Belgian waffles. For the perfect combination of sweetness and liqueur, consider the banana foster waffle ($10) featuring brown sugar rum caramelized bananas and vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and toasted walnuts.
Chocolate lovers will devour the chocolate decadence lava cake ($9) served warm and topped with Callebaut sauce and vanilla ice cream. Brabant also offers the limburgse wild berry strudel ($8)—a delicious blend of apples, walnuts, and a medley of berries served in a cinnamon sugar baked puff pastry.
If Belgium is on your list of places to visit, consider a more reasonable price alternative when it comes to sampling the food. Brabant has not overlooked the details in highlighting the essential elements of Belgian cuisine. Whether you are looking for a place to grab a few beers and share a few small plates with friends or are craving an authentic pot of moules frites, Brabant serves it up with class at a reasonable price.
316 East 53rd Street
New York, New York 10022
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