Early Autumn is the season. Wandering through town you cannot not notice that they have arrived: The Moules from Zélande. All over town you will see them served in big pots – with their shiny black shells and the slightly orange-coloured flesh inside. It didn’t take long until our cravings were unbearable: We wanted Moules. Now!
Where to? Friends had recommended several places, and we too have tried a few in the past. But we hadn’t found the perfect spot so far.
Then we came across “Le Zinneke“. A places highly recommended by friends – the place serves nearly 70 different types of Moules (obviously served with Frites.)
At first we were a bit reluctant: The restaurant on Place de Patrie in Schaerbeek seemed a bit far out: Yes, one has to take a bus. (However, it is very easy to reach!)
As we had read on the internet that the restaurant does a happy hour offering -25 % on food before 8:30 pm, we reserved a table for around about 6 pm. (My cravings were so huge, I couldn’t have gone there early enough!)
From the outside the restaurant looked like a cosy place, with a board outside advertising Autumn Specials – and also highlighting, that all the food here is organic and regional: The restaurant adheres to the principles of “Slow Food”.
We stepped into a nice interior, however, the place was empty. Had we chosen the wrong place? By no means! What we didn’t know – and what came as a lovely surprise – was that this venue has a quaint little terrace out in the back!
As soon as we were seated we were handed menus – presented in a Bande Dessinée (a comic book).
Originally we had only intended to go for Moules. But then we discovered a “Menu-Special”. For 36 Euro you can have a three course Moules-Menu. (Starter of your choice, Moules with Frites of your choice. And of course dessert.)
So we pushed the boat out: Homemade Cherry Paté, Snails in Butter and Garlic – great starters in bigger-than-expected sizes.
The main atrraction, though, were the Moules: one portion steamed in white wine, the other in a Champagne sauce (called “Snob”). Both Moules were excellent; you could taste the difference that fresh, high-quality moules make.
The dessert was a tough decision: Mousse au Chocolat was a must, but what else? The friendly waiter recommended the Trio of Crème Brulée. Good, too, but it just couldn’t compete with the to-die-for Mousse!
We will definitely go back to try some of the other Moules (they also do Spicy Moules and Moules in an Organic Beer Sauce.) We also might try the other specialities on the Menu. People around us were tucking into Filet Américain and lovely fish dishes. Also we would love to give the Kriek-Sorbet a try.
By the way, the owner was kind enough to give us his recipe for the Moules in Champagne-Sauce. So we will give them a try at home one of these days: It’s in French, but who says you can’t cook and practise your French at the same time!
Disclaimer: We don’t do sponsored posts or Advertorials or any other advertising on our blog. For this post, however, we agreed to a cooperation with Slow Food Brussels. This is how it worked: WE chose the restaurant (and picked Le Zinneke, which had been on our list anyway); WE chose our food; WE paid for our food; WE wrote the blog post without interference. Slow Food Brussels only paid for the rights to use this blog post on their website etc. Le Zinneke did not know until we were finished that we were “mystery shopping”.
Recipe for Moules in Champagne-Sauce a la Zinneke
- 1,100 kg de moules Golden
- 1 oignons
- 1 branche de céleri
- 1 cuillère à soupe de thym moulu avec de l’huile de tournesol dans un hachoir électrique
- 10 cl de champagne
- 30 gr de beurre
- poivre broyé
- cuire à feu moyen 3 à 4 min
- incorporer les moules bien égouttées
- faire revenir dans une casserole avec le beurre, les oignons et le céleri émincés
- Nettoyer les moules en enlevant les bardes et autres coquillages sur les coquilles
- ajouter le thym et le champagne, couvrir
- quand les moules du dessus commencent légèrement à s’ouvrir secouer la casserole afin de
- remonter les moules du dessous
- laisser cuire doucement encore 3 à 4 minutes
Le Zinneke, Place de la Patrie 26, Brussels // www.lezinneke.be