Test: Eneko restaurant, Basque cuisine is displayed in Brussels

Jan Scheidtweiler is hosting the Eneko Basque restaurant at the Radisson Hotel in Brussels: Basque cuisine in the hotel’s atrium.

When you fly three stars, the world is at your feet. Or brewery in Dubai? Own meal service? It’s still possible! Spanish chef Eneko Atxa and you also found the opportunities offered by the famous cuisine. Since earning a third Michelin star in 2012 for his Azurmendi restaurant near Bilbao, Atxa has built a global empire: from London to Tokyo, the chef runs eight other restaurants.

One of these eight establishments opened its doors this spring at the Radisson Hotel in the center of Brussels. The space that once housed Yves Mattagne’s famous Sea Grill on the ground floor of the huge atrium now serves decor at the Atxa Culinary Theater. This is not a warm place because the space lacks privacy. One can, however, sit comfortably, especially on velvet benches qui, tells des vagues bleues, undulating in the restaurant.

© Frederic Raevens

As he has already done for similar restaurants in Lisbon and Seville, the chef developed in Brussels a concept of brasserie combining Basque products and simple dishes. For example, it serves mussels with a spicy tomato sauce (14 euros) or the calcan seized on the charcoal grill (price of the day) and served with txakoli, a Basque wine.

For lunch, all these good things are unfortunately unavailable: the menu is reduced to less than half the number of dishes offered in the evening. With the exception of a banal bowl of salted walnuts, the naked Eneko Basque is also not used for tasting.

Then, fortunately, the sky clears. Vegetarian tartare, which costs only 7 euros, is excellent: a crispy bread and a beet sorbet are based on fine, well-seasoned beet dice. Dressed seafood with dressing (12 euros) is also tasty, although the bowl could have contained a little more than a pan and two large shrimp cut in half.

The tasty beef from the Basque selection Txogitxu (27 euros) is a generous main course. Although the menu states that the meat is grilled with charcoal, the aromas of naked fire and smoke are unfortunately not noticeable.

And the desert? The walnut ice cream served with a Basque chocolate cake (10 euros) is also typical and correct. L’Eneko Basque is not ideal in terms of frames and atmosphere, but it offers quality plates for Basque rescuers.

Eneko basca | Rue Fossé aux Loups 47, 1000 Brussels | goal. 02 / 227.31.06 | www.enekoatxabrussels.com | closed Sunday and Monday
157 euros for two
Beautiful menu of Spanish and Basque wines. Including a white from the Azurmendi estate. From 35 to 175 euros per bottle. Ten Spanish wines by the glass, from 6 to 12 euros
The atrium was deserted and ultra-quiet at noon this week
In return?
This reasonably priced quality cuisine is worth the meal, but here you come more for business meetings than for friendliness.

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