La Maison du Cygne – Brussels

April 11, 2006

cygne-5.jpgLa Maison du Cygne is an elegant old restaurant in a 1698 building on the Grand-Place.  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met here twice a week in 1848, but the clientèle now is mostly expense account, which may or may not support their manifesto.  The main dining room, on the first floor, is panelled in old wood etc.  The tables are well spaced and it is quiet.  The ground floor is a tavern and light lunch place and can be a private salon at night.  There are cygne-3.jpgthree more private salons on the second floor.  All four had private parties the night we were there; I imagine that is their main business.  We were told to ask for a table by the window, which we got, but it proved nothing as the seats face into the room.  Anyway, we had seen plenty of
La Grand-Place by then.  The dining room was only three-quarters full, but the service was excruciatingly slow. 

Instead of an amuse-gueule, you are offered either a plate of smoked fish or one of ham and melon.  Linda’s first course of a millefeuille of asparagus was very good and my salad of lobster and artichokes was okay.  The main courses, after an hour wait, of filet of beef with foiecygne-2.jpg gras and a risotto with sweetbreads were good.  The wine list was extensive and surprisingly reasonably priced.  We skipped the desert, but stayed for the complementary glass of champagne offered by the sommelier, who was obviously more upset by our wait than were his colleagues. 

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