review

'L'auberge des Maïeurs': farm fresh

Onze score

In Sint-Pieters-Woluwe/Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Sarah Potvin and Jérémy Verhelst have transformed L’Auberge des Maïeurs into a restaurant that’s all about local back-to-basics ingredients. Great!

It’s the kind of set-up that makes you want to go see it for yourself. It’s run by two people in their thirties who acquired some agricultural land near Wezembeek-Oppem in 2012. Seven years later, this entirely organic project, named “La Finca”, has come on in leaps and bounds.

In addition to their three original hectares, they also have a new plot in Overijse (five hectares), two shops, and now a restaurant. The farm on the outskirts of Brussels, which produces 40 varieties of vegetable and ten varieties of fruit, supplies products to a network of individual customers, as well as to the two shops and the restaurant mentioned above. It was the latter that we tried out, one very enjoyable evening.

Located in a peaceful corner of Sint-Pieters-Woluwe/Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, the place is instantly enchanting. Its renovated features give it the feel of a village square, or of the gentle English countryside. Inside, it’s beautiful, especially at the table where we were seated, which faced the bar. The decor, with its bare beams, is softened by contemporary decorative touches, such as the wallpaper with a pretty pattern of pink flamingos.

Taking our order was Sarah Potvin, a young farmer with many strings to her bow. She’s not just there to add up the bill: she talks about her project with passion, taking the time to explain everything in detail to the diners. The food is equally generous. We were hooked as soon as we tasted the starter, a smoked leek with fresh goat’s cheese and onion confit (€16.50). The dish was delicious, hay-smoked for an intense aroma which was balanced beautifully by the sharpness of the cheese and underlined by a touch of sherry vinegar.

As a main course, we had a supreme of chicken served with purple artichokes and an excellent mango coulis with curry and fresh coriander (€25.50). We loved that the chicken had been slow cooked and, as a result, was as tender as it was juicy. Not cheap, perhaps, but allow us to remind you that everything here is certified organic. Finally, the meal would not have been complete without wines that also deserved that label. We were not disappointed, with vintages such as the marvellous and completely natural Garance, a 2016 Burgundy by Montanet-Thoden (€7 a glass) bursting with notes of red berries.

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