It has been a long, long time since we have been to Brugge Brasserie, (it was pre-blog days even) and the reason was the last time we went, it wasn’t very good. This time, it was really good and I look forward to my next visit to mix it up a little bit.
First of all, it was pretty impressive how busy this place was on a Monday night. It just goes to show, a quality independent can be successful. Our server was also much friendlier than the one we had last time and was helpful in answering questions.
So, we started with the endive salad which was mixed greens with some chopped endive, candied walnuts, blue cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. The salad was really tasty. The blue cheese was good quality and went really well with the candied walnuts. And when they say candied, they mean it; I mean there were some bigger pieces in there that looked like pieces of walnut brittle. The salad was properly dressed and we ate every bite. If I was going to be picky, I would say it was maybe just a little too sweet, with the candied walnuts and the raspberry vinaigrette, but I still really enjoyed it (and hubby thought it was great just the way it was). It was certainly enough to share between 2 people. There was a spinach salad as well as a special salad with caramelized fennel and pear. They both sounded really good as well. Next time.
For our dinner, we ordered the mussels Provencal. One of Brugge’s specialties is the mussels and they serve them in many different flavored seasonings. The Provencal was French Chardonnay, French Butter, herbs de Provence, shallot and garlic. I certainly like all of those things and it was really hard to choose amongst the different choices. Let me start by saying, it is nice to eat at a place with enough turnover that you know you are getting fresh mussels that are correctly prepared. They are also the smaller size that I prefer (yes, boys, size does matter, and bigger isn’t always better). As far as the mussels themselves went, they were super high quality. As far as the Provencal seasonings, I would prefer a bit more flavor. I saw one big garlic clove in the pot—instead of that maybe some minced garlic and some fresh herbs would have added a bit more? And even more shallots would have been good I think. I did enjoy them though, although I will definitely try another flavor next time. Hey, I have had lots of recommendations to eat here from readers. Tell me what your favorite flavor is for the mussels—I would love to know.
The 2 pounds of mussels (again, certainly enough to share) come with a bit of French bread and an order of frites with 2 dipping sauces. The frites, I will say, were outstanding. The combination of the frites, the dipping sauce and the mussels made a fantastic combination in my mouth. Again, they give you lots of choices for dipping sauces. We went with the regular aioli (mayo with fresh garlic) and the roasted garlic aioli (with roasted garlic obviously). The roasted garlic was much milder in flavor—I really preferred the regular aioli—it had a great garlic bite. I would probably get that one again and add in a new one next time. (Again, what’s your favorite flavor)? As far as the size of the frites, the ones that came with the mussels were really enough for the two of us, although if I had had more, I certainly would have eaten them. They were great. Rated up there with the best in the city.
Now, I know it is sort of sacrilegious, but we didn’t have the beer. Brugge is known for its own brewed beer and have won awards for it I understand. What can I say? I am not a beer drinker. We had wine—and I was glad to see a new wine list with some dryer choices. Last time most of them seemed pretty sweet as I recall.
I love dessert crepes, so we had the nutella crepe. Nothing super fancy, but tasty nonetheless. It was a sweet crepe filled with nutella (a hazelnut chocolate spread if you are unaware) and drizzled with raspberry sauce and cream. Hubby wasn’t a fan of the raspberry sauce detracting from his nutella, but I liked it all together.
All in all, I am really glad we went back to Brugge after all this time. It was a thoroughly enjoyable meal. (Note--they also serve many other things besides mussels, such as crepes, soups, and regular entrees as well. So if you aren’t into mussels, there are other options, although I can’t vouch for them (not yet anyway).)
(Don’t forget to leave your comment about your favorite mussel seasoning and frites dipping sauces! I gotta figure out my game plan for next time.)
1011 A East Westfield Blvd.