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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Belgo Nottingham. Opening night. A very favourable impression.

This is less a review and more of a very favourable impression of the brand new Belgo bar and restaurant on Weekday Cross just at the edge of Nottingham's historic Lace Market area. Belgo opened tonight and it is the first of the chain to open outside of London.

The Nottingham branch is housed in the building (No9) that was the former home of La Tasca.


The beautiful spiral iron staircase remains but the bar has improved (over 60 types of Belgian beers! Oh Lordy!) and the interior is that of a typical Belgian bar - bistro. My impression is that there is more seating than in La Tasca and the service tonight was top notch and perfectly attentive without being intrusive.

For my pre-meal Belgian beer I chose a pint (extended to a pint and a half over the evening) of Delerium Tremens. This beer was elected as the best beer in the world in 2008. It pours bright golden and is known for its sweetish palate with lots of warming alcohol.


  
For my mussels dish (and they do lots more food dishes than the moules) I chose the Belgo BBQ and French fries. Within a decent amount of time they arrived steaming hot and were juicy and plump rope grown mussels from the Shetland Isles. I got talking to one of their London staff, an impressively well versed guy called Giedrius from Lithuania - drafted up from the London branch for the launch - and he told me that get through 2500 kilos per week in London Centraal (Covent Garden). Mussels are their signature dish. We also had - within the restrictions of his time working - an interesting conversation about how the various Belgian beers are suggested to match or compliment a certain dish and even sometimes to challenge them. The guy had to work but I would have loved to have listened to his passionate knowledge for much longer.

Meanwhile the equally amiable James brought my mussels to the table.


The BBQ flavour was just enough to give a hint but not overpowering. The mussels were so much better than I had in 2015 in Bordeaux. Much better. As I mentioned - very plump and fresh tasting. Yum!

For dessert I had a crepe with blueberry sauce and ice cream. I was a bit surprised the crepe wasn't hot but the dessert was very enjoyable just the same.

I didn't fancy a coffee so I just paid the bill and spoke to a couple behind me about Belgo. The light was just perfect for a photo of them and they kindly went on to explain how they have often eaten at Belgo in London and that they like the vibe and the food is always good with some nights having special offers on the food if you eat early on. I didn't get your names but thanks guys. Phil


Just before I left (and paid the bill - oh I said that already) I took advantage of some good photo opportunities to show you readers the new bar restaurant that is Belgo. Enjoy. I would certainly go again. I saw a great mix of folk at the bar sampling the beers and families there eating. The low key background rock music was kinda cool too.








PS: It is not quite as dark as the second picture from the bottom shows! It was raining outside with sunlight streaming through the front windows causing this silhouetting effect.

Phil Lowe

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