Each weekend I try to do at least one thing fun, something I can look forward to the entire week. This weekend I went to the opening of restaurant L’Envie in Sint-Denijs, Belgium.
Gastronomic restaurant L’Envie opened its doors this weekend for its first customers (that was us!). The restaurant is owned by David and Inès, a young couple that used to work for different Michelin starred restaurants. Our expectations were quite high after reading this: a spotless serving of delicious foods on a high level.
After a somewhat nervous welcome, we were seated in the lounge for a pre-dinner drink. Being the first customers it was somewhat uncomfortable to be stared at by the idle waiting staff. But the setting was good, cozy and warm. We enjoyed a glass of champagne with an appetizer before we were seated at the table. Sadly for those arriving after us, there was only room for eight people in the lounge so they had to go directly to their tables.
The restaurant is quite small, giving it a rather exclusive appearance, decorated in a sober but elegant style and seating for only 20 people. Entering the restaurant, the setting and décor answered to our expectations. The look of the menu, however, was quite frankly a bit of a disappointment. It was a craftwork of paper stuck on paper, something that could be created by a five year old. A little sad, we expected more, especially since this is the moment you are introduced to what is still to come. We chose the Plaisir menu, a 6-course meal with matching wines.
The food served was truly delicious but perhaps a bit on the small side. However, this being a gastronomic restaurant, I assume this could be expected. The dishes were tiny artworks on well-chosen and beautiful plates; excellent choices there. Each meal was served with matching wines, presented by the hostess. The information about the wines did come across as a bit forced and rehearsed; maybe due to the nervousness of the first service? The wines were delicious but I personally did not find them all perfectly matching the dishes. But well, I am no sommelier.
Some other disturbing things were the inexperience of the waiting staff and the restroom. I found the young staff to be unprepared and their lack of experience showed. Or maybe it was because there were just too many waitresses. Whatever the reason may be, tasks were not clearly divided, our questions about the bread went unanswered, every couple of minutes a waitress asked to refill our glasses with water and clean glasses were removed when only one minute before they were put on the table.
Now, for the restrooms, this is probably something that bothers few people but it does bother me. It is just that I do not like it if men and women have to use the same toilets. I am a bit weird in these kind of things. I find it unhygienic and unsanitary with these urine splatters all over the floor around the bowl. Ieuuwh!
After leaving L’Envie, I was a bit disappointed. Being the first night of service, I had expected a small attention for the guests but sadly, there was none. I feel that perhaps I could have enjoyed the food more if there was more on my plate, if my attention would have been focused longer on the tasty foods and less on everything around me. Luckily I had some very good company that made this an enjoyable evening but I will probably not go back to L’Envie, sorry.
My score: 6,5/10
Next weekend on the agenda: visiting little Ella in Norway 🙂