This restaurant, in my wife's home town in Belgium, is the only place we ever eat when we visit. I've been visiting for twelve years and the owner/chef has never failed to both entertain and delight. We have recently returned from a visit and once again our experience was faultless.
The beautifully styled decor of the restaurant, an eclectic mix of surrealism art and poetry, mainly focused on French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who stayed briefly at the hotel/restaurant in the 19th Century, establishes the playful and artistic tone of the place (check out the incredible 3x3m stained glass window at the front).
After ordering we were presented with a delightful amuse bouche of chicken and mussel voloute, roasted quail legs and a rillette of venison. Now, I never usually eat meat back in home but, given the trustworthy traceability of the meat, I do here and this was delicious! This was accompanied by an esquire cocktail made from freshly squeezed exotic fruits. No chemically produced 'parfumes' here.
The starter, which seemed enormous, was a sea bream, local cured ham and cabbage filo parcel on a bed of perfectly dressed salad. Simply amazing!
For main, we opted for the fish again, which was accompanied by roast potatoes and vegetables and a delicious variation on a béarnaise (not Choron, Foyot or Paloise).
Finally, we finished with a delicious chocolate torte.
At €30, not only was this a superb meal but it was excellent value too.
If, whether visiting for the Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps is close enough to hear the cars in summer), the famous three day Laetare carnival (it snows confetti for hours on the Sunday) or on a tour of the beautiful Ardennes region, you find yourself in Stavelot then head for O Mal Aime. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed: fantastic! :)
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