Having just arrived in Bruges and feeling pretty exhausted from the early hours of the morning start, we had little enthusiasm for venturing out anywhere special for our first night’s dining experience in Bruges so asked the advice of our host, and friend Chantal Lowyk of Woodlands PediSpa, (and Hosue of Friends, Brugge), stating that we’d like to eat ‘where the locals eat’, and definitely nothing touristy. Chantal gives us two suggestions and manages to obtain a reservation at one, Bistro Christophe.
After a few wrong turns but some much needed cool air to our lungs, we finally find this ‘jewel in the city’. The bistro is full to bursting with a warm and friendly atmosphere permeating the stylish but simple dining room.
The Bistro Christophe is a little more ‘up-market’ than we have intended this first night in the city but as we feast our eyes on the delicacies that are being offered it was clear we have made the right decision by coming here. Mmm… so much to choose from within the pages of the mouth-watering menu, and as we watch the waiters deliver freshly cooked delights from the kitchen to their respective tables I realise just how hungry I am.
After much deliberation, we choose Stuffed Tomato Salad with an abundance of Fresh Shrimp from Zeebrugge, and Cheese Croquettes (these we share), followed by Chateaubriand (for 2) with fries, salad and pepper sauce.
Appetisers – local delicacies
The appetisers are fantastic – with the Zeebrugge fresh shrimp being the tiniest little things I’ve ever seen from the shrimp family – they are absolutely delicious in their light sauce stuffed inside a ripe and juicy tomato, sitting on a bed of lettuce. Wow, the taste buds are totally enjoying this superb first course. The Cheese Croquettes, full of tasty cheese that is neither too runny nor too firm – the perfect consistency all packed inside a crispy breadcrumb jacket – YUM!
Now I’m sitting here wondering how on earth I’m going to fit in the Chateaubriand! This is my introduction to Chateaubriand. My partner has for some time been holding forth about the excellence of this prime piece of meat so I must say I’m intrigued to find out if it is all it is made out to be.
A Chateaubriand to end them all
Chateaubriand, in fact, does not refer to the cut of meat (as some wrongly assume) – which is the centre cut of beef tenderloin – but is the particular way in which the meat is cooked. It is said that originally the dish was created by the personal French chef of Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), a French author and politician who was a connoisseur of good food – hence the name!
Whilst we await our main course we enjoy the relaxed vibe of the bistro, watching as diners enjoy the exquisite food and wine, and of course great company and stimulating conversation of good friends and family.
As noted previously, the bistro is simply but beautifully decorated with stunning fresh flower arrangements. Framed artwork adorns the walls with tasteful objet d’art smattered throughout the dining room – nothing ostentatious, just style and elegance.
Finally, the ‘piece de resistance’ arrives. And yes, it’s the most delicious and tender piece of meat I have ever tasted, and it’s being devoured with much relish by both my me and my partner – it’s literally melting in my mouth – Wow! The delicate flavour of the pepper sauce beautifully accompanies the tenderloin, along with the yummy Belgian fries and a healthy salad. Since the meat is so rich there is little need for much else on one’s plate. So, now I see what all the fuss has been about…. I’m now a Chateaubriand devotee!
I just can’t say enough good things about this elegant Bruges bistro. The staff are welcoming and helpful, offering guidance on the best menu options, though in truth everything here must be amazing – these people know what they are doing and how to cook! They are extremely professional and seem to enjoy being in their workplace.
Next time you find yourself in the beautiful city of Bruges I highly recommend you drop by Bistro Christophe to enjoy the amazing cuisine and ambience of this very special little gem in the city.
How to find Bistro Christophe
The restaurant is fairly central and about a 10-minue walk from the main market square.
8000 Bruges, Belgium
Tel: 050 34 48 92
Suggestion: Feel like some after dinner drinks? A short walk past the canal will bring you to a lovely wine bar with a great selection of wines. Read our review of Wijnbar Est