Belgo recently celebrated a year of bieres, moules and frites in Nottingham.
Just over a year ago, the £550k, 180 seater restaurant bought a taste of hearty and delicious Belgian cuisine and culture to Nottingham. In that time, they have served up more than 11,000 kilos of mussels and 15,304 bottles of beer to a city that has fully embraced the spirit of Belgo (who serve up 52 craft beers – each served with their own drinking vessel)!
The restaurant specialises in Moules, which are rope grown, grit free and fully sustainable from the Shetland Islands. Traditionally served the Belgian way in mega mussel pots and cooked to order with frites and mayo, there are 13 mussel flavours to choose from!
To celebrate their first birthday in Nottingham, Belgo, situated at The Lace Market, staged a first birthday party which I was invited along to, and launched a brand new menu.
Once recovered from the free Prosecco and menu tasters, I was invited back for the full Belgo experience.
Just fancy a nibble? Chimay Cheese has been added to the selection; a mild, nutty Belgian cheese with rind washed in Chimay beer or try the Black Pudding Croquettes, served with piccalilli.
Keeping an eye on seasonal produce, two new starters using asparagus have been introduced. The White Asparagus Gratin with Mornay sauce, pancetta and sourdough bread, and the White Asparagus with pickled walnuts, feta and garlic & herb oil dressing. Vegetarians will also love the tasty classic Cheese and Beer Croquettes with tangy piccalilli and pickled beetroot. No visit to Belgo would be complete without trying the Moules Mariniere, served with garlic, celery, white wine, onion and cream.
Seafood lovers are going to love the creative new menu. Waterzooi Fish Stew has been added, a hearty classic Belgian Fish Stew with salmon, cod, mussels, prawns, red mullet, new potatoes, celeriac, and a Belgian Wit beer & cream sauce, or try the Pan Fried Whole Lemon Sole in meuniere sauce with new potatoes. For vegetarians there is the exciting addition of two new dishes, White Asparagus and Camembert Vol-Au-Vent with leeks, pakchoi and St Bernardus cream sauce or the Golden Beetroot and Walnut Salad with chicory, blue cheese, vinaigrette and syrup Liege.
The rest of the menu spans Belgian classics like Carbonade Flamande (slow cooked ox cheeks in Belgian beer), Liege Wild Boar ad Beef Meatballs, as well as Crispy Pork Belly and, one of my favourites, succulent Rotisserie chicken with your choice of sauce, Frites, Stoemp Mash or salad. All the steaks (and burgers) are premium British beef, freshly char-grilled and the frites are doubled cooked.
Pickled cabbage and Peppers with sauted leeks and bacon are a new delight to the selection of sides on offer, as are the new potatoes with butter and parsley.
Belgians are famous for their chocolate and it features in many of their dessert, from the delicious Chocolate Fondant with smooth salted caramel ice cream to the curls on top of the Waffles or Crepe, which are homemade and cooked to order.
Nottingham’s curious beer lovers and aficionados will find a nirvana-like experience as Belgo brings 56 different craft beers to the city –each served in its own particular, uniquely shaped glass or eccentric drinking-vessel!. I can also highly recommend the sassy Belgopolitan Cocktail – Vodka, Citron Schnapps, Pear Schnapps, Cranberry and freshly squeezed lime.
The restaurant was previously La Tasca, and whilst the layout remains the same .Belgo bought touches of the traditional Brussels beer halls into the city with big banquette seating and reclaimed wood booths. The design pays homage to the breweries that provide the beer, with barrels, hops and eclectic artwork. Beer drums hang from the ceiling and cast iron walls work perfectly with the reclaimed wood to achieve a modern take on the traditional – a look that embodies Nottingham’s stature and status as a city that’s modern, cosmopolitan but with a rich heritage too.
Belgo’s exterior is a pleasant spot on a summers day with it’s ‘Belgian market’ theme, plenty of large umbrellas are at hand though to fend off Nottingham’s occasionally less than continental weather!
Next time you’re in Nottingham, give Belgo a try, and add a little Belgian flavour to your evening.
9 Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB. Tel: 0115 9241765 Home | Belgo Bar & Restaurant
*Disclaimer. Belgo invited us and our meal was complimentary. Our views are our own.
Photos taken and owned by Tanya Louise with the exception of the Belgo entrance
Written by Tanya Louise