Hotel restaurants are becoming trendy local spots to eat out in Brussels. The Jam Hotel serves Asian street food. The Moxy has a Belgian menu. And the vintage hotel Le Berger draws a mix of locals and tourists to its relaunched and renamed restaurant Fripon.
Located in a quiet back street of Ixelles, Le Berger was once a louche rendezvous hotel where couples would book a room by the hour. But then it became a trendy vintage hotel with an interior that evokes jazz age Belgium. A cool, sexy place.
The restaurant is a relaxed, sober space with a few art deco touches from the old days. Its name seems to fit the location. A fripon, according to the dictionary, is a rascal, a scallywag. A zinneke, you might want to say.
The restaurant was originally Italian. Then it switched to traditional Belgian cuisine. Now the kitchen focuses on a small innovative menu with several vegetarian dishes.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.