Last spring, I took a train to Brussels from France, arriving on an exceptionally rainy afternoon (it always seems to be raining in Belgium, but the truth is the rain only adds to the city's charm, and if you get yourself a waffle while walking it, it's a major bonus). I was armed with a full list of suggestions from trusted sources: Clarisse Demory and Marianne Evennou, two Parisian designers who frequent Belgian cities.
First on my list was a visit to Viva M'Boma (meaning "long live my grandmother"), a sparkling white-tiled restaurant located in a former butcher's shop. Owners Katia and Brice Ruebens are on a mission to keep the traditional delicacies of Brussels alive, and Chef Olivier van Klemput explores cooking with just about every part of the animal (as Katia's great-grandmother had done). N.B. Go on a day when you're feeling adventurous (and carnivorous).
Above: The exterior is painted in a deep blue with tile to match and a bold, graphic sign you can't miss.
Above: Rainy day streets reflect in the front windows.
Above: A mounted pig's head guards the cellar door. Photograph by Marianne Envennou.
Above: Marble tables and white wooden chairs in the front room.
Above: A chalkboard sits on top of the black painted radiator and is moved from table to table to describe the specials of the day.
Location of Viva M'Boma in Brussels:
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