2020 was an odd blur of a year.
On the one hand the pre-COVID world feels like eons ago, a different era, a world from another lifetime. On the other hand, 2020 seems to have whizzed by, and that time in March when we were stuck in Belgium wasn't that long ago. As I approach the one-year anniversary of leaving Belgium, I've decided it's time to wrap up my blog posts about that crazy time. My goal will be to finish this long-running Belgium series by March 14th, the day we left Belgium a year ago.
I'll start this final "push to the end" by sharing about one of our favorite meals in Brussels.
Bozar Restaurant serves modern and upscale European food executed with Chef Karen Torosyan's creative artistry and obsessive precision. Located in the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in central Brussels, Bozar has held a Michelin star since 2018 and has a score of 17 out of 20 in the Gault & Millau Guide.
Dining at Bozar Restaurant means having a chance to marvel at Chef Torosyan's meticulously crafted culinary creations one course after another, culminating in one of his signature croûtes (preparations in crusts), like the pithivier (more on that below).
How it All Began - Chef Karen Torosyan and Bozar
Chef Karen Torosyan is Armenian and moved to Brussels with his parents for a better life when he was 18. Starting from the bottom as a dishwasher, he worked his way up, eventually getting the opportunity to train at a restaurant by David Martin, chef of 1-Michein starred La Paix.
Chef Torosyan's claim to fame is his signature croûtes, like the pithivier or paté en croûte. These stunningly beautiful, artfully crafted pastry crusts are hold all sorts of delectable fillings, such as duck, root vegetables, and foie gras. They are a sight to behold and an eating experience to remember.
Chef Torosyan's became the World Champion of Pâté en Croûte in 2015. It is through countless trials and errors by which he mastered the perfect crust together with each of the different internal components.
The Tasting Menu
At Bozar Restaurant, you can order a tasting menu with a shared pithivier as the main course. Unfortunately (for us!), a party of two can only enjoy a smaller pithivier, and therefore there's a more limited selection. Still, we loved the duck pithivier we ordered. In fact, all of the food was excellent, and the restaurant most certainly deserves its Michelin Star.
Our tasting menu began with several beautifully crafted courses, including an intricately assembled caviar-topped oyster and a delicate beef cheek ravioli with celery beef consommé.
Of course, the pinnacle of the evening was the pithivier. We ordered a duck pithivier made with Duck of Gérard Burgaud from Challans, foie gras, and root vegetables, layered ever so carefully.
Each pithivier takes 5 hours to make, and they must be pre-ordered. At the time, Chef Torosyan told us he only made one or two per day.
Each pithivier is numbered, and ours was the 221st pithivier. You get a commemorative keychain stamped with the number of your pithivier.
We ended with just a few mignardises, which was perfect.
This was certainly a memorable meal and this restaurant is quite unique in Brussels. I would highly recommend trying to eat here if you're visiting Brussels (but definitely book ahead, and make sure to pre-order that signature croûte!).
It's been a tough year, and Belgium struggled with COVID-19. Bozar was closed for some time due to regulations but during this time Chef Torosyan pivoted and created CASSE-CROÛTE by Karen Torosyan, a take-away business that offers 3 or 4 course menus (59 and 70 Euros respectively), as well as a la carte items that can be taken away and eaten at any time. This has allowed many of his guests to enjoy his artfully created meals this past year.
The restaurant is now open again, though the best way to find out the latest news is to follow their Facebook page, which they keep the most updated.
Bozar Restaurant Brussels
Rue Baron Horta 3
Tel : 02 / 503.00.00
Mail : [email protected]
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