La Branche d’Olivier
A country air blows over the Branche d'Olivier, a village house in Ucluse located on the edge of the Kinsendael nature reserve. You have to pinch yourself to convince yourself that only a few streets away the noise and the fury of the city take over. The sign has survived the years without ever failing. For good reason, the hyper coherent approach keeps far away from the effects of fashion. The setting is decorated with old-fashioned wood panelling and tiles to give it the look of a Parisian restaurant.
With 'Bistrot gourmand' as a subtitle, the address puts its cards on the table. It is in the spirit of culinary tradition, with dishes from the brasserie: poached egg with grey shrimp, mousseline sauce, salmon and foie gras tartar with hazelnut oil, pan-fried sweetbreads, foie gras and melting leeks, roasted veal kidneys with tarragon mustard.
Faithful to the codes of the genre, the slate delivers daily suggestions and we stopped struggling in front of the almost fairy-like greediness of the Petit Salé with lentils, the black pudding from Parra's with apples, the warm Sabodet and potato salad or the roasted lobster with spices.
The plate reflects the seasons, the market and above all the enlightened inspiration of the chef, Jean-Claude Demurger, roaster and skilled saucier.
Wine lovers are also in for a treat: a good hundred nicely calibrated references, as well as fifteen or so pretty suggestions, decorate a daily changing wine scene. These divine beverages are offered as an escort to unbeatable gourmet combinations. The service is in the same vein; the team, led by the excellent and cheerful Donat Eppe, turns with precision, between zealous enthusiasm and cordial benevolence. All the soul of this beautiful house. We love it.