One of the most beautiful brasserie in Belgium.
At first glance, the façade sets the tone for the journey. Since 1946, it has been a brand whose spirit resonates with the deep roots of the city; better still, it is a part of it in its own right. And it would not be too difficult to imagine a not so distant past, when the place would have been a real station in the heart of Bastogne, unloading waves of travelers. Nothing like that though.
Inside, the decor is like a terminus, it serves the atmosphere of the railway world, version Orient Express: wood veneer, enamel plates, pictures of platforms, various allusions to the world of rail and, ultimate points of the decorum, the two cars in front. All of this gives the place an extra touch of soul, in contrast to the tourist attractions in the heart of this high spot in our Ardennes.
Designed around the world of the "railroad", a term that could be compared to the Bertholet family, which for over 75 years has protected the track and remained faithful to the initial framework: to offer a cuisine of taste, marked by a remarkable know-how, offering a real experience; the whole enriched by a service with natural kindness and a true benevolence. Three quarters of a century after its creation, the Wagon Léo, from generation to generation, has succeeded in perpetuating this family spirit every day and at every service, without self-celebration, without boasting and with the sole and noble ambition of delighting its guests by relying on the will to "do good".
Arnaud and Grégory Bertholet are the chefs of this immense resort that is Wagon Léo. They continue the family´s work, moving forward, improving. Always.
One at the head of the ovens, the other in charge of the dining room. Before taking the helm of this great vessel, the brothers traveled, studied, learned and acquired from the greatest chefs by living their training in the greatest starred establishments in Belgium, France, the United States and Japan. These basics, these essential foundations often disregarded.
On the plate, the Wagon Léo relies on a repertoire of sure and absolute values, succeeding in the feat of sailing as well in the references of Brasserie - with the homemade fish soup, the excellent Croquettes with grey shrimps, the Real cannonballs in the Liège style, brown beer and syrup of Liège or the magnificent Vol-au-vent à la royale (farm poultry, sweetbreads, pan-fried foie gras and grated truffle) ; or a more Bistronomic approach with the Escargots de Bourgogne Label Rouge, the Couteaux en persillade au gratin au feu de bois, the Fish & Chips of fried cod, homemade pie sauce (highly recommended to amateurs of this kind), the Wing of skate, hazelnut butter with capers and lime or the inevitable Bouillabaisse Maison. The chef´s love for the great classics of French cuisine.
In fact, this apparent simplicity only reflects the taste of the times: when it is difficult to understand how the world around us works, it is better to protect our great classics, our sure values and to understand the contents of our plates. Similarly, the brilliance of a restaurant does not lie in the distance of a pretentious service. It simmers in the warmth of the welcome and the generosity of the cuisine.