Neighborhood Restaurant and Gathering Place Offers a Welcome Respite and Comforting Fare Amid Challenging Times

A little bit of Europe nestled in the heart of SoNo, that’s what you’ll find at Bruxelles Brasserie. Chef Roland Olah’s dream of opening his own place was coming true as he opened the restaurant’s doors in December 2019. His European-inspired dishes were very well received from the press and diners alike and the cozy bistro-like setting offered comfort from those cold and snowy months. A couple of months later Chef Olah would shift gears a bit as the pandemic began to take hold. Still, the flavors and creativity from both the kitchen and the bar kept customers coming back for more, and they did, in take-out form.  

Fast forward to today and customers, new and loyal are once again filling barstools and tables as delightful aromas escape the kitchen and permeate into the dining areas – an additional indoor space has since been added, in addition to the outdoor dining areas. The brasserie continues to entertain those with discernible tastes, eager to patronize the small establishment, and Chef Olah is happy to feed them his wonderful dishes.  

Bruxelles buzzes with energy and the bar program is as strong as ever – You’ve got to try their Gin Bowls! But Bruxelles, like most restaurants, is experiencing an entirely different pandemic problem, a severe shortage of staff both in front of and in back of the house.  This means that Chef Olah wears many hats in the kitchen these days with a greatly reduced crew in there to assist him. 


But with last year’s 90-minute time restrictions, diners should look at this as a positive and not a negative. Isn’t it a good thing to linger a little longer? Perhaps enjoy an extra glass of wine and the company of good friends? Hasn’t the pandemic taught us all to be present, slow down and enjoy each other’s company? Well, what better setting than in a restaurant surrounded by dear friends?

I hadn’t been to the brasserie since it first opened and Chef prepared a few new seasonal dishes that will remain on the menu through September. The watermelon salad with cucumber, feta, Mache, mint, and basil is wonderfully refreshing and perfect for a warm summer day. His Tuna Tartare is a crowd favorite, topped with avocado mousse, grilled scallion dressing, capers, and rice crackers. The Branzino with vegetables Provençal, roasted Campari tomatoes, and olive purée was as exquisite to look at as it was delicious. The aforementioned items also happen to be gluten-free for those with celiac or gluten sensitivities. Whether you’re full or not you’ve got to order the delicate and flaky apple turnover, with its flaky buttery phyllo layers and tender sweet apples and warm custard is just the things that dreams are made of!

I couldn’t head home without ordering something for my boys and so the Steak Frites fit the bill perfectly. It traveled well and the meat was still warm and pink inside. The delicious jus was packaged separately.

Check out their website to learn all about their daily specials, weekly happenings such as their Monday Mussels program, their terrific Happy Hour menu, and specialty cocktail program.
Brasserie Bruxelles is open seven days a week.
Reservations are strongly recommended.
Monday thru Friday 5pm –  close, Saturday 12-3 Brunch, 5pm Dinner – close, and Sunday 11am-3pm Brunch, 5pm Dinner – close