Aux Armes de Bruxelles has come up with a particularly innovative way to celebrate its 100th birthday.
This iconic Brussels restaurant is offering an amazing 50 per cent discount off the cost of a meal.
Not only that but the restaurant owners will invite all centenarians of the Brussels Region to dine free of charge.
The remarkable double package is partly the owners’ way of saying “thanks” to their large and loyal band of customers who have stuck with them throughout the still ongoing health pandemic.
The restaurant, widely acknowledged as a genuine Brussels culinary institution, is celebrating its very own centenary this year.
As such, the Vanlancker family, which have owned the restaurant for generations, wanted to do something special to commemorate an extreme rarity – 100 years of the same restaurant.
So it proposes to give everyone the opportunity to register, accordingly for a period of 100 days (from September 29 to December 31, 2021), for a special 100th anniversary card. The card will give the right – again for 100 days (from January 15 to April 24, 2022) – to a 50% discount on the entire table (excluding drinks.) Here is the link to subscribe to the 100 year Aux Armes De Bruxelles card.
In addition (and during the same period) the owners have decided to invite all centenarians of the Brussels Capital Region free of charge, with their families.
The generous gesture is highly symbolic of course as it is aimed directly at those people in Brussels who were born in 1921, the same year.
It is estimated there are 270 people who may qualify for the offer in Brussels so the message is: apply now for your 100th invitation!
The Vanlancker family had, in fact, planned another kind of way of celebrate the restaurant’s centenary – a big masked ball.
But, with masks of an entirely different kind still sadly the order of the day due to the coronavirus pandemic, the idea was shelved in favour of the free and discounted offers.
The restaurant is, happily, now back open 7/7 (the kitchen doesn’t close until 11 pm) and serving some of its trademark delicious Belgian classics.
Even better news is that the “temporary” menu, in place due to the pandemic and which has about 70 per cent of the normal choice, will very soon be replaced with the usual full a la carte selection.
For most Brussels restauranteurs, the recovery is not happening at the speed many had hoped for and business at most is still way below the pre-pandemic levels.
The story is similar at Les Armes de Bruxelles which, in terms of covers, is reportedly operating currently at about 60per cent of what it was doing before the pandemic hit.
But its hard-working team are working tenaciously to help get things back on a normal footing.
They include waiters like Sylvia who diligently offers advice and tips on the card to diners, and Xavier, who “entertains” guests with his crepes flambées.
The current menu is packed with favourites like croquettes aux crevettes and escargots along with mains offerings such as carré d’agneau, waterzooi, vol-au-vent and carbonnades. There’s a nice fish choice including filets de sole de la mer du Nord maison (champignons, crevettes, moules and homard crème). If moules are your thing then you won’t be disappointed here as there’s a big choice of these too.
There is an excellent selection of desserts and a particularly impressive wine card which, like the cuisine, are all very reasonably priced.
Look out too for the business weekday lunch: a choice from four starters and four mains, plus dessert.
The Vanlancker family are still having to cope with the fall out from pandemic including the new Covid Safe Ticket which will apply to Brussels only.
This imposes an additional burden on all restaurants and the fear is that its requirements, including showing that you are fully vaccinated, might act as an disincentive to people eating out.
Hopefully, that will not happen, certainly in the case of this wonderful restaurant. Located just metres from another great Belgian icon (the Grand Place), it can count of many famous clients in days gone by, including Jacques Brel.
The fact that people like Luis, its Portuguese-born head waiter, has worked there for almost 30 years (remarkable in the horeca trade) is testament to the sense of loyalty that the Vanlancker family enjoy from their employees.
You can be assured of a lovely welcome here and count of very good food and wine as well.
The message from one and all is: Happy 100th birthday Les Armes de Bruxelles! Here’s to the next 100 years!