Reviewer abroad: A fine dine in Bruges at Pergola Kaffee
Situated right on the banks of one of Bruges’ most romantic canals, Pergola Kaffee is a serene and magical place. Right in the middle of town, the restaurant is barely a three minute walk from the old market square. The outdoor terrace for warmer climates offers a view of the canal below but dining one level down, in the cellar at water level, was perfect the intimate interior for cooler climates.
The candle-lit room and deep rouge-coloured interior heightened the restaurant’s stylish and decadent decor, a sign of the meal to come. Complete with a trendy bar, and walls adorned with members of the restaurant’s extensive and impressive wine list, the room glowed with all the quaint romanticism of the old Belgian town.
We enjoyed a glass of cava before enjoying our appetiser, a delicate quinoa salad topped with smoked shrimps. At the sommelier’s suggestion, an Italian Chardonnay accompanied our entre course, a fillet of rainbow trout and an assortment of almond accompaniments. Flaked almonds encrusted the soft white trout flesh, halved roasted almonds sat alongside a bed of warm spinach, blanched whole almonds mingled with citron jelly and almond mayonnaise puree rounded off the quartet.
Again, we took the word of the sommelier who served our skin-on salmon together with a light French red wine. The perfectly cooked salmon, adorned with fresh tomato foam, fell away at the soft pink centre. Generously sized, the fresh fillet paired nicely beside a Moroccan cous cous and an array of fresh tomatoes. We finished the meal with crme brle, with black vanilla beans dotting the silky smooth custard beneath a thin layer of hard caramel.
So easily does this dining experience suit the nature of Bruges, as intimate and unassuming as a slow stroll beside the picturesque canals of the old Belgian town. With expert service to enliven such a profound wine list, Pergola Kaffee is an unforgettable must in Bruges.