Leon de Bruxelles is a French restaurant specializing in Belgian food, more precisely mussels and french fries. Leon de Bruxelles is a franchise originally created by a Belgian family that has run an over 100-year-old Brussels restaurant named Chez Léon.
In this article, we will see if this franchise is a place you should try and if it is worth your time and money.
The Léon de Bruxelles we attempted to eat at in Villiers has a mostly green exterior and plenty of parking spaces.
In front of the restaurant are mainly places for the disabled, and this place is not the easiest to walk into, to be honest, as the direction is not quite intuitive. This is the kind of place you would drive to and park in rather than walk into, in my opinion.
Inside the restaurant, you will first see the bar and the walls, which they have decorated with many old photo frames. They also have a children’s play area, but that specific day the air castle was down. Inside, the restaurant looks very traditional and reminiscent of the sea.
The tables are pretty comfortable, and the place, even though it has a lot of stones, still feels warm. There are two menus that are the same but in different forms.
The menu is mainly Belgian; the theme of the restaurant is seafood, more precisely mussels. With the restaurant serving Belgian food and Belgium having the North Sea, it’s only natural that everything is about seafood and fish, including burgers.
They also serve beer, wine, drinks, and desserts. The menu is only available in French, at least at this specific location.
The most popular dish on the menu is Nos Cocottes, mussels cooked in a large pot with different ingredients of your choice. For example, mussels with curry madras or with wine, blue cheese, etc.
The traditional way they cook mussels is with some fresh herbs; our favorite was the one with wine and cream.
This is my first time eating at the restaurant; my impression of the service was very good, and the staff was professional. They saw us with a baby and asked if we needed a chair for the baby to sit on the sofa; they were very welcoming, and we were served quickly.
As an appetizer, we chose the Fritto Misto Léon.It’s a dish that includes fried squid, fried small fish, and acras león.
I was surprised because the fried small fish were delicious and crispy, while León was very salty for me but still delicious, especially with the tartare sauce served.
We ordered a Léon and Affligem’s beer; the Léon beer is lighter and tastes better in my opinion, probably better for women, while men tend to like stronger beer.
For the main dishes, we chose Cocottes Leon, Moules Gratinées Leon, and Poêlée de Crevettes Cajun.
The Cocottes Léon
The Cocottes Leon consist of mussels with Isigny Ste-Mère whipped cream, celery, chives, and white wine.
For me, the mussels were very big and salty, with a taste of the sea, very fresh, and very well prepared. The mussels cooked in a large pot were the best in taste, but you could still taste the product.
The Moules Gratinées Léon
They cook mussels with Grana Padano AOP, Emmental cheese, Isigny-Ste-Mère fresh cream, shallots, and breadcrumbs and eat them with french fries.
The Moules Gratinées Léon let me down because there was too much cheese to taste the mussels, and it was not enough for one person. Also, it was served cold, and the taste of the mussels was in retreat; perhaps for this kind of dish they use different kinds of mussels or at least older ones.
The Poêlée de crevettes Cajun
This dish consists of marinated shrimp, Cajun spices, roasted peanuts, coriander, and rice.
As everyone knows, Cajun spices are made from paprika, cumin, salt powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, dried oregano, cardamom, caraway seed, dried basil, and dried mustard. So when mixed with shrimp to cook, it will create a very delicious taste.
They have fried rice to mix to eat; the rice mixed with the sauce is very fragrant and fatty, with a little bit of Cajun spice.
This dish was small; it was decent in taste but nothing exceptional. For me, it’s not worth ordering it over the traditional cocottes.
7.6 out of 10
Overall, the service in this restaurant was good, but most of the dishes were a bit underwhelming.
For example, the Moules Gratinées Léon and Cajun dish was too small for one person and for the price. The positive side is that the fries on some of these menus were all you could eat.
If you go to León, just order beer, appetizers, and cocottes with mussels. Since it’s honestly what they are famous for and their best dish in our opinion.
Léon de Bruxelles
Address : ZAC des Portes de Ancien, Boulevard De Friedberg, Chemin de Villiers, 94350 Villiers-sur- Marne
Phone : 01 49 30 60 36
Website : restaurantleon.fr