Lola, one of the chic restaurants in Place Sablon, Brussels, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. For the occasion, it launched a book that tells the story of the restaurant and also presents recipes of some of the most classic dishes served at the restaurant.
The brasserie Lola is the story of five people passionate about cuisine who launched the restaurant 20 years ago. The five friends, Caroline, Larbi, Henri, François and Laurent came together to create the restaurant which has become one of the highlights of this historic Brussels squares.
They started off with Les Faste Fou, a place specialising in salads just off Avenue Louise in 1987. Lola, their second project, six years later, was more ambitious not only because of the location but also for its cuisine.
A contemporary brasserie, it focuses mainly on seasonal ingredients. Its menu changes according to the seasons but it still retains many Belgian classics on its menu such as the ‘croquettes des crevettes’, the americain (or steak tartare) and the vol au vent.
In the course of the past years, some dishes served at Lola have become classics, such as the tuna tartare and the smoked eel or the Nicoise salad in memory of Saint Paul. You will find many of these recipes in the book which has just been launched. The book also tells the story of the brasserie and how its founders met.
The book’s author is René Sépul, a prolific Belgian food writer. It is published in Flemish, French and English and is available in most Brussels book shops.
If you love artichokes, this is a great time to visit the restaurant. At the moment, the restaurant is celebrating the artichokes season with a number of specific dishes featuring this ingredient including a carpaccio, a risotto as well as croquettes with artichokes and blue cheese among others.
At a recent event to launch the book, Caroline, Larbi, Henri and François were present. Laurent had unfortunately passed away soon after the opening of the restaurant. It was Laurent who had come up with the name Lola after a trip in New York, and who had also discovered the place in Sablon. He had known he was sick and by creating Lola, he wanted to leave something to his partners. That something has grown into a 20 year old success story.