Restaurant review: L.E.S.S. – Bruges

Let me start off by saying that I’ve got an amazing team at work! Every time someone celebrates a birthday, we all chip in and try to find a present that the birthday boy or girl will love. As they know I’m in love with good food, they gave me a voucher this year for dinner at bistro L.E.S.S. in Bruges. Love. Eat. Share. Smile.

In Belgium, several of the big Michelin starred chefs have started up more informal bistros next to their Michelin restaurant. When Gert De Mangeleer decided to relocate Hertog Jan, he used the space to open up this Spanish tapas styled bistro. And last week, I finally got to eat there!

LESS Bruges exterior

Let’s start with first impressions: very friendly welcome by Charlotte, one of the excellent staff of L.E.S.S. The atmosphere inside was a mix of a town mansion combined with street art. Modern, but not too much. Classic, but not too much. And I was so happy to see that the backdrop of the restaurant was painted by Steve Locatelli, one of my favorite painters!

LESS interior wall by Steve Locatelli

The concept of L.E.S.S. is tapas that you can eat all through your lunch or dinner, but there are also several main courses “compartir”, to share. Charlotte explained us that we could order a couple of tapas and if we wanted more, we could keep on ordering or move onto a main course. The list of tapas was mouth watering, it wasn’t easy to make choices, let me tell you that.

I did not take any pictures of the food – that’s how good it all was. The L.E.S.S. website has almost the entire menu online, so go browse and check out what you’d like to order. For starters we chose the following tapas:

  • Pan con tomate ‘Coca de Cristal’: crunchy bread with fresh tomatoes and big grains of salt
  • Potato tortilla, pimenton de la vera: fluffy tortilla with some sort of hot spice on top
  • Zeeland mussels, in escabeche: incredibly tasty cold mussels
  • L.E.S.S. burger: a little burger packed with awesome flavors
  • Fried squid, aioli: a stack of fried squid with some mouth watering freshly made aïoli
  • Home-made croquettes filled with Ibérico ham: mmmm …
  • something that’s not online: fresh salmon slowly marinated in lime juice with crunchy vegetables

We wanted to try something from the “to share” list too, so we stopped after all these yummy tapas. We finally decided on the rib from milk-fed veal glazed with soja and sansho, which had been baked on a charcoal BBQ. Just amazing. It came with cold cabbage as well as a quinoa salad.

As I’m a big believer of desserts, I left some space for the sorbet of Spanish bio-lemons, doused with home-made limoncello. Normally anything with lemons in it, makes my mouth cringe just a little. Not this dessert, it was the perfect balance between sweet sorbet and lovely lemons. The limoncello was heavenly …

I will for sure be back. L.E.S.S. was an amazing experience of great food, a good atmosphere, but very important for me too: amazing service. The team that Gert has selected for this bistro are just outstanding. Go make your reservations now!

LESS team

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