In ‘t Spinnekopke (translates to, in the spider’s web) is located on a small square near the old fish market on the Square Bloemenhof. The square and the route necessary to locate it looks like so many others in the winding turning lanes of central Brussels. The restaurant occupies an old stagecoach Inn built in 1762. You enter just below street level through a small door. To the left is a service bar and behind it the larger of the dining rooms while a smaller room to your right. The tables in this room are impossibly narrow in this cozy room complete with wainscot, wooden banks, and old beer adverts on the walls. The cleverly chosen oval, oblong plates allow you to eat across from your fellow diners but the danger of the dinner plate falling into your lap still remains.
The menu is classically Brussels “cuisine a la biere” with most dishes being made with the addition of Belgian Beer. Chef Jean Rodriguez’s menu is enormous offering guests more than a dozen different preparations of mussels (moules frites), Brussels’ eternal dish. Favorites include the Cocquil St Jacques and the Scampi in tomato cream sauce starters. A wise choice for a main course is the delicious Carbonade Flamande, a tasty Flemish beef stew made with a Belgian Brown (typically sour) Ale. It is rich, spicy, with notes of ginger, pepper, and brown spices and incredibly tender practically melting in your mouth. Do you have a sweet tooth? You’re in luck as Spinnekopke offers more than two-dozen choices.
The Beer menu includes about a dozen selections on tap featuring Cantillon Lambic. The bottle list is fantastic and extensive. It features more than 100 bottles of ale including a great selection of Trappist Ales and a wide selection of 750ml bottles of many styles and brands. Of course, everything is served in its branded glass to complete the experience.
The service is very efficient and friendly albeit a bit stoic. English only speakers will be treated with great care and welcomed as if you were a local. An evening at Spinnekopke is certainly one that could not be duplicated at home. Now you have another reason to visit Brussels.