I finally made a long awaited trip to Cafe Brussel last night. It was a positive experience, more so for the atmosphere than anything else.
I love the decor, the servers seem well versed in what the kitchen has to offer and they're knowledgeable about the extensive wine list.
I ordered a 1/2 litre of the house French Merlot, which wasn't great but it was my choice.
My dinner companion ordered Moules diable, with wine, cayenne, chili, garlic, tomatoes, also carrot and celery, which wasn't listed. The mussels were nicely cooked, not rubbery, but one or two didn't open. The accompanying frites were almost perfect, except a handful that were too small to do anything with. The homemade mayo that comes with the frites is quite nice, but I'm still partial to ketchup and/or vinegar.
He also ordered a Leffe Brune, being more of a beer lover than a wine lover (Shame on him).
I ordered Cassoulet, one of a few specials. The only other time I've had Cassoulet was in Paris, which perhaps set the standard quite high. I was disappointed in it for the following reasons: it was a mushy (almost the texture of canned beans) and there was a lot of unnecessary fat on the meat (duck, pork, sausage). I am aware that it's an inherently fatty dish, but the duck leg had a thick layer of fatty skin on it, almost thicker than the meat itself, and the pork was like a thick fatty piece of bacon. I took half of it home (it was a generous serving) and the only reason I'll eat it is because it was $36!!! I've already fed the fatty meat to my dog.
The total for two mains, a beer and a 1/2 litre of wine, with tax and a 20% tip was $120.