Estaminet ‘T Rijsel – Lille

After our brief visit to Belgium, we stopped by Lille in Northern France.  We wandered the city centre for a while, checking out the local shops and quiet streets.  I bought a new wallet 🙂

We stopped for lunch at Estaminet ‘T Rijsel, a teeny Flemish restaurant on the Rue de Gand.  The restaurant was dark and was lined with picture frames and mismatching timber chairs.  We were welcomed by the owner and ordered a local beer from the long beer menu.

The specials board - Estaminet 'T Rijsel

It was hard to choose, but the owner recommended one of their specialties – a beef stew.  Beef stewed in beer.  Beer??!  I had no idea what this would taste like.  I was presented with a rich beef stew.  It was thick in consistency and had clearly been stewing for hours.  The beef flaked away and the stew itself was slightly sweet.  The stew came with a side of frites – just as good as Bistrot Paul Bert in my opinion.  I was happy with my stew – and it was less than €10.

Beef stew - Estaminet 'T Rijsel

Mr Ana ordered a board (le panche) with a number of home-made things on it – pate, sausage, rillette (a rough version of pate), and some cheese.  This also came with a side of frites.  Some might find a side of hot chips weird, but I swear these chips were really yummy.  Super crunchy and crisp, but still fluffy on the inside.  The sausage and rillette was tasty, as was the pate.  The pate was a little rich in liver for me, but that is just my personal taste.  The ‘board’ was €12.

Board of pate, rillette and sausage - Estaminet 'T Rijsel

I also ordered dessert – a generous slice of spiced chocolate cake with a scoop of speculoos ice cream…  Ah, my tummy was happy.

Chocolate cake with speculoos ice cream - Estaminet 'T Rijsel

This little restaurant was charming.  Thankfully we went after the lunch rush so our food came out promptly and we had responsive service.  If I have the fortune of returning to this side of the world, I think I’ll stop by and have some more stew.  And some speculoos ice cream… hmm, I think I’ll go and raid my stash of speculoos biscuits!

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