I wouldn't want to over-state what you're getting, but Brabant serves good casual Belgian brasserie cuisine, and it's inexpensive. Moules frites
were $22, a wild boar ragout with a side of spätzle just $20, excellent Bitterballen for just $7, and almost 70 beers to choose from.
The space seats 120, but it's spread out over several rooms and doesn't feel
that big. Still, it's a lot of seats to fill. They're open for lunch and dinner, as you'd expect, but I wonder who'll be there for a late-night menu served till 2:00 a.m., or for Saturday and Sunday brunch. Nothing against those hours, of course, but this is 53rd and Second.
The chef, Armand Vanderstigchel, claims among his many talents and occupations: cookbook author, media chef, spokesperson, restaurant consultant, TV and radio host, instructor, writer, corporate chef, food judge, and food stylist. That’s not the complete list. So a year from now, it’s a safe bet you aren’t going to find him in Brabant’s kitchen. There’ll be underlings executing his recipes, perhaps not as well as they do now. For now, it's all you want a casual Belgian brasserie to be.
The place seemed slightly under-staffed, but service was mostly attentive and helpful, and the server’s ordering advice was spot-on. The owner introduced himself: a gentleman I’d not met before, for whom Brabant is the first restaurant on his own. The space was between one-third and half full on a weekday evening, which is not bad, considering the size of it. You want nothing but success for this guy.Blog post here