Witloof, Maastricht – Beer Heaven

beer rack

Beer heaven a.k.a Witloof restaurant in Maastricht is a paradise for those who love beer.

Located on the attractive Sint Bernardusstraat and shared with Tout à fait and Bistro Boeuf la Roche (two other restaurants I can’t wait to try) Witloof translates to Belgian endive in English. Endive can actually mean different vegetables depending on which english speaking country you are in and I’m not going to go down the dark path of settling the chicory/frisée/endive confusion.

Serving up Belgian, grandmother-style classics like “stoofvlees” and “gegratineerd witloof”, Witloof is something special. Every dish has two or three beer recommendations which is very helpful considering they have over 400 Belgian beers to choose from and is a great way to try a new beer you wouldn’t normally order. If you like beer, continue…

jeanke beerUpon arrival we were greeted with two fresh Jeanke beers which were especially brewed for Witloof from the brewery in Belgium and under the “Bier-Apéritiefke” section of their list. Beer as an aperitif? Awesome. You have the option to choose an aperitif beer to be served upon arrival when you make the reservation and I absolutely love this idea. Beer first, talk later. Why doesn’t every restaurant do this?

They hand you a gigantic double-sided board which contains all the beers with their numbers which pair to the food. Just be careful you don’t accidentally smack your neighbour with the painting sized menu as you flip it around trying to play beer bingo.

massively huge beer menuThere is actually a back-side to this beer map!

croquettes with Belgian flagFirst course we ordered the chicken and beef croquettes and “gegratineerd witloof” and had beers paired with both dishes. I love croquettes and these didn’t disappoint – crispy on the outside and oozing with a heavy helping of pulled chicken and beef. The “gegratineerd witloof” (my girlfriend’s favourite), was also approved with a heavy layer of melted cheese covering braised Belgian endive and ham. Classic!

First two beers were Blanche de Bruxelles’s white beer and Lupulus Hopera from Luxembourg. Both beers were incredible but for me the Blanche de Bruxelles’s stood out as my favourite beer of the night. Light and very crushable, the beer was perfect with the croquettes. I could have easily eaten 10 of those croquettes. Delicious.

braised rabbitI’m a big fan of the grandmother style plates!

The star of the night was the “rabbit grandmother’s way” which was paired with a smooth Moinette Brune. I absolutely love the old-school Belgian recipe for the rabbit and it was cooked very well. Although this dish was pretty heavy for summer it was something I really wanted to try and was perfect with a well rounded dark beer. In Canada, we struggle to find “Canadian” recipes because the country is still young and seeing classic dishes of Europe like this rabbit stew always makes me a little jealous.

moinette beerMy girlfriend had the beef “stoofvlees” which was tasty and was paired with an ultra-smooth  Tangerlo Blonde. With the two meat stews and heavy beers on the table they then bring a big plate of dangerously good fries to share. Awesome.

tangerlo beer

After dinner we were allowed to check out their “beer cave” with what must be pictures of the beer gods frolicking around the ceiling.

beer rackAll the beers we tasted were incredible and if you like beer I would highly recommend. What I love most about Witloof is they keep it old-school by serving “grandmother” style dishes and growing up outside of Europe makes these dishes even more interesting for me. Top quality beer, nice service and casual comfort food make this a place you have to try at least once.

 

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