Visited this beer restaurant in January 2012 with a bunch of friends; one had to cancel, so the first thing we were met with upon installing ourselves at the table, was a complaint from the owner that it took him valuable room to have one chair unattended - at a moment when there were only four other customers present. Only after he had overheard us discussing beer and noticed us ordering some of the more special brews, did he make a turn for the better and started chatting with us about beer enthusiastically. He had a few less obvious beers available and the food by itself was quite refined compared with many other restaurants at the seaside; I did not quite understand, however, why he has chosen a simple (and oxidized!) pale lager, which was allegedly exclusively made for this restaurant alone, to pair with the main course. Everything seemed overpriced as well. Somehow we could all feel things were not going too well for this business and now it has apparently closed down, but I don’t know if it still exists in some other form or location somehow. In all, I was glad I went there, but I think beer and fine gastronomy, a combination which doubtlessly offers numerous still unexplored possibilities, still has a long way to go in Belgium.
Owner Christophe Pelfrène stresses that De Bistronoom is a restaurant and not a beer bar, people asking for just beer will politely be told to try one of the pubs in the area. As a beer restaurant, De Bistronoom rivals everything I’ve tried so far - the food is always bought the same day, fresh from the sea or a farmers field. The cooking is subtle, never heavily spiced, and often with an eye towards Belgian beer culture. Christophe will recommend beers with each course and then pick up a 75 cl bottle from his vast collection (250+ bottles - probably the largest 75 cl beer bottle collection in Belgium). If you’re fond of great food and good beers, De Bistronoom rightly earns its place among the Best Beer Restaurants in the World.
29 May 2013 UPDATE: Due to disagreements with the landlord, De Bistronoom was forced to close in mid March 2013. However, the owners are fairly positive that the restaurant will re-open at another location in or near Ostend in the future.
Beer and Food pairing at its best. Only the finest and freshest ingredients are used and you can really taste the difference. On my visit, the cooking of fish was perfect, the seasonning always spot-on and the presentations truely beautiful. The beers which were selected, already great by themselves, complemented the dishes amazingly well. Service was accordingly flawless. Terrasse in a sunny day was a blessing, with the view on the marina, it was just perfect. Can’t wait to go back, really. Some people complain about the price. If you have indeed a smaller budget, I suggest you show up at noon and try the lunch menu. You will have access to the same quality of food at a much lower price. To enjoy with your eyes closed and a smile on your face.
Expected a lot from this one, but after all, it was a bit of a disappointment. Almost no chose on the menu, beers that you get to pair with the food are in a very small amount (not even a half glass). But worst was our food was not even warm, and we got some extra’s on the bill. One time and never again for us probably. The service was good, the food was (besides the temperature of the maincourse) very decent (some smaller isues, like some stuff had to less taste) but mostly in to small portions for the price they ask for it. Above mediocre for me. Got 2 places much closer (in a 10km radius) that serves in my opinion better food (not "beer-restaurants" tough...) for the money, and I live in a place where there is almost nothing :)
Very nice restaurant, especially the fact that they use less known beers both in food and in pairing. The service is superb, when Christophe talks about the beers you can see he has a real passion for the product!
gEUS (85) Linden, Belgium | January 22, 2012| Updated March 3, 2014
Visited on January 20th at lunch time. The location is great, next to the Ostend Yacht Harbour. The service is just excellent as is the advice in beer-food pairing. Ingredients are super fresh (I had the smeus and a tartare of fresh tuna, raw cocquilles St Jacques and grey schrimps), ambience is good (quiet and enough space to have an intimate conversation). Beer selection is mainly Belgian and focused on specific beers that are aligned with the food that is served. No-nonsense beer restaurant, very friendly service, great cooking... All in all, great value for money. Definitely worthwhile visiting!
F_radar (30) Paris.Bxl.Geneve, France | December 30, 2011| Updated January 4, 2012
On est bien loin du gastro, selection tres generaliste. J y retournerai sans doutes l annee prochaine pour voir si l evolution est bonne. Un bel endroit un peu surevalue a mon avis. On est pas au niveau de hvl et en cuisine loin des brigittines.