This is a country-wide tour of more than 35 classic Belgian bistros, the kinds of places that have been doing things a certain way for decades, most of them with a signature style that can range from a focus on seafood to an iconic dish that draws people back for visit after visit.
Toni De Coninck, a Belgian food writer, clearly knows the restaurants he profiles, the strengths of their menus, the clientele they attract, and the families who own and operate them. He's done his own very good photography here, both of interiors and people as well as the food you might eat in Antwerp, Brussels, Gent, Ostend, or Verlaine.
It's more accurate to say that he writes appreciations of these places rather than reviews, always making it clear where the strong points of the menu lie, indulging in a little nostalgia of his own about the archetypal cooking they serve, and providing you with the kind of fondly opinionated perspective you might expect from a very friendly local.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.