A Taste of Central Europe - Not Far From Home
A Taste of Central Europe - Not Far From Home
Enjoy authentic European-inspired cuisine right on Broadway at Brasserie Benelux
When Chef Armand Vanderstigchel first visited Saratoga Springs in 1994, he knew he’d someday open a restaurant here. Years later, he’s now head chef at his own restaurant – Brasserie Benelux – located right in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs.
A casual, European-inspired restaurant, Vanderstigchel said he’s learned many cuisines throughout his career but wanted to celebrate the European beer and food culture.
“As a cooking teacher and an executive chef, I’ve learned many cuisines, but I specialize in something not many people are familiar with – the cuisine of Central Europe,” said Vanderstigchel.
While Brasserie Benelux might be his first restaurant in Saratoga Springs, Vanderstigchel is no stranger to the food industry. He’s the author of two Adirondack-inspired cookbooks, with the second being picked up by PBS for a 12-episode series, as well as the creator behind “Wings Across America” – a cookbook completely dedicated to the chicken wing.
Vanderstigchel can also hang his chef’s hat on previous roles such as executive chef at Bethel Woods where his responsibilities included feeling 15,000 people per show in a farm-to-table atmosphere – an experience he considers a crowning achievement. Currently, he’s an ambassador for the National Buffalo Wing Festival held annually in Buffalo, N.Y. and was recently inducted into its Chicken Wing Hall of Flame.
Today, you’ll find Vanderstigchel on the line in the kitchen at Brasserie, ensuring every dish is served at its finest.
“Everything is homemade, made from scratch,” said Vanderstigchel. “My wife, Tatsiana, is a pastry chef, so it’s great to have two owners back in the kitchen cooking.“
From short ribs slowly marinated in beer, to the ever-popular Schnitzel and his authentic Swedish meatballs made from scratch from a 60-year-old recipe, Vanderstigchel said he’s had customers come from as far as Utica for a meal.
“We treat our customers like stars,” said Vanderstigchel. “I take every opportunity I can to come out and talk to the customers. It’s hard to get people to come in for their first time, so I think it’s very important that we always thank our customers for coming in and dining with us.”
Along with authentic Central European dishes, Vanderstigchel and his staff have worked hard to incorporate European beers into the experience as well – especially since “Brasserie” quite literally means “brewery.”
“When you go to a county like Belgium, Germany, and go into a restaurant, they have a hundred different beers,” Vanderstigchel said. “50% of them you’ve never heard of from small, local breweries.”
Brasserie Benelux boasts taps imported from Europe that are centuries old, and that you can’t find anywhere else. But Vanderstigchel also feels it’s important to support local, so you’ll find taps from Frog Alley Brewing, Brewery Ommegang, Common Roots Brewing Company, Paradox Brewery, and Doc’s Cider.
Transporting you to a restaurant or café situated in Central Europe, Brasserie Benelux seats more than 100 people. The restaurant has a warm, cozy feel, which is exactly how Vanderstigchel and his staff want patrons to feel when they sit down for a meal.
“We bend over backwards to make our guests happy,” said Vanderstigchel. “More often than not, our customers comment on how they wish they had come sooner because of how great the food is. They can’t find anything else like it in the area.”
And because customer loyalty is so important, Brasserie Benelux celebrates its customers every week on Wednesdays and Thursdays with customer appreciation night, running now through the beginning of track season. Enjoy a three-course dinner of soup, entrée, and dessert for $21.95 with select bottles of wine added to your meal for $20.
“We change up the menu for customer appreciation night every week, which gives me the opportunity to be creative while also giving our residents a chance to have a special dinner – especially after such difficult times we’ve all lived through,” said Vanderstigchel.
Along with the main dining room, Brasserie Benelux offers the Saratoga Room – a private dining room for large groups and parties which happens to be free of charge for those who reserve it.
Whether looking for an authentic European meal or craving a sweet treat like strawberry mascarpone crepes or apple strudels, handmade by Tatsiana, Brasserie Benelux delivers a taste of Europe without ever having to leave Broadway.
“It’s a dream come true to open a restaurant in Saratoga,” said Vanderstigchel. “And we look forward to continuing to evolve as a restaurant and offer new and exciting dishes everyone will enjoy.”
Visit Brasserie Benelux at 390 Broadway or online at: https://www.beneluxny.com/