By Jennifer Farnsworth
The Brasserie Benelux is a new restaurant in Saratoga Springs with a European-inspired menu.
Armand Vanderstigchel owns the restaurant at 390 Broadway and is also the chef.
Vanderstigchel said the menu also expands into German, Austrian, Polish, Belarusian, Alsatian, Czech, and Scandinavian cultures, as well as American dishes. He is excited to bring this type of food to downtown Saratoga, a location that he had his eyes on for many years.
“I have been cooking this type of food my whole life and I am passionate about it. Saratoga has a variety of places to choose from and now we are bringing another option to the table, something unique and very authentic,” said Vanderstigchel.
He said the response was immediately positive. He anticipated being busy because new places are always exciting and intriguing to people, and as a result of that, visitors have been steady since the opening.
“I have people come in who have Dutch roots and they know the food. They challenge me on how well I know dishes and they quickly learn I know what I am talking about. I grew up with this food and I have been making it forever,” said Vanderstigchel.
The space on Broadway can seat up to 144, but with COVID restrictions they keep the dining area at a lower capacity. Vanderstigchel said he loves his location and only needed to do mostly cosmetic changes such as painting and cleaning. The decor has a European flair adding to the experience, he said.
“We really want people to feel like they are taking a tour of Europe when they come in. I want to build and establish relationships with our customers. We take the time to make sure they feel welcome when they are here. That is very important to me,” said Vanderstigchel.
He lived in the Netherlands for 17 years. His specialities reflect his time in Europe through popular dishes like Belgium mussels in black pots, beer-braised short ribs, Belgian waffles and crepes, wiener schnitzels and sausage platters.
His goal is to offer a place to experience European dishes using sustainable local products. Buying locally is a priority.
The bar features European-style beers, local craft beers, and hand-picked European and Californian wines.
Vanderstigchel is the author of “Adirondack Cuisine,” featuring both his own recipes those from other local restaurants. The book was made into a television show “Adirondack Cuisine,” on the PBS affiliate in Plattsburgh. In 2019, he was an official judge and ambassador for the national Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, and was inducted into the national Chicken Wing Hall of Fame.
Visit beneluxny.com for more information on hours as well as a link to the frequently updated Facebook page.