This week’s Womply Merchant Spotlight is on Belga Cafe. This Belgian restaurant is the perfect place for authentic Belgian food, Belgian beers and Genevers, which is a Belgian alcohol that is similar to gin. With great dishes such as bacon-wrapped monkfish fillet and hanger steak with roasted vegetables, purple potato confit and a red wine sauce, the only tough part about eating dinner here will be deciding what tasty dish to order from its menu because they all sound so remarkable. Belga Cafe also serves Saturday and Sunday brunch, which includes a “Belgian waffle and chocolate” theme.
In addition to Belga Cafe’s delectable menu items, the Executive Chef and Owner, Bart Vandaele, is another worthwhile reason to visit this restaurant. Not only did Vandaele train and work in some of Europe’s top fine dining locales, he was also once the Executive Chef at the Dutch Embassy and has concocted dishes for some of Washington’s elite including Hillary Clinton. You can read more about Vandaele’s achievements here.
Womply got the opportunity to get an interview with Scott, the General Manager at Belga Cafe. We think it’s so wonderful to get the inside scoop about Belga Cafe and to learn about what it takes to be a part of a successful restaurant. We think Belga Cafe is great, and we hope you do too.
Womply’s Interview with Belga Cafe
What is your name and title?
Scott Calvert, General Manager
How long have you been working at this restaurant?
I’ve been with Belga Cafe for 9 months.
What is your favorite thing about working here?
It’s the people, the staff, the guests, the management team. We have a great team that genuinely enjoys their interactions with our guests and guests that genuinely enjoy their time with us. The restaurant is relatively casual, and very friendly, and that shows in the feedback we get from our guests.
What is your favorite dish here?
While the answer would be different if I answered it 5 minutes from now, my favorite is the Mussels “Truffels en Prei”, which is mussels steamed with black truffle, leeks, sausage, farmhouse ale, cream, and red onions. Delicious.
What characteristics of the dish make it your favorite?
Truffles, cream, and sausage… what more is there to say?
What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
Fresh oysters in Newport, RI… Can’t get enough of them.
Care to share a tip on how to run a successful restaurant with us?
We’re in the hospitality business. The guest is all that matters, and the only way to determine what would satisfy the guest’s desires is through empathy.
What was one of the most enjoyable experiences you’ve had with a customer?
My favorite guest experiences always involve taking the guest out of their comfort zone, showing them something new, something they didn’t expect, or thought they didn’t like, and hearing how much they actually loved it. They always come back to try more, learn more or share the experience with their friends. That’s the most rewarding part of this business for me.
Belga Cafe is located at 514 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
A special thank you to Scott from Belga Cafe for taking the time to chat with us!