Trappist Beers, especially Westvleteren and Rochefort, are highly-regarded brews by beer aficionados around the world. And, while you can’t visit the inside of the breweries themselves (they are active monasteries), there are usually onsite cafes that offer the Trappist beers and various nibbles, including any food products the monastery produces.
If you’re headed to Rochefort in hopes of sampling the beer, you’ll be disappointed to find Rochefort Brewery doesn’t have an official onsite cafe. However, drive along the main road in Rochefort itself and you’ll find La Gourmandise, a popular restaurant that offers all three Rochefort Brewery beers and an overwhelming choice of menu items made with the famed beers.
We stumbled upon La Gourmandise on a recent day / road trip with Michael from Go, See, Write. While walking in town on an unseasonably warm October day, we saw many locals gathered on the patio seating and decided to check out the menu.
La Gourmandise doesn’t have an English menu, but much of it is easy to translate if you understand any French or Flemish/Dutch. There is a wide variety of options — from appetizer -style nibbles to full entrees. La Gourmandise offers a separate and equally impressive coffee and dessert menu, but as the photos below will show, we never made it that far after ordering far too much food to start with.
Definitely come hungry to La Gourmandise!
La Trilogie – Sampling of Rochefort 6, 8 and 10
If you want to try the three Trappist Brewery beers, I suggest ordering the “La Trilogie” (8.75 €). You will get 3 galopins (half-sized Belgian beer glasses) of the Rochefort 6, 8, and 10. And, although it clearly states it on the menu, we missed the fact that it comes with small samples of the local Rochefort cheese, Trappist Sausage, and Rochefort Sausage with cheese. All four of us skipped over this fact, as evidenced by the portion of the post detailing what we ordered.
Rochefort Brewery’s most highly rated beer is Rochefort 10, but my favorite was the Rochefort 6 — lighter and easier to drink. On average, I find the darker and higher-alcohol Belgian beers to be my least favorite, as after one or two, I’m ready for a nap!
If you’re more of a wine person, but traveling along with beer aficionados like I was, La Gourmandise has a decent wine list as well. There are several local offerings, and all the wines on the menu include suggested food pairings.
Platette Apéritive des Produits Gourmandise — Assortment of Local Products
Without realizing our beer sampler came with a sampler portion of meats and cheese, we decided to start off with a plate of meat and cheese to share. The server recommended the Platette apéritive des produits Gourmandise (6 € pp) which was an assortment of meats from the Ardennes region, Rocherfort cheese, pate, and housemade tapenade and confit. We were told it was per person, and mistakenly assumed it was small, asking for a platter for four persons.
Would you believe we had ordered entrees on top of this? Once the starter arrived, we immediately told them to box the three sandwiches to go and we let my croquette come out as it wouldn’t survive the road trip home. Everything on the “appetizer” platter was excellent, although I wish there had been more cheese…that cheese was incredible. If I understood correctly, this particular Rochefort cheese had seaweed in it.
Speaking of cheese — don’t confuse Rochefort with Roquefort. Rochefort refers to the town and the Trappist Beer, while Roquefort is a sheep’s-milk blue cheese from the south of France.
The entire menu at La Gourmandise looked incredible. There is even a section devoted entirely to foods made with Trappist beers (Les Plats à base de Trappiste). The restaurant is also known for its meats, which are cooked on an open wood grill.
La Gourmandise Store and Market
If you visit La Gourmandise, be sure to go inside and upstairs. Everything we sampled was available for purchase to go as well — all the meats and cheese were cut to order and a large wall displayed bottles of the sauces, confits, and other local specialties. Upstairs is home to more wine and Rochefort Beer displays and merchandise.
Rue de Behogne, 24
084 22 21 81
Open 7 Days a week: 10am until 9 or 10pm depending on the season
As a reminder, especially when consuming high-alcohol beers, the legal limit for for drinking and driving is lower in many parts of the world. In Belgium, the allowed BAC is 0.05%.