Taste of Belgium making noise in Cincy restaurant scene


Zachary Milliken

Line cook Sean Pater serves up a meal at Taste of Belgium OTR. The small kitchen is an obstacle, but the team does a great job of getting it done.

The Belgium-themed restaurant, opened in 2007 by owner Jean-Francois Flechet, is a small bistro that honors Belgian food and culture. The popular franchise is rapidly expanding, with many new ideas on the horizon.

“We started out with Findlay Market, and then we opened [Over the Rhine], and then we opened Clifton a couple years ago, and last year we started with the Reds,” Taste of Belgium OTR chef David Kelsey said.

“By the end of spring, we’ll have another restaurant open in Rookwood,” Kelsey said. This Belgian delight on Vine Street recently filmed with Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives over the summer, along with Bakersfield and Senate.

“We’re expecting really big things from that. We started out just one restaurant and really never thought we’d be doing the amount of volume we have now. It’s just amazing the amount of growth,” Kelsey said.

Belgian owner and founder Jean-Francois Flechet brings a whole new look to Belgian dining in Cincinnati.

“Working with a guy from Belgium, there’s always something new, something interesting. I’m always learning,” Kelsey said.

Occupied with the expansion of the franchise, the restaurant is now focusing on staying consistent with food production and keeping their customers happy.

“We’re just trying to focus on consistency and that we tighten up the nuts and bolts. We’ve been focusing on getting everything in line with the brand and what it represents,” Kelsey said.

Consistency is always important in the restaurant business, and if Taste of Belgium can get that down, they should have no problem being an incredibly successful business.

“The culinary explosion in this city has been amazing,” Kelsey said. “With us and Bakersfield and Senate here on Vine Street, Over the Rhine is going to be buzzing moving forward.”

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