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Garden City: Autumn in Antwerp

Waterzooi, located at 850 Franklin Avenue in Garden

Waterzooi, located at 850 Franklin Avenue in Garden City, has outdoor seating. Guests share a bowl of paella. (Apr. 17, 2009) Photo Credit: Jonathan Young

The arrival of autumn opens the door once more to Waterzooi.

You could  enjoy this Belgian-style brasserie, which describes itself as a bistro, year-round. But it's especially good when the cool weather starts.

Maybe it's the exceptional selection of Belgian brews. For volume and variety, Belgium makes the world's best and most complex beers and ales. Try the Affligem Blond and the Corsendonk Brown Ale for starters. Then just work your way through the Abbey ales and all the draft beers over several visits. Very satisfying.

To accompany any and all of these: carbonnade a la flamande, a beef stew made with brown ale; and the red-wine braised short ribs. The house also sends out a first-class "bistro burger"  with Fourme d'Ambert cheese and double-smoked bacon on a brioche roll. The pots of mussels are many, sauced in ways from Thai to Provençal, each inviting. Be sure to order an extra serving of the outstanding fries with mayo with any main course.

And, equally essential: the Belgian waffle for dessert. It's a nostalgic finale for those who remember the 1964-65 World's Fair. The sweet has endured in better shape than the New York State pavilion.

Waterzooi, 850 Franklin Ave., Garden City; 516-877-2177.

Pass the mussels.

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