Hof Van Cleve

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Dinner at Hof Van Cleve!

Koen and I decided we really wanted to try eating at the best restaurants in Belgium, so of course Hof Van Cleve was at the top of our list – Number 50 Best Restaurant in the World 2017 and it has 3 Michelin stars.

To quote The World’s 50 Best Restaurants:

“Godfather of Belgian cuisine goes from strength to strength

In a nutshell: Peter Goossens’ stated mission is to put a smile on the faces of visitors to his beautiful farmhouse in the fields of Flanders. It’s a goal he has achieved with great success over 30 happy years spreading the joys of Belgian cuisine.

On the menu: Local produce is the backbone of the menu, but it’s not limited by nationality, with ingredients from further afield integrated seamlessly into dishes that balance tradition and modernity. Witness scallops from Saint-Brieuc in France combined with witlof (Belgian chicory), salsify and Jerusalem artichoke or native oysters from nearby Lake Grevelingen with bergamot, cucumber and smoked eel.

A few words on the space: Don’t be fooled by the rustic exterior. Inside is a sleek, elegant space with dining rooms decorated with works of art, furniture and crockery from Belgium’s leading painters and craftsmen. The service is smooth and personable thanks to Goossens’ wife Lieve, who oversees the front-of-house.

The chef: Peter Goossens cut his teeth in Paris at Pré Catelan and Pavillon d’Elysée, before taking over Hof van Cleve in 1987.

Don’t miss: The epic cheese and dessert trolleys that glide between the tables.”

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Champagne with an elderflower ice cube for me and vermouth for Koen

 

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Tomato with rucuola and shrimp

 

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Ray wing with fennel and cumin

 

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Scottish salmon from Orkney with red rice and avocado

 

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Hare with mandarins and brioche

 

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Chicken liver with corn and mango

 

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Petit gris de Namur (snails) with fregola and goat cheese

 

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Flat oysters from Zeeland with yuzu, smoked eel, and cilantro

 

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Bonito

 

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Oyster with dashi, seaweed, and bonito shavings

 

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Erquy St-Brieuc scallops, with Jerusalem artichokes, beaufort cheese and cecina de buey

 

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North sea cod with leek, lavas, and shrimp

 

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Guilvinec langoustine with chickpeas, chorizo and Jerusalem artichokes

 

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Local hare with green cabbage, celeriac, and mushrooms

 

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Cheese trolley!

 

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I asked for one of everything!

 

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Organic pineapple with blood orange, sea buckthorn, and saffron

 

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Muscat de Nice pumpkin with pecan, Madagascar 70% chocolate, and earl grey

 

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The dessert trolley!

 

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Oliebollen

 

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Chinese green tea for me with sweets

 

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