The first Belgian wine bar

Belgium is not really known as a wine country, unlike Italy or France for example. However did you know that there are over 80 official winemakers in Belgium?  Well there are!! Until a month ago it was very hard to actually find out which ones existed and I’m not even talking about tasting some… with exception for maybe 2, 3 or maybe even 4 wine houses like Clos d’opleeuw that is internationally known for its high quality and in blind tasting is thought of being an expensive Burgundy wine… but no my dear friends it is Belgian wine. A few other more well-known Belgian Wineries: Genoes-Elderen, Ruffus or Schorpion… People following my blog for a few years might know a few more Belgian wine estates as I have written about a few… Anyhow to make a long story short there FINALLY is a place/ bar where they only serve Belgian wines 🙂 :-)and it obviously is in Antwerp 😉 🙂  Where else 🙂 . It doesn’t even stop with an extremely wide assortment of Belgian wines that can be enjoyed per glass or bottle (you just pay 15 EUR on top of the price you would pay if you would take a bottle home)… you can also enjoy these wines with a plate refined Belgian meats or cheeses (artisanal from small local producers). If you are a pâté lover like me do try theirs because it is deeeelicious .

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I said to myself before entering the Belgian Wine bar I was gonna try a wine I didn’t know, but the meat was weak when I saw they had Clos D’opleeuw 🙂  But more reason for me to go back and try something different. I’m a fan and even prouder to be a Belgian 😉

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You can find the Belgian Wine bar at the Oudevaartplaats 24 in Antwerp. For people who know Antwerp is basically is at the square in front of the “stadschouwburg” theater or where you have the open air market in the weekend.

The last 2011 fish and wine

Normally I wasn’t really planning on still posting something in 2011, but yesterday evening I had such a wonderful evening that I still wanted to share it with you…

What started off as an ‘Apero’ on Friday evening, resulted in an ‘apero’, diner and after diner drink 🙂 For the initial apero we went to the Vitrin bar, that you all might know from my Bordeaux wine blogpost? If not, read it 🙂

For diner we wanted something good, but not too expensive… as December is to my opinion the most expensive month of the year (with all the presents, etc….) So for me the Fiskebar seemed like a wonderful idea! As you can already imangine when seeing the name, this is a Fish restaurant, where you can eat very good fish for a very reasonable price.  You can either go for the fish on itself with a garden salad and some rice (or potatoes) or you could go for a fish prepared with a sauce and special dressing and side dishes… Tonight I took the swordfish with wasabi pesto/ puree, eggplant pickles and balsamico…

My girlfriend took salmon with the gardensalad, my friends (who actually introduced me to my girlfriend 12 years ago) took the Scampi (Prawns) with Red thai curry and rice, and the catfish with mushroom risotto.

To accompany this we had a Red wine, a Rioja ONTAÑÓN CRIANZA… which actually worked out well… the fruitiness and yet powerful wine was (to us) a nice harmony with the dishes. To finish our diner, me and my buddy took the lemon tart, my  beautiful girlfriend plum cake  and Isabelle took the crème brûlée… mmmmmm

I would advise everybody to eat at Fiskebar as it is very tasteful, cozy (especially when you’re sitting upstairs) and normally price(most fish around 20EUR) . But make sure you make reservations, as it is a hotspot!

BUT our evening didn’t stop there, noooooooo sir. After the Fiskebar we went to a brand new winebar at the South of Antwerp… A winebar that I didn’t even know it was there (we passed by it while going to Vitrine..  Vinicity it is called, but it is actually a wineshop where you can taste the wines and if you like them you can buy them … every day there is a choice of 9 wines devided in the type of wine it is…

Elegant, fruity or powerful… (between 4 and 7 EUR for glass) I went for the red elegant which was a Portugese dado… the reason, well everybody else already went for the Fruity and powerful and this was we could try them all :-). And he said that it was good 😉 I liked all three wines, although I would have liked them more powerful, but I just should have picked/asked for a much stonger wine… but don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a sacrifice to drink the glass I had 🙂

When you are sitting here you get in instant home feeling, the interior of the shop/bar is so relaxing that you could sit here all day… for the people who would want to eat something here, this is also possible, they serve a nice lunch (not too much, just a few dishes…)

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the isn’t the last time Vinicity has seen me  (Fiskebar neither) The perfect ending of a wonderful evening

So now only 1 thing left to say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ALL the best for 2012

Restaurant Fiskebar:

Address:

Marnixplaats 12

2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Phone n°: +32 (0)3 257 13 57

Wineshop Vinicity:

Address:

Karel Rogierstraat 40

Leopold De Waelplaats

2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Phone n°: +32 (0) 3 345 33 44 .

A true discovery

As you could read in yesterday’s post, my weekend was filled with food!! It already started on Friday evening, where I prepared dinner for a lovely lady. I really like spoiling people and I always try to do the best job ever cooking things my guest likes even if this is not always my  favorite dish. You don’t always have to think of yourself…

In this case the lovely lady liked ‘Foie gras’ lamb meat and ‘gratin dauphinois’. So I decided to give as a starter some foie gras and afterwards make some amb filet with a honey thyme sauce with gratin dauphinois. I got my inspiration for the Lamb from Start to Cook and for the gratin it was Roger van damme who gave me the idea and when cooking  I gave it my own twist. With a satisfying result (I think). This dish got accompanied by a nice bottle of Barbaresco by Batasiolo

But my food filled weekend didn’t stop here, it only just got started. Like many people, this weekend I did some Christmas present shopping:

Normally I would do this alone, but this time I asked my mom to join me 🙂 . You know what I like about going somewhere with my mom, I just know that  we’ll be going somewhere for lunch . Like  every time, we’re doubting  where we would go. And then suddenly we made a discovery (literally), we saw Enoteca ‘La Scoperta ‘ (which means the discovery). Apparently my mom had already been here a few times  (and she didn’t tell me)… So I HAD to try it. An enoteca is actually a place where you drink/ taste and buy wine, but you can also have a little something to eat like ham, cheese, maybe a panino . In La Scoperta it wasn’t any different… This shop/ enoteca had a nice assortment of wines, ham, cheeses mostly from Tuscany  and Piemonte.

I’m sure if you still need to find some Christmas presents, that ‘La Scoperta” might have something for you! Our first reason for entering was actually have something to eat, so that’s what we did 🙂 Both me and my mom took the ‘panino con prosciutto, mozzarella and pesto’ and as we are in an enoteca I just had to take a glass of wine (life can be hard). I choose a glass of Nebbiolo d’alba by Due corti, I really lilke wines made with the Nebbiolo grape… This one was also very lovely.

When looking around, I saw something that every time I see it I just wanna have it (also the ham on top of it), A Berkel cutting machine… Look at the picture below… isn’t she a beauty? If I ever have a kitchen big enough I just have to have it!!

When looking around, I saw something that every time I see it I just wanna have it (also the ham on top of it), A Berkel cutting machine… Look at the picture below… isn’t she a beauty?

Wine discovery at the aperos de bordeaux part II

In the surveying eyes of  cyclist Stanneke Ockers I went to the last Aperos Vintage de Bordeaux in Antwerp or better. I must admit that I liked this edition a lot, even better than the one from last week!!

I don’t  know what it was that made this better, but there was something that gave me a great feeling from the moment I walked in café Mombasa . Like I come here every week … the place was really packed! Café Mombassa is a corner bar right in front of the city hall of Borgerhout with an interior  you would see in weekend issues  of Weekend Knack magazine or or some other interior magazine… It doesn’t get more vintage than this. With one remarkable item, namely the original bicycle from Stanneke Ockers  ok and maybe also the very large picture of him :)….

After a few minutes the South of border band featuring Bruno de Bruxelles started playing, they played a mix of jazzy, Latin American and bluesy music. This made the evening even smoother.

But ofcourse this was a wine event, so the main thing I was here for, was wine 🙂

I first started off with a nice glass of bubbles, a Crémant de bordeaux blanc –Cuvée Andrea by La réserve de Pabus, a very nice refreshing starter to loosen my taste buds (for who wants to know, almost 100% use of Sémillon grape).  You can’t stand on one leg (or not long)… so I continued with a glass of Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé by Jaillance, an immediate taste of red fruits. A real harmony in my mouth. This rosé crémant was made entirely out of Merlot grapes (that you might know is one of my preferred grapes). So far my evening was only going crescendo… it looked promising for what was to follow.

As you might remember from last  I wasn’t really crazy about the white Bordeaux wines… but the Graves by Château Pont de Brion  that I had this time did have everything  to convince me. You could taste that this was a wine that had been in a barrel for a while, also it was a very full taste in your mouth… some might call it a more complex flavor. In the “technical” details it said taste of pineapple, but I didn’t really taste this (but that could just be me 🙂 ). Le moment supreme of the evening was the red Fronsac by Clos du Roy a wine with a lot of character and 90% Merlot which gives it a notions of red fruit (but I’m sure you remember this from my post from last week).   All 4 wines would be wines I see myself adding to my collection of wines …

So conclusion, I passed a very nice evening and I hope that the organisation will have some more of these great after work Aperos vintage de Bordeaux, maybe in Gent ? If they do, all you guys should check this out! What more do you need than a good bar, nice wine and good music (and I have to admit, nice young ladies 🙂 )

For all of you who would want to buy some of the wines , you can do so via www.bordeaux-coups-de-coeur.be

A night at Aperos vintage de Bordeaux

I finally managed to get to the Aperos Vintage de Bordeaux in Antwerp at Café Vitrin last week. I really like the concept of Aperos Vintage, they looked for great locations that change every week. On top of that they always manage to have great music live music or Dj’s , this week’s musical part got done by Bent Van Looy (Das Pop) and last but not least a wide variety of Bordeaux wines.  Also the vineyards that introduced their wines change every week. So basically all the ingredients for a successful event! I must really say that they succeeded in their aim.  The location was really great, I had already passed by Café vitrin lots of times, as the name might already reveal that there are a lot of windows 🙂 and this actually made the café look bigger. Another reason why they can call it a success is because there were a lot of people, I even bumped into some old friends of mine 🙂 which is always great.

But ofcourse the Key element of this event is/were Bordeaux wines. My first question would be, what do you guys actually know about Bordeaux? Besides maybe a few names like Margaux, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol…you might have picked up. Did you know that there are also white, rosé and sparkeling Bordeaux wines?  Something that I personally find very important is at least knowing where Bordeaux is located

And also what the different are in this region vineyards  or ‘Terroires’ like the French  call them.

Don’t worry I’m not going to stuff your heads with tons of information about wine. But I’m convinced that there are always things that one should know… This way you’ll be able to jump into the conversation when the wine topic comes up next time :-).

Red Bordeaux wines are mostly made from 3 kinds of grapes  Merlot, Carbernet-Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (some also add some Malbec or Petit verdon). For those who want to know more about grapes, check this website . Personally I do prefer the wines that have a higher percentage of Merlot, as they are more fruity. A Cabernet for example would be much more powerful and herbal like.

For the white wines the grapes that are mostly used would be Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle (some also add for example Merlot Blanc). For the white wines the Sauvignon will mostly give a more citrus kind of flavor to your wine, so basically it gives the wine some freshness.

I think that will do for the moment 🙂 I could keep telling you guys more things, but I have to stop somewhere. But for those who are interested, let me know, and I’ll get you some more info.

Back to Aperos. The best part of the evening, trying the wines 🙂

I tried following wines:

White wines:

–          Château Merlet – Cuvée Les Collines Fleuries by Cordier

–          Château Montfollet – Le Valentin by Chateaux Solidaires

Red Wines

–          Château Le Clairiot by UniVitis

–          Château La Grosse Pierre – Cuvée la fontaine  by Tutiac

–          Château Beauséjour Hostens

–          La source de château Goubau

My preference went to the ‘Beauséjour’ and ‘La Source’, both stronger wines (I like). The La source was more fruity and then the beauséjour and had a nice aftertaste. This thanks to the higher percentage of Merlot. My personal nr 1 would be the La source. The other 2 wines Grosse Pierre and Le Clairiot are lighter wines and are more as apero.

Overall very nice wines for a great budget and a wonderful concept!! Looking forward to explore next week’s Aperos Vintage wines!

Aperos vintage de Bordaux goes Antwerp!

All you people that were not able to taste the wonderful Bordeaux wines in the streets of Brussels, don’t feel sad! First of all because tomorrow you still have the change of going. Secondly because  starting from  November 9th the Aperos Vintage story continues, but this time in Antwerp!!

The Brussels event has already been a huge success, will you help to make the Antwerp edition an even bigger success?

In case you don’t remember about this event (shame on you), you can read all about it in one of my previous blogposts

The first dates for Antwerp are already available:

Wednesday  9 november at Café Vertigo

Draakplaats 3, 2018 Antwerp

www.cafevertigo.be

Wednesday  16 november at Vitrin Café

Marnixplaats 14, 2000 Antwerp

www.vitrin.eu

Wednesday  23 november at Café Mombassa

Moorkensplein 37, 2140 Antwerp

www.cafemombasa.be

 

But those who still want to expierence the Brussels edition:

Wednesday  26 october at Bar du Matin

Chaussée d’Alsemberg 172, 1050 Brussels. Metro Albert 3

Concert van Jack Fire

 

See you in Antwerp!

Fin du monde

Moving back to Antwerp after living 2 years in Gent was not the most difficult thing. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved the city, but being from Antwerp, plus having most of my friends and family there…. Always having to drive tons of times between those two cities became endless. If one would ask me, what do I miss? I would then have to say the Sunday open air market in Ledeberg (I’m sure I’ll be talking about this in a future post) and a few restaurants (what a surprise) or actually one restaurant in particular, restaurant Fin du monde. Living in a city for a few years, you try to find nice places to eat, drink, etc… But Fin du monde was something special. I liked the no nonsense attitude. In the summer it was nice walking through the old city,  walking from the “vrijdagmarkt” to the “Patershol”, through this little narrow street were you then would find the restaurant behind an old wooden door. In the beginning both the ground floor and first floor used to be a restaurant, but they now changed the Ground floor in a winebar and the first floor in a restaurant. There is no fix menu, every few weeks the menu changes and they prefer working with daily fresh products. All the dishes would be written on a blackboard, always having at least 1 thing I would like. They would have about 12 different dishes from pasta  to vegetarian tofu dish  to meatloaf… accompanied with some garden salad and mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, etc…  Some dishes can be ordered in smaller portions, because they are really generous. Highly recommended is the chocolate cake as dessert (for the romantic souls one with two forks also gets done 😉 ) Also a nice thing to know, is that all the wines they serve are biological wines. Reserving a table is highly recommended. And after the perfect meal, enjoy Gent’s beautiful city by night…

 All to Gent I would say

Retaurant Fin du monde:

 

Website: http://www.findumonde.be/

 

Address :

Meerseniersstraat 3
9000 Gent, Belgium

 

Phone n°: +32 (0) 9 233 35 33