All you need is love

I’m not too much into all the Valentine fuzz, but the restaurant where I wanted to make reservations just happened to have an open spot at the same date 🙂 So if it makes you happy that I call it a Valentine’s day dinner, I will…

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It was already for a while that my wife and I wanted to eat at Vietnamese street-food restaurant ‘BÚN‘ in the city center of Antwerp. Every time passed by it, it just looked so cozy  and the plates very tasteful. Also every time we said we have to come here some day…  I had also read the host of BÚN  Huibrecht was the former maître of restaurant Pure C and the hostess Hao Truong that worked a long time in her sister Truong Thi Quyên aka Gwen ‘s famous restaurant ( know from a cooking show on the Belgian Food channel Njam about Vietnamese food)  Little Asia in Brussels. So a winning combo I’d think and a reason for us to go?!

Huibrecht and Hao Truong by Nieuwsblad

Our ‘we have to go here some day’ took a bit longer than expectedfirst of  all because  of the fact the restaurant can only sit around 16 people. So finding a free space is harder and if you want to make reservations it has to be after 20h 🙂 Which in our case means finding a babysit of have a sleepover at the grandparents for our little baby girl… which you only want to do when your  baby is not sick and the fact it’s winter time doesn’t make it easier 🙂 BUT luck was at our side like I said before on valentine’s day 🙂 You can also go before 20h, but in that case it’s just the walk in principle as no reservations are taken before 20h

When I think of Vietnamese cuisine, I think of Chinese food but a bit more spicy and spring rolls aka Nems (as I used to eat lots of these in a little Asian place behind highschool 🙂 ) I know sad of me!! Keen on learning/ eating something new we entered the restaurant to.  What was funny to me was that Huibrecht (who used to work as maître) was cooking and Hao (who I think used to cook) serves the customers… I would have expected it the other way around. Nevertheless I had a very nice night with a lot of coziness. I know not everybody likes to sit at the bar to eat, but in our case it just felt right! Coziness, but obviously also loooooooots of love in the air. Us sitting at the bar brought back lots of great memories of the time we used to life in Gent and had lots of nice dinners at a little restaurant (Fin du monde)  at the bar… aaah good old days 😉

On the menu all dishes I didn’t know, so we just took almost everything on it 🙂 Except the soups, as I’m not a too big asian soup fan… but I did have Tofu (my wife ordered it while I was in the bathroom 🙂 it was nice, but Tofu will never become a friend of mine..

For drinks we took wine, but they do also have a nice assortment of fresh fruit juices like a ginger with pumpkin and mint juice 🙂 for the lovers 🙂

Fresh spring roll with mackerel

Steamed bun WVLR beef

Steamed bun WVLR beef

Grilled chicken with peanut and curry

Deep fried Brasvar pork rolls

Tofu with rice noodles and lemongrass

As a dessert we took the suggestion of the evening a coconut/rice beignet  with passion fruit (I could feel the electricity in the air)

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If this is street-food than I can say that I’m a big fan of street-food! I do enjoy that they serve their dishes tapas style to share and at non exuberant prices which allows you to take more  and discover more of this kind of cuisine

See you again very soon!

Because we can

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Sometimes, even when you have children, you need to make time for your wife (or maybe husband in your case). This doesn’t mean ‘it’ (meaning your quality time) always has to be at night or very exuberant, sometimes a small lunch will also do the trick :-). So we did just that at Trattoria Francesco & Julia in Antwerp. The trattoria attracted me for a while now, as I pass by it quite often. I also found out that the daughter of the owner is at the same day-care as my little girl.

Francesco and julia

As if I needed more reasons to go eat somewhere, they are also known for their focaccia and boy do I love focaccia!! In case you don’t know what focaccia is, it is like pizza but thicker/higher because of the use of more yeast  in comparison with a regular Pizza. Focaccia is usually seasoned with olive oil, salt, sometimes herbs (mostly rosemary), and in rare cases topped with onion, olives or just like a pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and meats…What also happens is that is baked with olive oil and herbs and when ready filled like a sandwich like in the case of our friends at Francesco & Julia.

Focaccia "Il Bello"

I repeat myself by saying it are the simple things that count and will make the difference!! Is it difficult to make focaccia? No. Is it difficult to make a good focaccia? Yes 🙂 !! Clearly Francesco knows as he makes some great focaccia (FYI also for takeout). What I didn’t know about their trattoria is that they also served other dishes besides Focaccia.  I doubted for a while if I would go for focaccia or a ‘regular dish’…  as if focaccia isn’t regular, but you guys know what I mean.  But why make things more difficult than needed, this time I took focaccia and I’ll come back to try a few other dishes 🙂 problem solved the Spinelli way ;-). I went for the “Il Bello” that was filled with mozzarella, tomato, parma ham and rucola, but the ‘Il Macio’ filled with porcetta, truffle and rucola also looked tempting.  My wife had a mozzarella salad accompanied with her all time favorite drink bubbels (prosecco in this case)

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“I” finished with a Tiramisu ‘Francesco’ style which is a revisited version of the traditional version with Amaratti cookies and I guess almond caramel and espuma.

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Overall a great lunch with both love on my plate as on the seat right in front of me! I can’t wait to have another Trattoria experience at Francesco & Julia! I do also hope you get the chance to try it either at the trattoria itself or by taking out food.

Trattoria Francesco & Julia

Website: www.francescojulia.be

Address: Mechelsesteenweg 76, 2018 Antwerp – Belgium

Like coming home

I get red cheeks of shame when I think that after all the times I have eaten at Brasserie Lids, I have never written about it!! Brasserie Lids is a lovely neighborhood restaurant in the heart of the old part of Antwerp city where I always like to go with my family (My wife, my baby girl and me (and sometimes our moms)). It is one of those places where I don’t have to worry if my baby girl makes a bit more noise…sometimes when she does make a bit more noise, Raïssa (owner) picks her up and does a little tour with her in the restaurant (FYI, my daughter always likes to see everything) after which she calms down and falls asleep.

Elo & Raïssa

We also like to come here because Raïssa, the owner and cook, studied together with my wife at University and is a friend of hers 🙂  It’s surprising though the career switch Raïssa has made from communication science to cooking in her own restaurant. One thing I’m sure about is that she is happy about the switch because you can really tell she is in her element in the kitchen and she brightens up the restaurant with her big smile and man does she like to laugh 🙂 :-). Because of all the things I said before eating at Brasserie lids feels like coming home. You also be surprised how peaceful it is at Brasserie lids considering it is in the city center 🙂 like an oasis of peace in the city

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You don’t need to expect molecule or Michelin star food, but just good homemade classic Belgian/French dishes like Vol-au-vent (that has won a few awards for best of Antwerp), steak,etc… and weekly changing suggestions depending on what the market offers. Dishes (good portions) that you enjoy with a good glass of wine of local Belgian beer and for an affordable price. She even makes her own mayonnaise, which is something you don’t see that much anymore…

Salmon burger

Vol-au-vent

caprese grey shrimp avocado salad smoked duke breast salad seabass

So next time you don’t feel like cooking and feel like a home cooked meal and you are in Antwerp … do try Brasserie Lids and hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much I always do!

Brasserie Lids

Address: Veemarkt 4, 2000 Antwerp – Belgium

Website: www.delids.be

Fucking perfect

It took me a long time but I finally found my way to The Jane. For most people it is the name Sergio Herman (owner) that makes them go, for me the trigger was Gianluca Di Taranto aka The Jane’s sommelier!! He doesn’t believe me when I say it, but it is true (he was also the trigger bringing me to‘t Zilte a few years ago when he used to work there). It was not the long waiting time for a free table (about 3 months) that made me wait so long, but rather the hype around The Jane. I had already been lots of times to Pure C (Sergio’s other restaurant), so I knew the food would be great… I just had experiences in the past with restaurants being hyped so much, but when you actually went it didn’t meet up with the high expectation/idolization and the fuzz made around it (Dinner by Heston for me is one of those, that’s why I didn’t write anything about it).  So I basically was a bit afraid I would be the same with The Jane. The second trigger (and in the end decisive trigger) was the fact that my wife told me out of the blue she wanted to go there 🙂 🙂 I was so surprised as she never comes up with stuff like this, usually it is me pushing restaurants 🙂  Strike while the iron is still hot was first thing that came in mind. The gods must have agreed with me, as the still had some free spots for the day we wanted to go… In the upper room bar that is, not in the actually restaurant. The big difference between both (in same building) is that in the ‘restaurant’ you sit at the table and it is executive chef Nick Bril (and Sergio Herman himself) prepares your meal. In the Upper bar room you sit a big bar and see the cooks prepare your meal right in front of you (you might call it show cooking 🙂 ). The upper room bar is also a good way to get familiarized with The Jane’s food style, but than in tapas style.

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I cannot get around it, I must mention the building The Jane is situated in as it is so special! The Jane’s first ‘project’ name when Sergio Herman started was “La Chapelle”, maybe this already reveals where I’m going? The Jane is located in an old church that has been totally redone and is a true architectural masterpiece!! The pictures below will give you an idea, but seeing it ‘live’ is even more impressive. I love the high ceilings.

The Jane 1 The Jane 6 

The Jane 5

The Jane 4

I won’t lie about it, once I made the reservation I was as excited as a puppy to go to The Jane (that’s how I become when I can try a new restaurant). I only had to be patient for 2 weeks between the reservation and the lunch itself. Which in The Jane terms is not long as sometimes it can take you months to find a free spot…

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The jane 7 The Jane 8

The Jane Upper bar room

I cannot use another word that describes it better, ‘Perfection’. From the moment you walk in until the moment you walk out you get pampered by every single member of the staff you see during your meal. I know you might say this is normal as you pay for it… I agree, but you would be surprised how many places ask the same or more, but give less, or where the staff doesn’t feel like working and don’t give the same welcome feeling. The advantage of the upper room bar is that you can make your own menu or better choose your ‘tapas’ à la carte (between 5 and 20 EUR). So you don’t need to go for the tasting menu (basically a walk through the à la carte menu) if you don’t want to…. It was also our initial plan as after our lunch we still had to go to a wedding (you cannot go to a wedding hungry, can you?) . BUT the meat is weak and we took the tasting menu 🙂 :-).  As Gianluca had told his colleagues from the Upper bar room we had to go to a wedding… so they speeded up things for us… luckily we aren’t rookies anymore and we (yes my wife also, I thought her well :-)) can handle some food.

In the end I’m also glad I took the tasting menu as you get to eat things you maybe wouldn’t have picked yourself due to some ingredients in it…like the chickenliver’s with black pudding for example is something that would scare lots, but in fact it was one of the best dishes ever, and this was only the 1st dish we got 🙂 :-). Also remarkable that the oyster didn’t make me sick.  I like its taste, but in the past every time I had an oyster (also in very good restaurants) I was as sick as a dog afterwards… My favorites were the chickenlivers with black pudding,  the noodles, the lam stew, the sashimi, the buckwheat noodles with lacked duck, the steamed buns with pork belly … basically every dish was full of deep flavors  and had all elements in a dish you would want there to be and therefore had one or the other reason to love the dish… ok maybe the oyster wasn’t my preferred one, but again it didn’t make me sick for a change :-). FYI, I didn’t take a picture from all my dishes as I ate some to quick and only realized afterwards I didn’t take a picture 🙂 (I know I’m using this sentence a lot, but I think I’m getting more greedy by the year I get older 🙂 )

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steamed bun_lacked porkbelly_peanut

sashimi maigre_jalapeño Salalmi_pâté_sausage_parsleycreme

Lamshoulder stew

It is also said a meal is only finished perfect if you get a good dessert, I can only say it was a fucking perfect ending of our lunch 🙂 my wife and I were supposed to share our desserts, but the plats were empty before we remembered we were going to share 🙂 🙂 but I was told the Raspberry with pistachio and chocolate tasted heavenly 😉

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It was nice to be served cocktails, different types of sake or vermouths during my meal… Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer a good wine pairing with my food (It might also be because of the sommelier 😉 )… I liked every drink, but for me the drinks were a bit too strong to keep up the whole meal, especially knowing after this lunch I still had to go to a wedding :-). There just has to be a next time to try it all again without having some event afterwards and I think in the evening would be a better plan 🙂

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vermouth Saké for with porkbelly and sashimi

The Jan 3

It became a very long blog post and lots of smiley’s again, but you know that only means I’m very excited. I also got proven wrong, sometimes the fuzz and hype is just because they are just that good!!! Thank you Sergio, Nick and their The Jane team for the great (quick) lunch. So next time I won’t only come for the sommelier or because my wife wants to, but also for the fantastic food and to get Sergio Hermanized in the way it is supposed to happen (with more time)… even if that means I have to make a reservation at 8 a.m. …my 5 month old daughter will for sure help me to be awake in time 😉 :-)) like she did at 5 a.m. today to make sure I would have time to write this blog post 🙂

Restaurant The Jane

Website: www.thejaneantwerp.com

Address: Site ‘t Groen Kwartier, Paradeplein 1, 2018 Antwerp – Belgium

Summer in Antwerp

Last week Belgium was suffering from way to high temperatures (which is unusual) up to 37°C. Believe me when I say it sounds better than it actually was, when it is this hot in Belgium it is not as nice as when you are in some southern Mediterranean village, but rather as dry as a cracker 🙂

With the exception of 1 evening last week were it DID really feel like being in a small southern Mediterranean village!! ALL thanks to Sepideh Sedaghatnia and her restaurant Divin by Sepi. (FYI you might remember her from one of my last posts). Imagine a hot summer night with from time to time a little ‘refreshing’ breeze while the sun slowly goes under, sitting outside with some friends around the dinner table , glasses filled with some bubbles or rosé wine and eating fingerfood …. the definition of a night when you are on holiday right?? I also wasn’t the only one feeling it, as everybody who was at Divin by Sepi Friday night had felt it.  Difference with a southern restaurant, that in this case the service was good and very professional 🙂 🙂 , but nevertheless in a loose way.

Divin by Sepi

A very important rule for when you eat at Divin is to relax and enjoy yourself and those are also Sepi’s only rules. I mean there are no obligations ((you do have to pay the bill all you smartypants out there), for example on the menu you have fingerfood and regular dishes, if you only want to go for fingerfood (no matter how many)… you only go for fingerfood, you don’t have to worry that somebody will think lesser of you or looks to you in a strange way :-)…  We (me and my friends) are greedy people so we obviously went for both the finger food AND the regular dishes 🙂 (I just followed, I didn’t want to be rude 🙂 🙂 ).

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My friends

I do like the concept of the fingerfood, which is comparable with tapas you have in Spain. What I liked about Divin’s fingerfood is that you saw influences from all over the Mediterranean that got overlapped with Middle eastern or better Iranian influences (as that is where Sepideh is from) resulting in summer on a plate (and served in a refined way). Maybe it would be easier to tell what fingerfood we didn’t take as we took 90% of the menu 😉 no no, just kidding. The first fingerfood dish was an Iranian wrap with dates, basil and feta (but the Iranian version of Feta). If a non-cheese lover (especially goat or sheep cheeses) like me liked it I mustn’t say more, do I?  It is true that the dates in it made a bit sweeter (typical Middle eastern) and maybe that’s what made me love it??

Wraps

The fingerfoods that followed were Soft shell crab, Kobideh sate, Falafel with tzatziki, a selection of refined meats and as frosting on the cake a Persian Pizza with grilled vegetables and harissa. One better than the other no doubt about that!! They tasted as well as they looked

Falafel

selection of refined meats Soft shell crab Persian Pizza with grilled vegetables and harissa Kobideh sate

The eyes are bigger than the stomach, especially when there is nothing in the stomach yet 🙂 I think we had overdone it with the fingerfood. When placing our order with Sepideh everybody decided to take a mean course (for after the fingerfood), the ladies at our table were intelligent enough to go for a fish dish…

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When the men (including me) saw ‘black angus short rib’ they had NO eyes anymore for other dishes… Again I repeat the eyes were bigger than the stomach aka greediness 🙂  Luckily Sepideh double checked with everybody after all the finger food who still up for the main dish. Let’s just say that we men split the meat instead of eating one each 😉 with exception for my buddy Jan who had a whole one for himself.  And there’s another example of not having any obligations … in lots of other places they would have just served us everything. So we basically shortend the short rib 🙂

Black Angus short rib

You might have noticed I didn’t speak about wine yet 🙂 and no not because we didn’t have any… We started our evening in a bubbly way with some Belgian bubbles from Ruffus which tasts just like champagne. FYI the reason it tastes like it is because where the grapes are grown, the soil is the same as the one in Champagne (Champagne’s soil ends in the Belgian region where Ruffus is made). That and the knowhow from the people making it 🙂 . If you ever get the chance of drinking it, I strongly advice it!

Ruffus

In my article about Sepideh’s book I said it was a pity there wasn’t a pocket version of the book. Good thing at the restaurant I didn’t need the pocket version as I had the original version 🙂 🙂 Sepideh in person…. I must say that Divin by Sepi has one of the broadest selections of wine I’ve seen in a restaurant. She has great wines from every continent (besides Asia I think) with a representation of a lot of countries of these contents, including the Middle East, Greece, etc.. Probably you’re thinking ‘Freak’ 🙂 “Whatever’ would my response to that be 😉 . The list was also nice a there were lots of wines on their that I’m sure nobody knows or barely know…but that are mind blowing!! For after the bubbles to make us feel even more on holiday Sepi thought a nice rosé by domaine OTT from the Provence would set the mood for with the finger food.

Ott

Followed by a refreshing German 2011 Pinot Noire from August Kesseler. To finish with a 2007 Italian red (it just had to happen one moment or the other) Fumin from Valle d’Aosta for with our Black Angus. This was basically what the doctor ordered 🙂 🙂 We were still in the mood for something else after this, but as we were all parents with a babysitter at home… duty called. One important lesson for next time bring them to the grandparents for a sleepover 😉

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I did it again, I wrote a too long article, but you all know that only means I am very very enthusiastic :-)- Oh sorry I forgot the mention the dessert   I’ll just let the picture speak for itself!!

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dessert 2

Thank you Sepideh and team for everything!! See you very soon!!

Simple is better

Simple is better. I know with all my visits to Michelin starred restaurants this saying doesn’t seem believable… but we’ll have to be honest, no matter how great all those restaurants are the best dishes are always the classic and simple dishes.  A good example would be strawberries with a bit of sugar and lemon juice that has set a while in the fridge, it is very simple but I could keep eating it.

Fino zuid

My visit to ‘Fino zuid’ just proved simple is just so good. Fino zuid is a small shop/caterer around the corner of the ‘Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp’ where can either take some of the dishes home or just eat them there at one of the few tables in the shop (I think 5 or 6). Fino zuid is their second eatery, they also have a restaurant in the North of the city of Antwerp. I had already been to the ‘regular’ restaurant 2 weeks ago with my dad, but wanted to wait before writing something until after visiting both places… this way I could somehow compare and see what the whole Fino concept is all about. The food is in both places very nice because of the simplicity that make you feel like in Italy. (BTW the reason why food tasted great in both places is because it gets prepared by the same people 🙂 ) But my preference goes towards Fino zuid, as it is more relaxed and less fuzz… I mean at ‘regular’ Fino you have the real restaurant feel as for ‘Fino zuid’ it feels more like a trattoria where you can just take your own glass of wine (don’t worry if you want they can also serve it 😉 ) and just point at the food you feel like eating…so to my opinion more low profile. Although I’m sure all depends of the occasion for your dinner.

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To decide what you want to eat at Fino zuid is very simple you can either give them the full trust and let them decide for you (fix price of 35EUR without the drinks) or you can just walk up to the counter and point to what you fancy eating 🙂  We gave them full trust and had them serve whatever they wanted to give us… this resulted in us being completely full at the end 🙂 so now I was sure it was just like in Italy as I always feel the same when I’m eating at my grandmother or aunt in Italy… I think we almost tried every single thing in their counter (ok, maybe not everything, but a lot of it)… Their melanzane alla Parmigiana was one of my favourites (I had already eaten them at the other Fino restaurant)…

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My biggest problem is ‘l’appetito viene mangiando’ so I get more hungry while I’m eating so it could get ugly 😉 Luckily my beautiful fiancée was with me and at some point will give me a certain look that I know what she is actually trying to say is: “don’t you think you had enough?”  🙂  BUT there is still always room for dessert… I’m normally not a fan of Tiramisu, but theirs wasn’t as heavy as it is at lots of restaurants. I do realize I’m always very enthusiastic in my blogposts, but good food just makes me very happy and this happiness unleashes a enormous and unstoppable amount of enthusiasm where I want to convince everybody to try the place themselves… that’s just the way I am 🙂 🙂

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A visit to Fino zuid or Fino are definitely places to do if you like good Italian food without too much fuzz…

Restaurant Fino Zuid:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/finozuid

Address: Kasteelstraat 57, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Phone n°: +32 (0) 3 257 01 14

Restaurant Fino:

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/finorestaurant

Address: Sint-Aldegondiskaai 50, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Phone n°: +32 (0) 468 17 29 00

Lunch on top of Antwerp

It took me a lot of time, but I finally had a meal at the restaurant with the most beautiful view over Antwerp… I’m talking about 2 Michelin star awarded restaurant ‘t Zilte. I’m not sure why it took so long, but thanks to a good friend of mine, who insisted (a few times)I just had to try ‘t Zilte, I finally made it there (in his company)… and I’m happy he did as I had a wonderful experience. I have to correct myself I was already at ‘t Zilte, but this was for the press conference of ‘Taste of Antwerp‘, but that time I didn’t have a meal.

Viki Geunes

What makes this restaurant extra special is first of all of course its wonderful location on the 9th floor of the MAS… which gives you the best view  over city of Antwerp. And secondly the vibe. The first vibe you get when entering somewhere  is the most important one (or it is to me), so the same goes for when you enter a restaurant and although I was sure the vibe at ‘t Zilte would be good, but you never know 100% in advance.. anyway it was good 🙂 and it only got better by the minute…

Zilte Interieur

My view

I know it is expected of restaurants like’ t Zilte that they serve very nicely presented plates, but still it must be said they have outdone themselves  as we saw some very nice looking dishes that day and with keeping my preferred saying in mind keep it “simple”. As even though all the dishes looked amazing they still wanted to make sure you understand what is in your plate and want to respect every product/ingredient.

As I arrived last (my table guest was already there) I just joined him with starting our lunch with perfect drink, a glass of Blanc de Blanc Ruinart champagne 🙂 With this we got served a variety of delicate “amuse bouches” which were great to already start to tickle the taste buds and stimulate the appetite (for as far as I needed it 🙂 ) and as if that wasn’t enough they came to us with a breadcart filled at least 15 different kinds of fresh bread!!! I’m a huge bread lover and it was more than only a treat for the eyes as man that was some good bread!!! I would already return just to have more of their bread.

hapje 1

hapje 2 met crispy parsley

Hapje 4

hapje 3

I wasn’t wrong was I when I said there dishes looked very njammy?? And they tasted even better. Anyhow now it was time for some real business…. As it was lunchtime it seemed best for us to go for the lunch menu… although I must say the other menus also seemed great, but sometimes you just have to make some though decisions… but as a peace offer we took and extra course with our lunch menu… as who could say no to turbot with porcini?

Finding the right wine with your food is never an easy task, especially when they give you a wine list from which you would want to order everything that it on it… luckily ‘t Zilte has not 1 but 2 sommeliers to help you make a choice. One of the sommeliers was another reason I wanted to come to ‘t Zilte as it is none other than my friend Gianluca that you might remember from my blogpost about Spiga d’oro(the better Italian restaurant)  as Gianluca is the son of the owner 🙂 (and their former sommelier).  So to make a long story short I was pretty sure I was getting some great wine pairing 🙂 (with a bit of consulting by the long time sommelier from ‘t Zilte Sepideh Sedaghatnia)

The first dish of our menu was a Crab and foie gras “pâté” with tomato, mushroom and curd (this some kind of drained yogurt ). With this dish my good friend paired us a Slovenian Rieseling from Joannes Protner, because  because the minerality of Riesling goes well with the crab, greasiness and filming character for the foie gras and acidity of the wine is  for the tomato and the earthy character of the wooden casks for the earthiness of the mushroom.  BTW these are Gianluca’s words, I really couldn’t define it as well 🙂

Foie gras  met crab

The next dish to put our teeth into was the turbot, for this dish we had a bit of a blind wine tasting as we got served two wines that both fit this dish but both in another way… and as it was a blind tasting we didn’t know in advance which ones we would be trying.  The first wine was a 2010 Burgundy – Meursault Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir  which is actually a Chardonnay. The other wine was a wine that if I had to pick on on color this would be my preferred one 🙂 it on top of that came from a region in Croatia aka Istria where I still have some family living (my grandfather was originally from Croatia), it was a white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvazija, and Pinot Gris called Ottocento made by Giorgio Clai.  I’m still not sure which of both wines fitted more with this dish as both gave the dish another dimension

Blind tasting

Turbot with porcini

The last dish we got served before the dessert was lamb with zucchini, ricotta, panisse (kind of polenta made from gram flour) and cremolata. The lamb was cooked with perfection and melted on the tongue. With this came a lamb tartar  and a lambstock with herbs.  This time  Gianluca  chose a Austrian red wine to go with our dish, a 2010 Burgenland which has lots of common characteristics with Syrah wines, but the Burgenland is a bit smoother.

Lamb filet

Lamb tartar

Lambstock with herbs

I’m glad the menu “ended” (it wasn’t totally over yet) with a refreshing dessert with strawberry varieties with crushed Gin ice and white chocolate… I must admit that I wasn’t really a fan from the Gin ice, but together with the white chocolate it got balanced (I don’t like bitter tastes 🙂 ) . I normally don’t like wine with my dessert, but who could refuse it when it is presented with so much enthusiasm? He did surprise us by giving us a glass of Riesling (not a dry Riesling obviously) with the strawberries, it was a 2011 Kabinett from the  Reinhold Haart  wine estate.

Strawberry variaties

But best was yet to come as now instead of the the bread cart, the now came with the “cookies” for with the coffee cart 🙂  I wasn’t planning on being greedy, but I just couldn’t stop myself and I honestly didn’t care what they thought of me!! everything looked just sooo good, like the mini Berliner’s (in this case grease is very very good) or the Madeline set in a rum, vanilla and sugar jar… you would think it would have a too strong taste, but it didn’t it was juuuuust right 😉 … the reason to go back for a meal at ‘t Zilte just keep adding up 🙂 (BTW I didn’t take a picture of everything I had, that would have been to confronting 😉 )

What shall I take with my coffee

madeline in rum vanilla and sugar friandises

I can only say that I had an amazing lunch that because of the good coordination and professionalism from Viki Geunes’ team (multicultural team even) became an every greater experience!!  I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me. Thanks!

Restaurant ‘t Zilte

Website: http://www.tzilte.be/

Address: Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerp – Belgium (in the MAS museum at the 9th floor)

Phone n°: +32 (0) 3 283.40.40