Fine Dining in Antwerp

After we adventured through Ghent, Brussels and Bruges, we returned to Antwerp for our final Belgian destination.  Our host, PJ, took us to a quiet but amazing restaurant that our other host, Hanne, described as the best restaurant in Antwerp.  I really wish I remembered the name . . .

The menu featured many decadent sounding dishes like roasted bone marrow, but we opted for the set menu of the day.  The first course was zucchini stuffed with duck.  This was so good, I can barely even describe it.  First, I was so enamored by the spherical zucchini.  Also I love grilled zucchini, so I was already pretty excited by this dish.  As for the duck, it reminded me of corned beef, both in taste and texture.  The meat pulled apart with no resistance and just melted in your mouth.  It was also flavored with pink peppercorns, which added a beautiful brightness to the dish.
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The second course was a white fish served with a roasted lemon quarter, a roasted yellow tomato, and a scoop of risotto.  The fish was so moist and it tasted even more delicious when I spread the inside of the roasted lemon on it.  The creamy risotto was a great complement, as was the yellow tomato as well.
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It seemed hard to believe that dessert could stand up to such a wonderful meal thus far, but the two desserts we selected definitely held their own.

First, the chocolate mousse – decadent, rich chocolatey flavor, just the right level of sweetness . . . I think this may have been the most perfect chocolate mousse I’ve ever had, and that’s really saying something.
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Second, vanilla creme brûlée with a cookie spoon.  So delicious, but also so beautiful – just look at those vanilla seeds mixed in with the custard and topped with a perfect layer of caramelized sugar.IMG_5178

Seriously, what a treat!  This was an absolutely amazing meal, and we were so grateful to our hosts for introducing us to such a wonderful restaurant.

Of course, an evening in Belgium must end with beer.  Our beer education continued with four more – Mystic, De Koninck, Orval and Duval.IMG_5180I probably wouldn’t say any of these were my favorite of the trip, but it was still fun to experiment with even more Belgian beers.

 

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