HOF VAN CLEVE
During Belgium’s recent culinary boom, which has seen the nation attract more awards than ever before, there has been one restaurant that has stood out from the rest: Hof Van Cleve.
Chef Peter Goossens is firmly in the critics’ spotlight having collected three Michelin stars, placing the restaurant fifteenth in San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants and earning a place at Les Grandes Tables du Monde.
Journeying the 30 minutes it takes to drive from the center of Brussels will allow you to mentally prepare for this culinary whirlwind – do you go for the eight course seasonal menu or the five course à la carte menu. Both have a play on key ingredients, the former menu reads like a shopping list: sardine, hiramasa, langoustine, brill, venison, arabica and apricot, but every one of these dishes maximizes the key ingredient almost beyond recognition. À la carte classics include ‘open ravioli with braised cheeks of beef, served with Parisian mushrooms and langoustine’, ‘king crab with Belgian sevruga caviar’ and ‘crispy veal sweetbreads with penne au gratin, melted foie gras and spinach’. The restaurant itself, situated in the beautiful Flanders countryside, is unassuming, plain and simple – the ideal neutral canvas for Goossens’s bold enthusiastic dishes and some of the finest gastronomy you will ever experience.