Michelin man

Yesterday my wife and I decided to splash out on a posh lunch as she’s about to go back to work after an extended maternity leave.
There are three 3-Michelin-starred restaurants in Belgium: we’ve been to Comme Chez Soi (good, but overrated), De Karmeleit was closed, so that left Hof Van Cleve. It was spectacular – one of the best meals we’ve ever eaten. Plus, the sommelier really knew his stuff and explained well not only the qualities of the wines which accompanied each course, but why they had been chosen. We took details of two of them to buy some when we got home. I won’t go into details about the food – there’s a good review with photos at Ulterior Epicure (not exactly the same menu we had, but similar). 
And the bill? Well…let’s just say that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it…
I wasn’t always like this, in fact as a child I was the archetypal fussy eater. At one point my mother visited the doctor to express her concerns about my diet. The doctor responded that as long as I kept eating potatoes (the only vegetable I would countenance), I’d be ok. I didn’t eat particularly unhealthily (my mother saw to that), but just within a very narrow range. Once I’d left home to go to university I started to broaden my culinary horizons a little, and by the time I’d met my future wife, I was well on the way to becoming a gourmand. On a weekend break a few years ago in southern Belgium we noticed that a restaurant nearby had a Michelin star, so we decided to give it a try. That was Le Prieuré de St Gery, and we’ve been back every year since. There’s something about the inventiveness, wonder and surprises of this kind of food, which leaves you alternately swooning and giggling like a child, which appeals to us. 
Since then we’ve tried Michelin-starred Alsacien and Italian. I hear there’s a Michelin-starred Indian in London – can’t wait to try that one. But next on the list are the current holders of the title “best restaurant in the world”, El Bulli and The Fat Duck.  El Bulli’s only open from April to September, but I’m trying to book now for next spring. Wish me luck…


2 thoughts on “Michelin man

  1. ulterior epicure October 11, 2007 / 3:39 pm

    Glad to hear you had a good time at HvC. How is Goossens doing these days???


  2. simonlitton October 11, 2007 / 4:02 pm

    Hi UE, and congratulations on being the first to comment at my new home here at WordPress (albeit on an old entry I’ve just imported).
    HvC remains the best meal I’ve had in Belgium, and one of the best I’ve had anywhere, alongside Oud Sluis in the Netherlands and Pinchiorri in Italy.
    We’re off to The Fat Duck at the end of the month…


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