Ever since reading about ICI on the Brussels Kitchen and S Marks the Spot blogs, I’ve been curious to go there for lunch.  And yes, of course the food is amazing, the Assiette Mixte a very generous portion of  seasonal vegetables freshly prepared that morning (think tasty roast pumpkin and quinoa salad) and can be ordered vegeterian (with goat’s cheese) or with meat or chicken.  There is also a lunch menu that includes soup, salads and a freshly baked cake. But what is hard to describe is how cosy this place is, the benches full of cushions, the waiters so friendly and helpful. Definitely worth a detour but keep in mind it is best to book as from what we could see, this little place gets busy over the lunch hour.

PS If – like me – you’re too full after lunch to taste their amazing desserts, take a chocolate moelleux to go!

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I am always happy when new places open up close to where we live, and this year we are especially spoiled with Bar Attak and just last week Little Butcher’s Summer Grill.  Most of the summer bars and restaurant score high on atmosphere but usually disappoint in terms of food.  Whilst the old coach house with its brick walls and timber beams is definitely a great location, Little Butcher’s completely blew us away with the quality of their food and drinks.

They make their own tonic and serve such drinks as Kurkuma Sour (kurkuma infused gin, lemon and orange bitters) and Fritz Rubarb lemonade.  I went for the Vulson Rye n dry (rye spirit, ginger ale and lemon).  I had not tasted the Vulson before, I expected an agressive whiskey taste but instead got a pale coloured drink with a spicy, soft taste. I think I’m over G&T now, and this was a great alternative.

There is a huge outside kitchen with grill, and a focus on the menu on grilling and smoking local organic food.  We started with turkey brochettes and bitterballen (dipped in mustard! bliss!), followed by the grilled calamares in lemon butter and an incredibly tasty bavette steak.  We loved the food so much we have already booked to go back in a few weeks time when ex Noma souschef Yannik Van Aecken will take over the grill.  Tickets are selling out quick, so if you want to go book here now!

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If you google paleo and New York, chances are Hu Kitchen will definitely pop up a couple of times.   Hu does not use cane sugar, soy lecicithin, refined sugar, gluten, emulsifiers or GMO’s in its food.  They do not use palm oil, filter their water 5 times and have Frank Lipman as one of their advisers (I am a big fan of his Revive book).  The marbled interior is nice enough to look at but the real star here is the food.  Their delicounter has some amazing salads: wild salmon fishcakes, grilled asparagus, roasted butternut and sweet potatoes, grassfed beef meatloaf (my personal favourite) ….. I also tried the egg sandwich for which they bake their own glutenfree bread.  This was one of the best gf breads i have ever tasted with a really good texture, crumb and taste.  The bar has kombucha on tap and if you are still hungry after all that, they do an amazing banana bread!

Another of my favourite places was  Fat Radish.  I follow Nicole Franzen, a New York based photographer on instagram which is how I found out about this great place.  This Soho based restaurant is one of the more creative ones with a vegetable based (though not vegetarian) kitchen and was within walking distance of our hotel (a coincidence, I swear!).

The amazing Dark and Stormy came with crisp fat radishes smothered in black tapenade.  The radish/ tapenade combo doesnt sound like it would work but did!  The fat radish plate main course features all kinds of veggies and brown rice. On our second visit, i had the bacon cheeseburger with house pickles an duck fat chips. If you are planning a trip to NY, put this on your list of places to visit!

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After the Kinfolk event on Saturday night (more pictures coming soon!), we stayed in Ghent and had a lovely lunch at Superette.  I had heard so many good things about this Kobe Desramaults bakery.  Well to be correct it is more of a team effort with Rose Greene (who will be giving a workshop on fermentation during the Krachtvoer food festival this weekend) and Sarah Lemke (who is responsible for the amazing bread).

The brunch definitely did not disappoint.  We had the CCC Punch which was a cocktail but as it had carrot juice in it, we were counting it as a vegetable serving….  It had a lovely spicy taste and was made with caraway seeds, celery eau de vie, bitters and vermouth.  The pumpkin cake with burrata was sweet and creamy, the chicken caesar wonderfully fresh!

 

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I had the great luck to be invited to the opening of the new Ellis Gourmet Burger in Antwerp. After Brussels and Knokke, a new location was added with a duel between Michelin starred chefs Vicky Geunes (‘t Zilte) and Nick Brill (Oud Sluis).  No knives were thrown as far as I could see, on the contrary, Vicky Geunes even helped out Nick Brill who was stuck in traffic and arrived hours late….The lamb burger by Geunes was finger-licking-ly good… but the oyster and lobster burger by Brill was… wow unbelievably amazing and in a category all by itself.  If you weren’t there to taste it, make haste to visit Ellis in its location across from the MAS and sample the Lovin’ Spoonful Burger created with Michel Van Tricht or any of the other 15 burgers they have on the menu.  See you there for an Ellis Special Bacon and Vanilla Milkshake.  I’ll even share my french fries!

Ik had de ongelooflijke chance uitgenodigd te worden voor de opening van de niewe Ellis Gourmet Burger in Antwerpen. Na Brussel en Knokke, opende dit restaurant de deuren met een duel tussen sterrenchefs Vicky Geunes (‘t Zilte) en Nick Brill (Oud Sluis).  Er werd niet met messen gegooid voor zover ik kon zien, in tegendeel: Vicky Geunes hielp zelfs bij de mise en place van de Nick Brill hamburger toen die laatste uren te laat kwam door de files.  De lamsburger van Geunes was om duimen en vingers af te likken… maar de oester en oosterscheldekreeft burger van Brill was … wow onbeschrijflijk lekker en hoort thuis in een categorie helemaal bij zichzelf.  Als je er niet bij was, rep je dan naar Ellis tegenover het MAS voor een Lovin’ Spoonful Burger (ontwikkeld met Michel van Tricht) of één van de andere vijftien burgers op de kaart.  Ik kom mee en bestel een Ellis Special Bacon en Vanille Milkshake.  Ik wil zelfs mijn frietjes met je delen!

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