Dome *

DSCN5518

Dome
Grote Hondstraat 2
Antwerp, Belgium
+32 3 239 9003
Official Site

On my trip to Belgium and the Netherlands this year, I noticed that most of the restaurants I’ve visited were owned and operated by husband and wife. It’s a family business; the husband is usually in charge of the kitchen while the wife is responsible for the front of the restaurant. The same can be said for Dome in Antwerp’s Oud-Berchem, the owners are husband and wife Chef Julian Burlat and Sophie Verbek, who like many couples in the business own multiple dining venues. Their culinary portfolios include Dome Sur Mer, a seafood bistro and bakery/grocery, Domestic, all located within 100 feet from each other.

The Restaurant

Chef Burlat was born in France and has cooked under the likes of Pierre Gagnaier , Alain Duccase and Bernard Pacaud, – the A list in French gastronomy. In 2003, him and his wife opened Dome. And six years later in 2009 it was awarded a Michelin star. It has held it ever since.

Dining Room Reception Desk

Located in a stunning Art Nouveau building, Dome’s airy circular dining room sits below an elaborated designed dome where the floors are made of mosaic marbles and walls in white. Uniformed brown leather benches and chairs that are paired with two topped tables covered in sky blue table cloth fills up this gorgeous dining room.

Dining Room

A la carte as well as a tasting menu is available. On my visit I chose the tasting menu or the “Carte Blanche” that cost 79 euros and consists of seven courses. The tasting began with small munchies to excite the appetite, which the octopus salad stood out the most.

Carte Blanche:

For the first course I was served endives with Comte cheese and cooked with emulsion of patata Negra sprinkled with black truffles. A rich and creamy dish with a touch of earthiness.

Endives with Comte Cheese

The second course was meaty North Sea crabs with ponzu for a hint of citrus and accompanied with both raw and cooked salsify for extra oyster like flavor. Carpaccio of fresh scallops was served next, a light and aromatic broth that was infused with lotus flower and beet root and garnished with crispy beef tongue for texture.

Codfish with cheese and mint followed, an avant-garde combination which created a lovely complex of flavors. The dainty cod fish lay on top of couscous that was supplemented well with carrots and saffron. Afterwards a wonderfully cooked sweetbreads. Made with Japanese artichokes, pickled cauliflower, and puree of split peas with coriander, it stayed in tune with each other to create a flavor that complimented the sweetbreads.

Cod Fish

Sweetbreads

The dessert course commenced with a dark chocolate pudding and kiwi sauce. The sweet and sour taste, along with the bitterness of the dark chocolate posed well with one another. Finally, to finish up the meal and to clean the palate, a refreshing passion fruit yogurt sorbet was served.

Dark Chocolate Pudding with Kiwi Sauce

Passion Fruit Yogurt Sorbet

Petit-Fours

Chef Burlat is an ingredient driven chef who only uses what’s available on that day.By cooking them with simplicity he allows the ingredients to be the star of the dish. With the application of classical French techniques he delivers a menu with an arrangement of excellent flavors.

Dome’s wine list is made up of predominantly French. Throughout dinner, the wines paired were French except for one lone Italian wine. The sommelier was fantastic elevating the taste of each dish to another level.

Wine Pairing:

Wine Pairing

Service at Dome is smooth and friendly. Sophie was there from the moment that I walked into the restaurant until the time I left. She and her staff were attentive and were more relaxed than most restaurants I’ve visited in Europe, they were engaging as well. Sophie provided reading materials as I waited for the next course, although I did not need them as I spent my time talking to her and the server while waiting.

Antwerp restaurant scene is already bustling with some fantastic places and with a restaurant like Dome, it solidifies the city’s gastronomy. With extremely good food and a beautiful setting, Chef Burlat and his wife Sophie have something good going on in this restaurant.

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De Godevaart

Dining Room

De Godevaart
Sint-Katelijnevest 23
2000 Antwerp, Belgium
+32 3 231 89 94
Official Site

Highly underrated, Antwerp gastronomy lives in the shadow of other Belgian cities like Bruges and Brussels. It has quality eateries that’s worth a visit and I can attest to that after spending four days eating my way through various places. From visiting Michelin starred restaurants to countless bistros and brasseries, the city owns a solid dining landscape. There are places that deserve more recognition like De Goodevart in Old Antwerp. Highly rated among locals and epicureans alike it hasn’t really taken off for global recognition, although web search results favorable write ups and reviews.

Housed in an historic building, De Godevaart has three dining rooms and an outdoor terrace (available during nice weather) that is frequented by locals. The room in the front is airy, bright, and tall ceilings with plenty of whites. The other rooms are a tad darker with more colors and an old fire place with a large mirror above. Walls are designed with intricate artistry as well as showcasing artwork of various musicians and two antiquated chandeliers that lights up the space. The outdated interior has floors that have seen its better days. There is very little privacy among guests as the tables are close to each other.

De Godevaart Dining Room

The kitchen is under the guidance of a young and talented Chef/Patron Dave De Belder. He has a dazzling resume that includes cooking at some of the worlds most renowned restaurants like El Bulli, and El Celler De Can Roca in Spain, and the Netherlands with De Librije. When he opened De Godevaart he introduced molecular gastronomy to the city of Antwerp.

Dining Room

There are several set menu choices along with an a la carte. The prices are expensive, yet I wanted to experience Chef De Belder’s talent. I opted for the 110 Euros seven course menu with dessert. I was on to a culinary adventure that began with bread sticks placed on top of parmesan cream sprinkled with dried tomato. Then fried chicken skin with cheese seasoned with chili and garlic was served. It had a burst of flavor with a beautiful crunch.

Tasting Menu:

The first course started with the delicate flavors of Octopus with chilled mussel broth and fennel. The chilling of the broth while retaining the mussels flavor was both a bold and clever move by the chef. Afterwards cod and shrimp with leeks was served. Not only was the cod center stage, it was also in the background infused within the broth. This created two varied types of mildness. Halibut with rocket salad and Jerusalem artichoke was the third course. The fish’s firm texture and clean taste were complimented very well with its sauce and other elements.

The next course was hearty Texan meat ribs with buttermilk and pickled vegetables. In this dish the chef decided to turn up the heat and added some spiciness to a fantastically moist pulled meat covered in eggs, sunny side up style. This was followed by a dish made of two types of beef, the wagyu and charoalis with buckwheat and artichoke. A carnivores delight that showcased these individual mouthwatering flavors cooked to perfection.

Texan Meat Ribs

Wagyu And Charoalis Beef

The first dessert course was a signature dish that was brilliantly prepared and displayed creativity. It was a duplicate of a forest where the soil is made from chocolate, mushroom made of chocolate mousse, greens from pistachios and mandarin gel to give it some color. This visually stunning dessert was delicious. Then finally, coffee yoghurt and bergamot dessert was served, combining a bitter and sweet taste balancing the contrast of flavors.

The Forest Dessert

In this tasting menu the complexity of each course came with an excellent amount of textures and flavors. There is serious talent in the kitchen that is far superior to some of the one and even two star restaurants that I’ve visited. If there was something De Godevaart could add to their repertoire, it would be a wine pairing. During my visit it was not available with their tasting menu but I was still able to enjoy a few glasses of whites recommended by my server.

Coffee Yoghurt and Bergamot

Service was attentive and engaging to some degree. From the moment I walked in, genuine and welcoming smiles were flying from its all female staff dressed in black from top to bottom. The pleasantness and the relaxed atmosphere in the dining room from the staff dictated a wonderful dining experience.

Petit Fours

When a restaurant charges steep prices the expectation is high and disappointment often occurs, but here the prices are warranted. From start to finish the kitchen and staff deliver. Chef De Belder’s innovative cooking technique merits at least a star or two that the Michelin guide cannot keep overlooking. To call De Godevaart underrated is an understatement, this is an excellent restaurant that will eventually gets its due.

For individuals who are ordering medicines online, there are several significant factors that must be considered. Internet is an ideal practice to get medicaments. Several medicaments are antifungal medicines. There are at least some medicaments for each sicknesses. Levitra is a curing set to treat few ailments. What do you have to view about cialis vs viagra? When you buy remedies like Levitra you should ask your pharmacist about viagra vs cialis. Many drugstores describe it as viagra or cialis. Many probably sure the forcefulness of Levitra is well documented. In complement, there are some of explanations and pharmacists are mostly able to pinpoint your problem through biological tests. Ordinarily the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction medicaments or counseling. Your generic is for you only. Never give your drugs to other men even if their state appears to be the same as yours.

De Karmeliet ***

Dining Room

De Karmeliet
Langestraat 19
8000 Brugge, Belgium
+32 50 33 82 59
Official Site

Dutch north Belgium, known as Flanders is the nation’s gastronomic region and home to more Michelin stars per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world. The province of West Flanders and its capital, Bruges, is a haven for such accolades. It houses a total of eight Michelin star venues, including two with 3 stars (Belgium hosts a trio of three star restaurants and all are located in Flanders). I had the pleasure of dining at one of them, De Karmeliet.

Located about twenty minutes by foot from Bruges train station and situated in the heart of this medieval city, De Karmeliet is the brainchild of Chef Geert Van Hecke. Along with his wife who runs the front of the house they own and operate this fine dining institution. For seventeen years the restaurant has held the prestigious three star rating from the Michelin guide, a testament of consistency in performing at high levels year in and year out.

De Karmeliet

A well known individual in Belgian gastronomy, Chef Van Hecke has outstanding culinary pedigree. He was mentored by the legendary French chef Alain Chapel, cooked at Villa Lorrain in Brussels (the first restaurant to have a three Michelin stars outside of France), and worked in various kitchens in the Gallic region. Fine dining is written all over him and in 1996 he was awarded the third star at De Kameliet making history by becoming the first Flemish chef and restaurant in Flanders to receive such honors.

Lounge

Classic yet elegant with modern aesthetics is the best way to describe the décor of De Karmeliet. A lounge area is near the front complete with a bar and comfortable sofas, where guests can start with a drink before their meal. Upstairs are calm and hushed dining rooms with high ceilings, clean white walls, and tables covered in perfectly pressed tablecloths with silverware placed in precise positions. There are paintings and sculptures on display throughout the restaurant.

Dining Room

After arriving at De Karmeliet, I was escorted to the glass enclosed section of the lounge where the kitchen is visible. There, I was given the menu and was served homemade potato chips with shaved parmesan cheese to snack on. The prices are expensive and on par with the three Michelin starred restaurants in Paris. After careful consideration I opted for the “Brugge Die Scone”, the six course tasting menu for 210 Euros.

Homemade Potato Chips

The meal began with a plate preparation of an amuse-bouche. Small nibbles with complex taste and a plate of buttery goose liver mousse. Afterwards I was led to the dining room where I resumed my meal.

Brugge Die Scone:

The first course exhibited the treasure of the North Sea. Marinated John Dory with king crab, tomato juice, and a salad of baby marrow with anchovies. The buttery texture of baby marrow and the saltiness of the anchovies were in symphony with the taste of the deep-sea. This was followed by hop shoots with sobayon of white beer, soft boiled egg and ham “Duke of Berkshire”. Since I don’t eat pork, the restaurant was accommodating to my dietary restriction and substituted the pork with cured duck bits.

Up next were roasted French scallops, ravioli with green asparagus and black truffle from Richerenches. The juicy scallops were delicious and along with the profound taste of black truffles the different elements in the dish gave it a nice flavor profile. Next was the roasted langoustine and goose liver, marinated eggplant with infused seaweed and lemon. The langoustine was roasted impeccably that the infusion of seaweed and lemon gave it more depth, while the nuttiness of the goose liver gave added additional texture.

Lamb

Then came the milk fed lamb, roasted with rosemary, salsifys a brun and a blanc. It had a nice little hint of spiciness, but the highlight was the lamb itself. I was never a fan of lamb because of the smell, but this dish had no odor. The lamb meat was tender, succulent and cooked excellently. I enjoyed it so much that I had to tell the chef.

A selection of cheeses was the sixth course. Served with crystallized fruits and crusts of bread. The lady of the house brought the cheese cart and I allowed her to choose for me. Although I was more than happy with her selections, I would’ve rather had another savory course and made this course optional.

Cheese Course

There were two desserts to finish the tasting. The first was called “A Few Sweet with Fruits”, yet there were no fruits to be seen on the plate, but rather a mixture of mousses and sorbet made from fruits. This was a refreshing dessert that wasn’t overly sweet. Finally, the “Dessert with Chocolate” served with petit-fours, a plate of beautifully arranged Belgian chocolate ended the meal on a high note.

There was a fine selection of predominantly French wines that were available by the bottle but limited options by the glass. Luckily for me the sommelier picked a nice Sauvignon Blanc and at 19 Euros per glass it was a bit pricey. A wine pairing for an extra 100 Euros was also available.

Petit Four

When booking this restaurant I had concerns with service from reading various media outlets on the web, but after dining at De Karmeliet my concerns were laid to rest. The staff were attentive and as a solo diner they also provided reading materials as I waited in between courses. The lady of the house was seen in the dining room and did most of the talking with the guests. Like most fine dining in Europe, the service was “speak when spoken to” and uptight which by now I’d grown accustomed to.

For a restaurant like De Karmeliet who had been a three Michelin star for many years it was easy to fall back and just keep doing what got them to the top. Instead they reinvent themselves and step out of their comfort zone to continuously create flavors using high quality foreign and seasonal Flemish ingredients. Having the distinction of being my first three Michelin star meal in Europe, my high expectations was met and allowed me to enjoy the meal. This is an outstanding restaurant with exceptional cuisine.

For individuals who are ordering medicines online, there are several significant factors that must be elaborate. Internet is an ideal practice to get medicaments. Several medicaments are antifungal medicines. There are at least some medicaments for each sicknesses. Levitra is a medication prescribed to treat few ailments. What do you have to view about cialis vs viagra? When you buy remedies like Levitra you have to ask your druggist about viagra vs cialis. Many drugstores describe it as viagra or cialis. Many probably sure the forcefulness of Levitra is well documented. In supplement, there are some of explanations and pharmacists are ordinarily able to pinpoint your problem through biological tests. Ordinarily the treatment options may include erectile malfunction medicaments or counseling. Your generic is for you only. Never give your drugs to other folk even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.