Carcasse Restaurant (Koksijde)

© Frank Croes

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“Me, open a restaurant? Never!“ Star butcher Hendrik Dierendonck can go and eat his hat. Because hiding behind the tram line just a stone’s throw from the beach, you’ll find Carcasse, a momentous oath-breaker and the most beautiful meat-centric eatery in Belgium, if not the world. Following on from Nicolas Misera in the kitchen, Timon Michiels (ex-Ducasse at the Louis XV in Monaco, Peter Goossens at Kruisem, no less!) gets the Berkel spinning and the neighborhood swinging to the joys of dry-aged meats (Holstein, Simmental, Wagyu, Hereford, Oedslach), which are on display for all to see. With all the airs of a tiled, luxury butcher’s shop, the wooden tables set with Atelier 85 knives and the Louchébem family photos are a little bit pretentious, but the plates are utter simplicity, there’s no sauce, nor fries: the steak comes as it is, a middle finger to Belgian brasserie-style cooking, seared on the plancha in beef fat and served with Tim’s clever counterpoints – charred leeks, fermented cauliflower and Chinese artichokes, or buttery Polder potato mousseline. Choice cuts include: rib steak, flank steak, tomahawk pork chops… At Carcasse, meat rules – right down to the pralines, which are made with lard and smoked lardo, in collaboration with his friend from Chocolate Line in Bruges. // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Try the house wine, a Puglia red from the Tenuta Girolamo (€12 a glass), or a Morgon from Georges Descombes (€73 a bottle).

PRICE: Menu €105, à la carte €77-190.

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