Den Beer

Den Beer Restaurant (Antwerp)

© Kiko Zushi

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We thought we’d seen and tasted it all… that was until we stepped into the Antwerp lair of the lovely octogenarian Guusje Bremer, who has firm roots in the Handelstraat neighborhood. Tucked away behind a narrow facade illuminated by a neon sign are eight wooden tables covered in red and white gingham tablecloths, all surrounded by lovely kitsch knick-knacks at this quirky vaudevillian spot – where you’ll receive a charmingly arrogant welcome. When Guusje initially opened her doors with her husband, they served mussels. Then back in 1971, lobster joined the menu, currently available prepared eight different ways: with fennel and whisky cream; “escargot style” – aka drenched in garlic butter; or even “à la nage,” bathed in a fresh bouillon and served in a copper casserole dish, to be slurped up with abandon – hence why it’s served with old-fashioned waffled napkins. But whatever you choose seafood-wise, don’t skip the dame blanche dessert. // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Go for the full experience with Lassaigne blanc de blancs Champagne – and at €8 a glass, it would be silly not to partake! Otherwise, there’s Léon, a pouilly-fumé from Jonathan Pabiot (€55 a bottle) or a lalande-de-pomerol by the Château La Faurie Maison Neuve (€52).

PRICE: Whole lobster roughly €80 (depending on market prices), dessert €8.

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