Flessengeluk Restaurant (Antwerp)

© Flessengeluk

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Things are a glug-glug-glugging over by Boekenbergpark, the Antwerp neighborhood on everyone’s lips. That’s where vinophile artists Maud Van Haegenborgh and Marie-Charlot Vleminckx set up their mind-blowing wine bar that’ll knock you for six, refueling the local in-crowd with their cool little snacks. Over in the open kitchen, chef Frederik “Fre” Michiels, who cut his teeth at De Superette (Ghent) and Bar Stan (Leuven), casts produce from the source of course (Pakt, Zilt En Zoet, The Food Hub), directing them in small plates for a dozen boozy tables: patterned pimientos de Padrón with fleur de sel and lemon zest; not-your-typical garlic butter escargot puff pastries that were finger lickin’ good; cacio e pepe haricot beans, served with guanciale – or basically carbonara, if you like; a more classic combo of silky smooth mashed potatoes, blood pudding and roasted apple; an outstanding pizzetta studded with cherry tomatoes (the very last of the season) and ‘nduja to really boost our happiness levels; before a delicious pear and almond tart for dessert. // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Maud and Marie-Charlot have carefully crafted a menu vol natuur: a German riesling from Bicking & Bicking (€6.50 a glass), Feuilles Rouges, a Berrichon gamay from Sylvain Leest (€45 a bottle), or Gavroche, a Touraine sauvignon from Ludovic Chanson (€32).

PRICE: Tapas-style small plates €8-14.

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