Ghent locals love it, without necessarily realizing that John Dory is the English equivalent to the French Saint-Pierre. And at this contemporary, canal-side restaurant from Louis Snauwaert (ex-Amigo) and Cheyenne Dekeyser (a photographer-turned-sommelier), fish is the main language spoken here. The lunchtime lingo featured: two amuse-bouche, a Parmesan biscuit with shelled prawns and fried heads, and an oyster with yuzu, radish and chili; delicate langoustine tartare with anise flower, carrot vinaigrette, olive, lovage, maritime spices and umeboshi (pickled plum); dapper charred mackerel, ponzu cream, grilled onion, mustard seeds and celeriac; perfectly cooked John Dory (there it is!) surrounded by shucked whelks, wild garlic, broad bean cream and sweet tooth mushrooms. Fish for dessert? Almost: the cardamom ice cream and bergamot-strawberry jelly is topped with a slightly salty turbot roe crumble! // Casimir
FEELING THIRSTY? A small pan-European wine list: Grüner-Veltliner, a mineral Austrian from Zu Dürnstein (€6.50 a glass), an Italian Nosiola white with a sea-faring minerality from Salvetta in the Dolomites (€60 a bottle), Cuvée Louis, a biodynamic red from the Domaine L’Aumonier in the Touraine (€40).
PRICE: Menus €40 and €55 (lunch) and €72 (dinner), food and wine pairing €36.
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