Over on Rue de Flandre, the brutalist concrete/metal structure that is the Teddy Picker hotel (dreamt up by Tim Siaens with help from architect Johan Cool and LOW architect studio) certainly catches the eye. Inside? A handful of hotel rooms and Kline, a chic and tasteful restaurant – run by Nico Corbesier (ex-Les Éleveurs in Hal), a terroir-ist with a hankering for full-fledged flavors, who proves that the Flemish are hell bent on reinventing the downtown experience (Nightshop, Henri). Take the night we went, as we devoured beetroot chutney paired with pumpkin seed crackers; Atlantic redfish and rhubarb ceviche; radical sea eel served with a Berliner Wine potato mousseline; delicious white asparagus
with smoked egg yolk; or even a daring cream puff packed with praline ice cream and paired with miso-glazed pears. Everywhere you look, spices from elsewhere remind you that this is where it’s at, for a locally-sourced journey to faraway lands. // Toni Negroni
FEELING THIRSTY? A small naturalist selection with an “easy drinking” mentality: crémant d’Alsace produced by Jean-Pierre Rietsch (€12 a glass), an experimental Metade (a blend of lambic and vin clair) created by Nico and sommelier Andy De Brouwer in collaboration with the Portuguese winery Fitapreta (€35 a bottle), Rötlich, a German rosé from Andreas Mann (€45)… And to go with all that, a G&T made with Belgian De Cort gin (€15).
PRICE: Plates €9-16.
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