Klok Restaurant (Brussels)

© Alexandra Battut

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Lille, Béthune, Marc-en-Barœul… Strongholds disband to the sound of Florent Ladeyn’s Thioise trumpets. So much the better! Because unlike Attila the Hun, the grass grows back greener once this emblazoned Flandrian lion has passed through with his zero-kilometer ethics in tow. It was only inevitable that the Viking chef, whose taste for beer and food earned him a reputation as « the most Belgian of French chefs, » was bound to cross the border and one day wind up in Brussels. The terroir-ist (pepper, coffee and tea are all banned) has requisitioned the ground floor of the Grande Cloche hotel, the oldest in the capital still in operation, installing two lieutenants from his inner circle there. Auriane Pretre (formerly countess of Bierbuik in Lille), and Jordan Joubert (the ex-liege of Loïc Villemin at Toya) court a complicated infrastructure: a kitchen fitted with a pizza oven as the only hearth, responsible for ensuring that breakfast immediately transitions into a popular “all day lunch,” before attacking the evening’s gourmet menu. And that evening, our eyes never left our plates: a whelk and beef croquette with sauce gribiche for reinforcement; tender, smoky celery drizzled in leek oil; a rich dashi broth with scallops and squid fished in Dunkirk, served alongside a plate of marinated prime rib with woodland sunflower root; finishing with a stunning goat’s cheese with pumpkin praline, and a creamy miso-glazed pear. // Salty Lychee

FEELING THIRSTY? A famous Berliner Weisse brewed with hay in Boeschepe (€4.80 for 250 ml), but also a cast of natural wines curated by the Brussels importer Baptiste Marette (Pépins), like the Ô Frères Muscadet from David Landron (€48 a bottle) or the Alsatian Pinot noir from the Rohrer estate (€49). Unless you opt for the interesting local espresso martini made with chicory (€12).

PRICE: Breakfast €3-17, brunch €3-45 and set menu €28 (weekdays), menu €60-90 (dinner).

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