Rebelle restaurant (Courtrai)

© Zoë Kennof and Bert Demaseure

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Trying to get a table at Rebelle is like waiting at the doctor’s office when you haven’t got an appointment. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal. Ever since opening in 2017, its popularity has shot through the roof, as Martijn Defauw and Tessa D’haene (both of whom used to work at Hôtel Damier) continue to hit Kortrijk darlings with gastro-seismic shocks – softening the blow with a dining room that’s cozier than ever with its total cream-colored look. Among an array of knockout dishes, the €155 tasting menu featured: some dynamite ceviche revisited with scallop, daikon and a grapefruit and Ají Amarillo chili vinaigrette; perfectly cooked cod doused in a smoked eel jus and sherry beurre blanc, all dotted with tiny pumpkin balls; the signature langoustine dish in all its splendor (for an extra €35) – lightly fried and served with a sweet and juicy fermented tomato beurre blanc and XO sauce, which Martijn prepares a little less spicy than the way he remembers it from his time in China; or the dashing roast pigeon that was delicious as hell with its soubise sauce made with Cévennes onions, shaved winter truffle, vadouvan (an Indian spice mix) oil, a cheesy Flandrien Grand Cru cream and parsnip purée, paired with a ragu-filled fritter and grated cured pigeon heart. Quite possibly our favorite meal of the year – and it’s only January 10th! // Casimir

FEELING THIRSTY? A wine list as thick as a phone book, curated by Michiel Theys and Yoerik Depraetere, revealing a fine international cast of bottles: Weg 2018, an Alsatian pinot gris from Jean-Marc Dreyer (€49 a bottle), Mag Da, a Belgian red blend from Servaas Blockeel (€55), or a barbera d’Alba from Le Strette (available as a magnum, but served by the glass for 9 €).
PRICE: Tasting menus at €60 (three courses, lunch except Saturday), €120 (six courses) and €155 (seven courses).

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