Vincent Cuisinier de Campagne
With its bucolic settings, open farmyard and potatoes planted in between the grapevines (then cut into fries and cooked in Outre-Quiévrain beef fat!), everything at the Belgian chef Vincent’s place feels like a countryside fairytale. Backed up in the kitchen by his wife Olivia, he digs into his vegetable patches and chicken coops, or those of his producer friends, for the ingredients used in his well made local dishes. On the lunch menu (€31) the day we went: vine-caught petits-gris escargot floating in a mugwort broth; freshwater carp stuffed with chicken rillettes and deglazed in an arugula emulsion; and, served for dessert, foie gras with a glass of Coteaux-du-Layon from Juchepie, just like in the 18th century, chosen from a daunting wine collection: Bourgueil from the Nau brothers (€5 a glass), Muscadet from Eric Chevalier (€24 a bottle) or Vouvray sec Le Clos Naudin 2011 from Philippe Foreau (€39). Menus €17 (weekday lunch), €25 and €31, kids €15, à la carte €35-44. Reservations are recommended. // Y.S.