Salto! Restaurant (Lier)

© Salto!

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Along the Nete River, just south of Antwerp, Salto! is making a splash! Behind the bar? Joris Duys and Natania Van De Schoor, who steer the helm with Piquette, their natural wine importing company, through an ocean of uncool alcohols, and delight Lierre locals at this formidably well-stocked bistro. Perched on one of the counter stools, with Jacques Dutronc for company (his music, not in the flesh), we nibbled: tasty smoked mackerel with a horseradish zing, cucumber and a dill cream; brined lamb’s tongue cooked in lamb stock before being smoked over beech wood, with a dollop of dandelion sauce gribiche; and Txogitxu prime rib for two, which was on another level, served with a Belgian lettuce salad and impeccable fries. // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Let the good times roll with a skin-contact Cinciallegra from Silvia Tezza in Veneto (€8 a glass, €40 a bottle), Insoumis, a Valais red from Mythopia (€89 a bottle), or Tropical Hazy IPA Kitropiki from De Mortselarij Brewery (€7 for 330 ml). And for a delightful, alcohol-free, Antwerp aperitif, there’s the Shizo from Bōtan Distillery (€8 a glass).

PRICE: Appetizers €5-15, à la carte €62-70

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