Savage Restaurant (Brussels)

© Gabriel de Selys

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Adieu Kip Kot! Louis Leysen wiped the slate clean and shut down his chicken rotisserie in Mechelen, giving the façade an almost entirely green facelift in the process. It’s a serious update, with a chic atmosphere (dim lighting, chocolate brown surfaces, dark marble) and Dutchman Joel Rammelsberg (ex-San Ghent) in the kitchen. The 2.0 version? A vegetarian menu, which makes a few compromises for the Belgian clientele with meat or fish sides available upon request. Admired on the tattooed tableware: al dente Brussels sprouts pimped out with yuzu jelly and pea, radish and fennel shoots, with a tender trout tartare from Bigh (more specifically, from the aquaponics farm in Les Abattoirs); BBQed leeks plunged into a kombu broth; dry-aged and roasted celery over a silky long pepper cream with hazelnuts and kimchi; and a creative mixture of cider and sencha tea sorbet, grapefruit, stewed apple and white chocolate for dessert. // Luce Berdon

FEELING THIRSTY? The chef’s liquid explorations (homemade sunchoke liqueur at €6 a glass), Pom Perry cider from Druug in Ghent (€22 a bottle) and a few natural wines: Ultimatum Climat, a beaujolais from Le Clos des Vignes du Maynes (€7.50 a glass), L’Abrunet, a Catalan white from Celler Frisach (€36 a bottle)…

PRICE: Set menus €20 (weekday lunch) and €38, protein-heavy sides €10-14, Samson cheeses €15, food and drink pairings €27.

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