Smudged Restaurant (Antwerp)

© Marjorie Romeijn

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Testing, one, two, three… It didn’t take very long for the highly persuasive Didier Van den Broeck (Dogma) to convince Antwerp’s foodelligentsia that Smudged is where it’s at! At this beautifully renovated spot, he keeps company with his favorite dogmatic restaurateurs, Niels Eysermans, Lieven Pauwelyn and Marco Min, in the former Amadeus rib joint on Sint-Paulusplaats square – featuring a vinyl bar, cinema-quality speakers, and a show-stopping kitchen with its own barbecue station. Manning the tunes and the stoves? Arno De Neft and Arthur Oidtmann, two creative chefs with seriously impressive resumes, who delight their beautiful crowd with English pub fare. To share (or devour solo!): cecina from Carnivale; a pair of warm oysters with beurre blanc sauce, caviar and chives; a spicy txistorra sausage roll with Balkan-inspired paprika ketchup; an audacious (and delicious) scotch egg with rice instead of meat, arancino-style; an exceptionally good shepherd’s pie with carrots and peas; and if you’ve still got room for dessert, cherry clafoutis with vanilla crème anglaise. // Kiko Zushi 

FEELING THIRSTY? The cocktail menu, concocted by Didier and Niels is (obviously) worth exploring, with drinks like a sgroppino made with St-Germain liqueur and a lemon / 3 Fonteinen gueuze sorbet. As for the wines, opt for something like Fanny, a pinot gris produced by Julien Meyer (€10 a glass) or Brut de cuve, a gamay from Romain des Grottes (€60). 
PRICE: Charcuterie €12-16, à la carte €42-56. 

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