Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem, 4/27/17

front door
front door

Hof van Cleve is in an old house outside of Ghent, using several of the rooms as dining rooms.  The wide wood plank floors and white painted ceiling give it the feeling of a farmhouse.   The house windows look out on to the meadows and farms around it.  It has a comfortable and welcoming feel.  The tables are well spaced  and service is friendly but the pacing is variable.   We started with the house aperitif which was a sparkler mixed with elderberry.  It rang up at 30 euros a glass, but was a good pour and nicely refreshing.  

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around the house
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at the gate
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gate
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parking area
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interior
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interior
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table set up
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menu cover
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menu 1
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menu 2
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menu 3
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menu back
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Frankie explored the purse stool
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Aperitif Maison

 

While we looked over the various menu options they presented a mousse of tomato and arugula, which was very tasty.  Also a tomato tartlet with mozzarella and basil came out.  It was nice but mildly flavored.

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Tomato with rocket salad and shrimp
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closer
Frankie loved the color
Frankie loved the colors
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Tomato with mozzarella and basil

 

The next snack was sea bass with red rice and Asian flavorings.  It was very tasty.

Omega seabass with ponzo and black garlic
Omega seabass with ponzo and black garlic
closer
closer

 

The bread tray included selections with spelt-ename, rye (Trappist from Westmalle), durum foccacia, camp rémy baguette, and wheat meule.  The butter was lightly salted and good tasting.  The spelt was a standout bread.

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bread plate
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butter

 

Wagyu was a nice bunch of tastes including a fried potato puff that gave good textural contrast.  It contained oxtail meat and a poached quail egg.  The only problem here was that the wrapper was tough to cut.

wagyu-vlees
Wagyu with potato puff, oxtail meat and quail egg (credit and thanks to ‘foootrip’ on TripAdvisor for the photo as I forgot to take one)

 

The chicken liver contained carrot, orange and marinated mushrooms.  It was really good with the liver being exceptionally creamy.  It blended well with the pieces of orange.  A very thin cracker added a bit of crunch.  A real Yum here.

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Chicken liver with carrot and orange”north
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closer
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wine
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red wine
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Frankie thought the table decoration had a candle but it didn’t

 

Squid was served with roasted sesame seeds, herbs and buttermilk.  The sesame seeds are a dominant taste and they’re good.  A mild, fresh dish, it was nice.

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Squid with sesame and buttermilk
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closer

 

The “North Sea” crab was mixed with sorrel, wasabi and hijiki.  The mild taste of the crab mixed well with the various other flavors, apple vinegar, dashi juice and avocado.  The second smaller bowl had a stronger taste of crab mainly because of the broth.  The noodles in the bowl worked well with the dominant Asian flavors here, seaweed, tofu, sesame, oil of citrus and the juice of North Sea crab.

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presentation of seaweed and tofu
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Crab ‘North Sea’ with sorrel, wasabi and hijiki
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closer
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detail
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closer
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inside
Frankie liked the cork/ wine cap plate
Frankie liked the cork/ wine cap plate

 

Dune asparagus were mixed with chicken, smoked eel and fresh green peas.  Also included were cream of parmesan and chicken stock.  The chicken was a crispy, moist piece of wing and the asparagus were white without a hint of bitterness.  The chicken stock was strongly flavored and very aromatic – excellent.  Everything here mixed together so well producing a wonderful set of flavors and textures.

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Dune asparagus with chicken, smoked eel and green peas
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closer

 

The line caught sea bass was cooked perfectly and plated with cockles, bear’s garlic, peas, the juice of clams, mushrooms, green herbs, feta cheese and romanesco.  The nice sauce included a bit of browned butter that had been drizzled on the fish.  The sauce really brought out the best in the fish and the feta cheese was an interesting addition that really worked.  The cockles brought a little brininess to the taste but it didn’t take over.  A total success.

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Line-caught Seabass with cockle, bear’s garlic and romanesco
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closer
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Frankie played on the menu stand

 

The langoustine dish took a little time to get out and so they brought out a tartar of langoustine with fennell to bridge the gap.  It was very good.

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Langoustine tartar
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closer

 

The perfectly cooked Langoustine ‘Guilviniec’ was plated with artichoke, bouillabaisse, eggplant and chick peas and then topped with crispy fried leaves.  A very nice dish again.

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presentation
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Langoustine ‘Guilvinec’ with artichoke, bouillabaisse, chick pea
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closer
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detail
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detail
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detail
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Frankie admired the artistry of the dish

 

For the squab you first had to chose a knife from a selection made for the restaurant.  All were made with handles of recycled materials and carbon steel blades.  The choosing usually elicits a chuckle as one handle is made from the bone of a walrus penis.  We chose an ivory and a wood handle.  The Squab ‘Anjou’ was plated with cauliflower, broad bean and morels.  The very tender meat was served alongside a crispy roll filled with more squab with tandori sauce and dominated by Asian flavors. Everything once again blended perfectly together and the sauce (cream of pigeon juice with sage) on the bird was particularly tasty.

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knife choice
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presentation
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Squab ‘Anjou’ wth cauliflower, broad bean and morel
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closer
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detail
roll
roll
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Frankie played on the menu stand

 

‘Organic’ pineapple was served with curd, hammam (green) tea, tapioca, passion fruit,  and butternut squash. The sauce was made from blood orange and red fruit infusion tea and was absolutely exquisite.  But then so was the pineapple and I particularly liked the addition of tapioca, it made the texture sing.

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cheese cart
Pineapple 'Organic' with curd, hammam tea, butternut squash
Pineapple ‘Organic’ with curd, hammam tea, butternut squash
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closer
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another angle
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Frankie said it was great
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view out the window

 

Chocolate Van Dender ‘Madgascar’ 72% was mixed with matcha (green tea), kumquat and a sauce of sea buckthorn.  A really fun dish made with cold ingredients and mostly smooth textures.  Very, very nice!

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presentation
Chocolate Van Dender 'Madagascar' 72% with sea buckthorn, matcha, kumquat
Chocolate Van Dender ‘Madagascar’ 72% with sea buckthorn, matcha, kumquat
detail
closer
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chef visits with guests

 

Chocolate and sweets was an inadequate description of the dessert cart.  Filled with homemade tarts and crispy, buttery pastries it was a sweet lovers dream.  Snowballs (like beignets), Madeleines and custards – I couldn’t tell you all we selected to try but I can tell you it was all delicious.

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dessert cart
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with the server
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lower shelf
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some of our choices
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more choices
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“snowballs”
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more treats
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Frankie offered her help
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reception room
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another room
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Chef Peter Goossens and Frankie

2 thoughts on “Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem, 4/27/17

  1. Be still my heart. Absolutely beautiful
    and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing in such fine detail. Perfect. Looks like Frankie felt right at home.

    Liked by 1 person

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