Restaurant De Jonkman, Brugge, 4/27/19


De Jonkman was started in 2006 by Chef Filip Claeys and his wife Sandra Claeys.  It is a short train ride from Brussels to a shrubbery surrounded modern house in Brugge.   There are colorful and whimsical animals outside the windows and in some of the several dining rooms. Detailing of the interior and exterior design is lovely and lots of large windows to the lush grounds serve as walls for the dining rooms.  Art by Belgian artists and mirrors adorn other walls and the large white cloth covered tables are well spaced and fitted with comfortable chairs.  They have 2 Michelin stars and chef Claeys was on hand the day we were there to produce some wonderful dishes for us to enjoy.  He really stresses sustainable food sourcing and works to highlight local products that are not usually on menus, especially fish that would often be thrown back and he finds a way to turn them into something delicious.  It is worth a trip to Brugge; the food is outstanding.  The staff were all friendly and spoke great English.  The menu offered a la carte options as well as 5, 6 and 7 course tastings.  Working with the chef we were able to select a la carte options that would highlight what he thought looked best that day. Continue reading

Hertog Jan, Zedelgem, 4/26/17


Hertog Jan is located just outside the city of  Brugges in Belgium.   (They have a car out front but no ride was offered to and from the train station.) They moved from a smaller space and opened in this location, an historical farm, in July 2014.  The move was a direct result of their quest to obtain a third Michelin star but they received it before they were able to move.  According to Manager and Head Sommelier Joachim Boudens this gave them some headaches but because they had already started the plans for a bigger structure there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  The historic buildings gave them some challenges in creating the kitchen but the farm also allowed them to grow many of the vegetables and herbs they use in their cooking. Continue reading