Chambre Séparée, Ghent, 4/24/19


Chambre Séparée is a u-shaped counter for 16 around a large open kitchen dominated by wood fired grills, which do all the cooking.   There is a comfortable space out front where you wait for your seat at the counter.  They invite you to come early to enjoy the space and a cocktail.  Our reservation ran a little late so they started with the snacks out there.  I don’t know if this was usual or not. Two seatings fill the spaces for this surprise tasting menu.  Wine pairings are available but we chose our own bottles of wine to accompany dinner.  Vintage rock records are played on a turntable, smoke fills the air ( which will also permeate your clothes by the time you leave) and lighting is pretty dim at the counter.  They have been in this location for two and a half years and hope to move the restaurant to the country in another year and a half when it would be time to remodel the building.  It is a several hour meal with good pacing, no lags, and great portion control.  At the end of the evening they have a written copy of the menu for you as well as a parting gift of housemade bread and butter.  Kobe Desramaults is the chef and he and the other chefs presented the food and described it well.  They were all very friendly, spoke good English and didn’t mind questions. 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