Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Euro 2014 - Gastronomia!!!!

de-I is taking advantage of his trip to Europe to indulge in some serious gastronomic action.  This is so shocking I know!

Hotel de Stokerij - Oudenburg, Belgium

When we made our reservation here, I was just looking for an economical place near Brugges.  There was a notation on the website about a restaurant but I didn't pay too much attention to it.  What it turned out to be is a very small operation where the husband/chef does a significant amount of the artisanal food preparation himself.  This means that he cures hams in a variety of fashions.  He smokes fish.  He makes pates.  He bakes his own bread.

The dinner was a fixed price set menu with beer and wine pairings

We had aperitifs and snacks first
The snacks were three small friend items with chicken, crab, and cheese inside.
Jan can really handle deep fried items

Inside the dining room there was an open kitchen

There was an entree course of smoked eel on a couscous salad, an eel soup and a croquette of shripm
The eel was lusciously smooth with only a light smokey flavor.
The soup was very strong so you had to like strong fish flavors to enjoy it.
The croquette was again a marvel of deep frying.

The intermezzo was a sorbet made with cherry beer.
The cherry beer is made with a Gueze from Brussels that has cherries macerated in it for five months.
Very yummy

Jan and Ingrid working away on the main courses

The Main
Probably our least favorite part of any of our eating at de Stokerij
The fish was really not up to snuff.  The white asparagus was very good but it would have been nice to have more than one.  
The sauce was made from the asparagus and wasn't strong enough to hold up to the fish
Plus everything was white!

A trio with a mousse made from yogurt, a chocolate mousse, and a fresh sabayon.

The Final Bite
I loved this.  Jan took pieces of banana, covered in sugar cooked to hard stage with some miscellaneous sprinkles on top.
The sourness of the banana with the sugar complement

The Breakfast Buffet

This was without a doubt THE best breakfast buffet that I think I've every had (except maybe this one at a hotel in Manchester, England in 1987).
The hams were all cured by Jan including a prosciutto styled one.
He made pates and rillettes and baked their own breads and made their own preserves

Bistrot De Gilde, Vlamerting, Belgium

We had decided to spend some time wondering around West Flanders in Belgium and got a bed and breakfast room in a place in a small town mostly to ave money.  We asked them for a recommendation for diner and were referred to small place not far from the B&B.  We didn't expect much but were amazed and the quality of the food, the friendliness of the staff, the excellent decor, the quality of the beer and the overall value.

Wife had a old Belgian style beef stew with a side salad

I had rabbit, grandma style, with shredded apples on the top.
Crazy tender and tasty

I lovely Westmalle beer to accompany the meal

A mandatory order of frites

Chocolate mousse for dessert with some interesting crunchy things inside

Restaurant-Rotisserie Le St. Louis, Dinan, Brittany, France

We ended up in Dinan after finding out that our actual destination was way further than we had originally thought.  I will post about Dinan which was a great place in another segment.  We needed to find a place for lunch and I got this out of our Guide Michelin Green Brittany book as the closest to us.  It featured a 'buffet of entrees (appetizers).  I was a bit leery of this but I was dead wrong!  It was great.  Again there were tons of house made products like oil cured herring, pates, oil cured pastrami, rillettes of sardines and on and on.

The Entree Buffet

My entree plate

Melissa had a tart tatin with fois gras
Innovative and yummy

Melissa setting up her money shot

Our mains were like a traditional English Roast meal 
Wife and Barry had beef and I had pork

There was also a dessert buffet
Wife opted for that and had an apple dumpling which was apples in a crepe and a chocolate mousse (surprise!).  Both had some kind of alcohol in them which gave a nice richness to both.

Cafe de-I, Plougrascent, Brittany France

When we eat by ourselves at our rental things aren't too shabby either.

Here we have a buffet of cured meats and cheese for a light dinner.


Bernice said...

The presentation of all of the food was amazing.

alexis said...


Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

I'm so glad you're having memorable food!