Close to Dranouter on the border of the rather flat French Flanders you find the Heuvelland Hills and in the middle of nowhere the one star restaurant “In De Wulf”.
This is a place for food lovers. Innovative cooking but with respect for the Flemish tradition and the use of local herbs, greens and flowers.
We arrived a warm august summer night around 20.30 and in fact it was too late because it was past 1 am before with finished our pousse café.
The restaurant is in an old beautifully renovated farm-house with a lovely garden and a salon to enjoy a drink.
We opted for a 5 course degustation menu including a wine menu.
Enjoying the sun set over the hills we enjoyed 4 small amuse-bouche in the garden. They were served on warm or cold stones and included tête pressée on rye bread, smoked eel, red beet in yoghurt – every stone beautifully decorated and seasoned with flowers from a nearby garden.
After moving inside in the spacious restaurant we started with a marinated mackerel with grilled cucumber, gooseberry and dill. This was a very delicate appetizer. The woody / grilled taste went perfectly with the mackerel. Second starter was by far the star of the night. Oostendse mussels and Noordzee crab in its own juices plus a bit of white beer and lovage herb. All the savours stayed on our tongue long time after having the last bite of this very refined dish. Then came a little piece of ray in a juice of elder berry capers and charlotte onions. It missed soul and taste, maybe just a bit of salt would have helped. After a little refreshment of local cheese, greens and herb came the last dish. A rather small piece of streaky pork or bacon. This was not really our taste and you needed a magnifying glass to find a bite of real pork meat.
We finished the dinner with 3 small top desserts, mixing chocolate, greens and berries in innovative ways. Excellent.
Our wine menu started with a very nice surprise. A Belgian white, from Westouter Heuvelland 2009 “Entre-deux Monts”, 100% Kerner grape. This region is not yet known for its wine, but it was a real good wine, dry and a little spicy and it went perfectly together with the mackerel. To be recommended. Then we had a Spanish Valdeorras from Galicia 2009 “Gaba Do Xil”. 100% Godello. It was fresh, dry with a tetchy sensation. Galicia may be a less known wine region, but absolutely a region to discover.
With the pork we had a red Crianza, from Rioja, 2007 “La Montesa”, 40% Tempranillo and 60% Granacha. A beautiful, wine with lots of juicy, red and black fruit and a full body.
The service is pleasant, helpful and attentive and it is really a place to recommend. Just remember to bring your GPS otherwise you will never find your way home.