De Vitrine (Ghent)
After our great experience in “In The Wulf”, we were very curious about Kobe Desramaults new project “De Vitrine”, in Gent. “De Vitrine” is located in Gent’s red district, to which the name “the display window” refers. The place is established in an old (and only slightly renovated) butchery, which gives it an authentic and special charm. You can have some appetizers (which you have to pay extra) in the first room, the old butcher shop, and dinner is served in the second room, the old butchery itself.
The place can get quite noisy due to bad acoustics, but that is a disadvantage we were happy to accept. Because the place is small and the tables are very close to each other, conversions with your neighbors might occur easily. It all contributes to the Rock & Roll atmosphere you will experience at The Vitrine.
De Vitrine is the “bistro” restaurant from Kobe Desramaults, where he hands over the knives to his ex-cooks Matthias Speybroeck (In de Wulf, Oud Sluis) and Niels Desnouck (In de Wulf, Noma). The restaurant is a spin off from In de Wulf, with great and mainly local food but without the “chique”.
Only menus are served in De Vitrine: for lunch a three course menu for 24 euro, for dinner a 4 course dinner for 45 euro (which can be extended with one extra course for 10 euro). The cooking philosophy is somewhat similar to In Du Wulf: an emphasis on local, fresh products. “Close to nature cooking”, that is. Presentation and service, however, are more Rock & Roll: the young and dynamic team serves you “in your face’, with a very loose but accessible attitude. The food is not of the same quality (and creativity) as In De Wulf, but off course you can’t expect it to be similar for a price of 45 Euros for 4 courses. However, the quality is exceptional for a bistro restaurant and in combination with the atmosphere you will certainly have a great dining experience. Here’s the menu we had on 28/01/2012:
It was a very fresh, “close to nature” menu (especially the first dish – very green, fresh and crispy!), where the highlight for me was the squid. The combination with the butternut pumpkin was very pleasant and added a little sweetness to greasiness of the squid. The veal was somewhat disappointing as this dish was quite simple (in presentation and taste) and unsurprising. The other dishes were good, with an emphasis on local, fresh products.
We had a very tasty glass of cava to start with: “La Perle” extra brut, Domaine de L’Ocre Rouge. A nice and yellow color combined with a deep but not too heavy taste. We chose a white wine from the small wine list, a Croatian Grasevina Enjingi 2009, which had a special but not dominating taste. It was good, but we wouldn’t recommend it with dishes that have more complex flavors. I also tried one of the red wines, but lost the notes on that one. It was good, but not memorable.
The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience
Once again, Kobe and his team surprised us. This was a very different dining experience because of the (very) casual style of the restaurant’s interior and service, in combination with very good food. This is Rock & Roll dining – try it at De Vitrine.
I paid +- 70 euro for a 5 course menu, with wines, aperitif and coffee. Rock & Roll dining shouldn’t expensive!
Belgian Taste Buds:
– Food Buds 7/10
– Wine Pairing Buds 7/10
– Price/Quality Buds 8/10
– Experience Buds 8/10