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Belgium has a new three-Michelin-star restaurant

15:41 11/01/2021
Zilte in Antwerp not only has great views, the food is perfect, says the new Michelin guide

Make your plans now for when restaurants re-open in Belgium: The prestigious new Michelin Guide is out. The big news is that Zilte in Antwerp has earned a third Michelin star in the new restaurant guide, which covers Belgium and Luxembourg.

Zilte becomes only the second restaurant in the guide with three stars, joining Hof van Cleve in Kruisem, East Flanders, which has retained its three.

“Dining at Zilte is an emotional experience,” reads the guide. “You dine on the top floor of the MAS  museum, with the city at your feet. The understated design is intimate and stylish. Everything is right here, from the greeting and the professional wine advice to the biscuit with the coffee.”

Zilte has been on the ninth floor of the MAS since the museum opened in 2011. The restaurant moved from one side, with a harbour view, to the other, with a view of the city skyline, just last year.

‘Complex and outspoken’

“Chef Viki Geunes has pared down his restaurant to the essentials,” continues the guide. “It all begins and ends with top quality, and that is no different here. Consider, say, a filet of turbot so fresh that it’s simply hard to believe. The meticulous chef manages to further refine that quality with thoughtful details, such as pork knuckle to give it earthiness. He then shows his finesse with a delicious wine sauce. Each plate is complex and outspoken. Exotic garnishes provide surprising sweetness and spiciness. Rest assured: Viki Geunes is a master of his craft.”

Two restaurants, meanwhile, received their second star: Castor in Waregem, West Flanders, and Bartholomeus in Knokke-Heist at the coast. And 10 restaurants around the country earned their first star, including Le Pristine in Antwerp, Attablez-vou in Namur and Le Pré des Oréades in Spa.

The only two-star restaurant to lose its stars was Sea Grill in Brussels, but that’s only because it closed. The plan to move the entire operation out of the Radisson Blu Hotel and into La Villa Lorraine on the edge of Bois de la Cambre was interrupted by the corona crisis.

A few single star restaurants are now starless, however, including Het Land in Berlaar, Antwerp province, and Little Paris in Waterloo.

Despite restaurants being closed for a few months in 2020, Michelin inspectors were able to carry out all of their visits during the several months that they were open.

Photo: Viki Geunes at work in Zilte  ©Courtesy Zilte/Facebook

Written by Lisa Bradshaw