• The World's 50 Best Restaurants
No.50

Hof Van Cleve

Kruishoutem, Belgium

No.50

Godfather of Belgian cuisine goes from strength to strength

In a nutshell: Peter Goossens' stated mission is to put a smile on the faces of visitors to his beautiful farmhouse in the fields of Flanders. It's a goal he has achieved with great success over 30 happy years spreading the joys of Belgian cuisine.

On the menu: Local produce is the backbone of the menu, but it’s not limited by nationality, with ingredients from further afield integrated seamlessly into dishes that balance tradition and modernity. Witness scallops from Saint-Brieuc in France combined with witlof (Belgian chicory), salsify and Jerusalem artichoke or native oysters from nearby Lake Grevelingen with bergamot, cucumber and smoked eel.

A few words on the space: Don't be fooled by the rustic exterior. Inside is a sleek, elegant space with dining rooms decorated with works of art, furniture and crockery from Belgium’s leading painters and craftsmen. The service is smooth and personable thanks to Goossens’ wife Lieve, who oversees the front-of-house.

The chef: Peter Goossens cut his teeth in Paris at Pré Catelan and Pavillon d’Elysée, before taking over Hof van Cleve in 1987.

Don't miss: The epic cheese and dessert trolleys that glide between the tables.

On the pass

  • Chef-owner Peter Goossens (pictured) with Floris Van Der Veken

Pastry chef

  • Jonas Vanheede

Style of food

  • Modern Belgian

Standout dish

  • Squab Anjou

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