The Flemish Ardennes are a real paradise for cyclists and hikers, but also for foodies. In Brakel you will find restaurant “De Vijf Seizoenen” (the five seasons), where you can spoil your taste buds. We followed the beautiful landscape to this place for a long lazy Sunday lunch. Highly recommended.
Restaurant De Vijf Seizoenen
Contemporary family business
For several years already, De Vijf Seizoenen has been a fixed value in Brakel. About 10 years ago, the business has moved towards more gastronomic cooking. Under the influence of the children Jonas and Laurence, the brasserie cuisine has shifted towards gastronomy and fine dining. “De Vijf Seizoenen” is a great example of how you can, even as a family business, re-invent yourself by constantly looking for new challenges and by striving for improvement. The youngsters in the team, also part of “Jong Keukengeweld”, get the support of the more experienced team members. Together, they ensure tranquility and stability in the kitchen and spectacular dishes in the restaurant. In the dining room, Jonas’ wife and mother look after the guests with natural ease.
Check their website and you will find their philosophy, described in a loud and clear way. “We prefer local products, from local producers, prepared with today’s knowledge and with techniques of the past.” We could not say it in a more beautiful way. Pure, honest food with a solid dose of creativity.
Contemporary and classic
The restaurant is housed in a stately building in the center of Brakel. The authentic feel of the manor house has been retained, while contemporary elements such as large window frames, tight door frames and a light interior provide a modern and balanced result. Unique vintage elements give the whole extra cachet. A round table at the beautiful terrace – of which we would have loved to take home the trees, just because they were so funny – will be our setting for this afternoon. Because of the layout of the room, you will get a calm and spacious feeling, which is a real added value if you ask us.
‘Seizoenen’ (seasons) menu
The name “menu seizoenen” is appropriate and correct, and it is the menu we will enjoy today, put together with care and passion by the team and faithful to the philosophy.
We start with a range of amuses and a glass of organic champagne called Charles Dufour, extra brut, Aube, Chardonnay – Pinot Blanc.
Up first is a snack with radish and smoked cream cheese, combined with beet and horseradish
Then a waffle made of spelt and buttermilk, with almond, paprika and iberico follows.
To conclude we are served an amuse of potato and rapeseed, mimolette and chicory.
Asparagus, North Sea Crab, wild herbs and chamomile, form the basis of the first starter.
Wine: Cascas Vinho Verde – Portugal, Douro – Loureiro, arinto, avesso.
Next, we have cauliflower and white halibut with almond milk, dill and egg.
Wine: Feudo Montoni – Italië, Sicilië – Catarratto.
Then a dish with legumes, ham, soy milk and lavender is served.
Wine: Barbara, Forès – Spanje, Catalunya – Grenache Blanc.
Both main courses sound very appealing, so we taste one with meat and one with fish. The meat dish is made up of green asparagus and lamb, ramson and Brébis de Brakel.
Wine: Peña Aldera – Spanje Rioja – Tempranillo, Graciano.
The fish dish contains broccoli, asparagus and monkfish, mustard and spring onions.
Wine: Domaine La Baume – Frankrijk, Pays d’oc – Chardonnay, viognier.
At first glance, the dessert seemed to contain ingredients suitable only for a vegetarian snack. But appearances can be deceiving, because this dessert is nicely balanced and tastes deliciously. It is made of lemon cake with pine and green celery, sorrel, celeriac and lovage.
Wine: Laurent Bannwarth – Gewürtztraminer Nature – Frankrijk, Elzas.
To finish we taste two more sweet mignardises. We are definitely fans of the brownie with salted caramel and quails.
Last but not least there is a bite with yogurt, elder blossom and white chocolate.
The benefits of a newcomer, with the strengths of an established value. Restaurant “De Vijf Seizoenen” in Brakel has everything to treat its guests to a delicious dinner. All of that combined with their mission to work in a tasteful, sustainable, pure, and creative manner really creates a nice result. A real discovery and one we would definitely recommend!