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A royal tribute to Peter Goossens: Philippe and Mathilde have dinner in silence at the Hof van Cleef |  local

A royal tribute to Peter Goossens: Philippe and Mathilde have dinner in silence at the Hof van Cleef | local

They kept it a secret, but they made no secret: King Philippe and Queen Mathilde had dinner at the Hof van Cleef on Saturday evening. HLN learned this from various sources. It was a royal tribute to Peter Goossens, because on December 22, the chef left his three-star restaurant in the hands of his successor, Floris van der Veken.

It came as a shock to the customers of Hof van Cleve. The atmosphere was always quiet and discretion was the order of the day, but an extra layer was added on Saturday evening. Because suddenly there was a couple – him wearing a tight black suit, elegant white shirt and bronze tie, and her wearing a flaming red-black dress – people at first glance had to think for three seconds who this person was. You know what it’s like when you suddenly see your big boss from the office at a festival wearing shorts and beer in hand.

So, the royal couple unexpectedly found themselves at the three-star restaurant in Kruychotim, strategically located on the corner – safety first, of course – but far from hidden. Philip could, so to speak, overlook the entire restaurant from his chair, and all the customers who had reserved a table last Saturday evening could simply gaze upon the king and queen’s plates. Although it must be said: it was exactly like all the other paintings.

There are only two menus available at Hof van Cleve these days: the signature menu and the vegetarian alternative. Since the King is not known for his low-meat diet, he and his wife must have enjoyed the eight courses – as was evident from Mathilde’s smile and Philippe’s satisfied look when he said goodbye to Goossens. The Royal Palace did not provide any further explanation because it related to “a private activity of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.”

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For the curious among you – or for the culinary connoisseurs who can’t afford the €490 per person, no water, wine, coffee or non-alcoholic alternatives: the Hof folks have caviar with miso and shrimp, langoustines with chermoula sauce and more. Cuisine, a piece of North Sea cod with leeks and crab, scallops with truffles, a slice of rabbit with chicory and celery and two desserts – a pear with orange, cinnamon and pistachios and black chocolate from Brazil with pecans, vanilla and jonagold.

Peter Goossens will soon pass the torch to Floris Van Der Veken. © ID/Fred DeBrock

Next Friday, December 22, Peter Goossens and his wife Liv will say goodbye to the restaurant that has been his life’s work and which has had three Michelin stars on its facade since 2005. Just two weeks later, on January 10, the court reopened – updated With new art and furniture and with Floris van der Veken (34), Goossens’ current right-hand man, at the stove. Remarkably: Van der Veken will likely leave immediately without stars and certainly without top scores in the Gault&Millau restaurant guide, and his menu prices there have already been revised. For seven courses the customer will pay 195 euros, for five courses 165 euros.

look. Hof van Cleve will be more than half cheaper from next year after saying goodbye to Peter Goossens

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