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Fine Dining in Northern France

Estaminet "L' Hazewinde"

59117 Saint-Sylvestre-Cappel

Just twenty miles from the Belgian town of Poperinge lies the tiny village of Saint-Sylvestre-Cappel. Nextdoor to the Estaminet that we will review, the village houses an artisan bakery. Here you find the most delicious breads and the "apple flambée" that is on the neighbours menu.

Estaminet "L" Hazewinde"is a genuine Flemish restaurant, situated in a picturesque old farmhouse. A proud Flemish Lion adorns the facade, wreathed with hop flowers. Hop that is used to brew beer, and is still grown in the region around Poperinge.

L Hazewinde

That the manager of "The Greyhound "used to work as a sommelier at "L'Huitriere" in Lille, still shows in the exquisite wine list. But as in all Flemish Estaminets, the beer is also largely represented. You can order bottles of Trois Monts, Maredsous, Saint-Omer and Saint-Bernard, but also a  L'Hazewinde amber on tap.

The menu offers a choice of delicious dishes. Besides the aforementioned "tarte flambée" there is "potjevleesch" and "tartiflette au mont de cats" on the menu. (a locally produced cheese)

A local aperitif is the "Amer Picon", a bitter liqueur based on orange peel. There are two kinds: Picon Vin Blanc and Picon Bière. We drank a Picon Vin Blanc, where white wine and lemon syrup is mixed with the Picon liqueur.

Next, we let go on the delicacies that were offered: a "tartiflette au Mont des Cats", a stew pan with potatoes and bacon, covered with a thick layer of local grated cheese and then oven grilled. Copious but delicious.

The nearby Mont de Cats houses an abbey where the monks are engaged in making a cheese that can best be compared to the famous French "Port Salu". The orange color of the crust is obtained by rubbing with regular brine stained with rocou. (A natural product based on Annato seed) The cheese mass is hard and has small holes, the aging time is less than a month.

The second dish we chose was a variation of the classic Flemish Potjevleesch (game meat). The "Lapin façon Potjevleesch" consisted of a rabbit leg and a nice big piece of bacon, pickled like Potjevleesch. Again, this cold dish was really great-great!

Earlier that day we had tasted the Potjevleesch of "Le Roi du Potje Vleesch" (the king of game meat) in nearby 59270 Godewaersvelde. Beside this restaurant is also a shop where one can buy all kind of local specialties: e.g. hard to find cheeses such as "Brique the Cassel" and local beers, and of course, their own Potjevleesch. The prices of "Le Roi" are quite high and the taste of his game meat was i.m.h.o. inferior to the taste of  the "Lapin façon game meat" of "L' Hazewinde".

Compared to the Potjevleesch at "Le Roi...", I would definitely call the chef of "L'Hazewinde"  the Emperor Of Potjevleesch...

Two appetizers, two main dishes and two coffees, all for €35 , I can hardly wait to come back again!

Estaminet "L' Hazewinde"

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Place de l'église
59117 Saint-Sylvestre-Cappel

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