When you eat in restaurants quite often, it is hard to be genuinely surprised by a concept that really stands out or by a chef who puts a big smile on your face. So, if it happens, it’s something special… Well, that’s exactly how I would describe my latest visit to Gist in Antwerp (chef Dario Puglia). This was my first visit since they moved to their stylish new location in a small street in the heart of the historical centre of this lively city, tucked in between the historical town hall and the banks of the Schelde river.
The dining room is elegant and spacious and offers a nice view on the open kitchen where Dario is in charge of an international kitchen brigade whilst his wife, Mieke is overseeing service and also helps you find the right wines (or beers) to go with the food.
Even though Dario has undeniable Italian roots, his kitchen is not Italian. It’s not Scandinavian, not Spanish, not Belgian, no, it’s simply Dario’s kitchen. I could write long sentences describing the exquisite dishes we had, but hey, I won’t…because Gist is a restaurant you HAVE to visit for yourself…go on, go for the GIST experience…and do get carried away…natural, intuitive cooking doesn’t get any better than this….beautiful, deep flavours, a variety of textures, home made cheese, wonderful wines, good and friendly service and most of all…a lot of love and passion…I think the attached pictures speak pretty much for themselves. Everything was spot on, nothing felt overly complicated or too far fetched.
Oh, and one last thing, I am not a big fan of natural wines, but just try the Sauvignon Blance called “Le bénéfice du Vigneron”…amazeballs….
I’ll be back….for sure…This is a very very good restaurant and most certainly one of the best places in Antwerpen to eat out.