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Lekker 500


Hotel De Draak on Bergen op Zoom's beautiful Grote Markt has closed its restaurant 'Hemingway' restaurant and opened 'Restaurant 1397' in its main building instead. Named after the year the original inn was founded. A golden move, because the ambiance is splendid and chef Torben Bouterse, maître Imad Khalfioui and veteran sommelier Guus van Dijk are stable pillars: with such a team you can win the war. We see white covered tables (with fresh flower) with robust furniture, high beams and sidebars with a colossal chandelier, a sandstone fireplace with an altarpiece of St Maarten above it, paintings, Gobelins, porcelain, tin and marble. Everything immaculately maintained and perfectly lit. The amuses impress: macaron of clear gazpacho with avocado cream, Yerseke oyster (the chef is from Zeeland) with Nam Kee vinaigrette and celeriac foam, and gently cooked kohlrabi with green herb ice. And, very wittily, cauliflower kibbutz with popi-sauce. The tone is set: this is excellent, modern cooking. Followed by thinly sliced staples on creme cru and aceto dressing, skate wing on spinach and delicious onion-dash sauce and various veal preparations (fillet, sweetbreads, sole bitterballs and cheek meat). In the glass: Red Bordeaux from merlot and cabernet franc grapes. Finally, a heart-warming combination of mango, lime ice cream, yoghurt rind and warm chocolate, poured over it at the table. Great class!