French restaurant guide Gault&Millau has revealed the 20th edition of the Belgian Guide. Over the past year, anonymous inspectors have been travelling the country and compiled the 2023 guide containing over 1380 restaurants, among which 125 new members and 168 rising stars.
Besides ranking the best restaurants, the guide also awards the title of Chef of the Year, which, this time, went to Nick Bril from The Jane restaurant in Antwerp. “A passionate entertainer, Nick Bril enjoys taking his guests into a world of gastronomic experience. As a chef, he has long demonstrated his gift for innovation. The Jane and its rating of 18.5 also strengthen his position among the best chefs in the country”, Gault&Millau’s CEO Marc Declerck noted.
The title chef of the year goes to the chef, but actually not at all. This is only possible with a group of people around you who believe in what you stand for. Taking care of guests. Therefore, this award might be referred to as “team of the year” in my opinion.Nick Bril, Chef at The Jane Restaurant
The guide has also been publishing the “POP Casual Dining” book for 5 years, which presents the best ‘casual’ addresses. This year, the guide has more than 488 restaurants for “informal” dining, with 93 new additions. The three POP Award 2023 winners are Finch, in Antwerp, Pinsaci Tu, in Brussels, and Socio-Pâtes, in Charleroi.
The titles of Young Chefs of the Year went to Alexandre Ciriello (L’horizon – Chaumont-Gistoux) for Wallonia, Davy Devlieghere (Restaurant Julien – Lievegem) for Flanders and Alexandru Sapco (La Bonne Chère – Brussels) for Brussels.
The guide also awarded thematic prizes:
- Host of the Year: Serge Sierens (Hof Van Cleve, Kruisem)
- Italian of the Year: Felicità (Waterloo)
- Asian of the Year: Old Boy (Brussels – Ixelles)
- The most beautiful terrace: Hoeve de Bies (Fouron-Saint-Martin)
- The most beautiful restaurant design: La Grappe d’Or (Arlon)
- Sommelier of the year: Maxime Sanzot (Racines – Floreffe)
- Dessert of the year: Bozar Restaurant (Brussels)
- Brewery of the Year: Fortuin (Kontich)
- Gastro-bistro of the year: Bistrot Blaise (Marche-en-Famenne)
- Artisan cook of the year: Eric Fernez (d’Eugénie à Émilie – Baudour)
- Vegetable dish of the year: Elements (Indrani – Loupoigne)
- Wine menu of the year: Paul de Pierre (Maarkedal)
- Beer menu of the year: Hop Gastrobar (Leuven)
- Price-pleasure of the year: Onism (Blankenberge) for Flanders, ÖTAP for Brussels and L’O de Source (Jalhay) for Wallonia
- The 3 discoveries of the year: Côté Préféré (Jabbeke) for Flanders, Entropy for Brussels and Recto Verso (Ciney) for Wallonia
Ever since Gault&Millau started making the guide for Belgium, the highest score, of 19.5 out of 20, has been going to the Hof van Cleve restaurant in Kruisem and this year is no exception. Along with Hof van Cleve, these are the 10 best restaurants in Belgium: