OSTEND – The queen of Belgian seaside resorts does not have an immediate association with beer as far as your average beer lover and tourist are concerned.
Nevertheless, it was in this city that ‘De Bistronoom’ restaurant decided to set up shop. In 2011 this venue was named best beer restaurant in the world by website RateBeer.com but it has since closed its doors.
Beer is Everywhere
There is really no need for beer aficionados to regret its passing, or steer clear of Ostend, as there are still plenty of beer experiences to be had. Ostend has a local Zythos association (‘De Bierjutters’) who every year organise the only open-air Zythos beer festival in the country.
It is also where you will find café Manuscript, brewery and beer shop 't Koelschipnand other beer-oriented cafés.
Beer is everywhere in Belgium, even though you might have to look for it a little bit harder now and again.
At BeerTourism.com we not only want to put the spotlight on beer and Belgium but we also like to focus on the culinary aspects.
We were therefore delighted to learn that Johan Mortier of Eetkaffee Poseidon has added quite a few more beer dishes to his menu.
The Poseidon is a genuine hidden beer gem and although this restaurant is right at the top of our list of Beer Tourism destinations, many a beer lover will walk past the building without knowing the delights waiting for them inside. Time to rectify this situation we felt, and take the opportunity to put this venue on the map once and for all.
Although the busy summer season was in full swing Johan and wife Anne-Marie found time to meet us and we received their usual friendly welcome.
From Trappist to Sorbet
Johan is a beer lover through and through but he remains humble as always. He does not regard himself as a beer connoisseur or a beer cook; beer to him is an ingredient just like any other. At the Poseidon you can be assured of honest French-Belgian cuisine without frills but with a healthy dose of originality.
How about an Ostend fish soup with Malheur 10 accompanied by a gorgonzola sorbet; ‘waterzooi’ or spring chicken with Arabier; a beef casserole ('stoofvlees') with Ichtegems Bruin or a tiramisu made with Pannepot from the Struise Brouwers.
This chef will only ever use seasonal produce and everything he dishes up is home-made. The Poseidon offers a great choice of beer dishes but you will also find an extensive and well-balanced beer card. This includes all the Belgian Trappists (including the Westvleteren 12!) in addition to brews from the Struise Brouwers and Alvinne.
What About all That Jazz?
This coming weekend, on 24 August, Johan and Anne-Marie will be hosting a ‘Jazz Night’ in their restaurant; the Jazz Night is now in its sixth year. The Red River Dixie Band will be playing between 19:30 and 22:00 to add to the culinary enjoyment.
For this special occasion Johan has compiled an authentically Belgian menu. He has prepared these dishes once before, in celebration of the National Day weekend, but by popular demand he has now once again included them on the card.
The €40 set menu will delight you with chicory soup (using Kapittel from Westhoek Brouwerij Van Eecke) followed by mussels prepared with Belgica (brewed by Strubbe in Ichtegem) and a Liefmans Kriek and banana sorbet.
The menu does not recommend specific beer pairings but as there is a wide range of beers on offer, you will no doubt find your own favourite beer combination based on what you fancy.
Book your place sooner rather than later as the locals have been ‘in the know’ about Jazz Night at the Poseidon for years and it is very popular.
Telephone: +32 (0) 59 43 90 69