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De Treeswijkhoeve - 2 Michelin stars near Eindhoven

Rating: 92.
Rating index:
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Outstanding (93-95)
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In spite of the economic difficulties the country (and all of Europe) is experiencing, the Netherlands continue to do well with Michelin. The two three-star restaurants (De Librije and Oud Sluis) are well worthy of their accolade and the number of two-starred restaurants (18) is impressive, when you consider that Belgium (where, unlike in the Netherlands, fine dining is an essential part of the national identity) has 16 and (obviously much larger) Germany has 36. The latest additions (2013 guide) to the two-star category in the Netherlands are Aan de Poel in Amstelveen, &samhoud places in Amsterdam and De Treeswijkhoeve in Waalre (near Eindhoven).

De Treeswijkhoeve is located in what used to be a farmhouse on the country estate "De Treeswijk" ("hoeve" is Dutch for farmhouse). Chef-patron is Dick Middelweerd (49). The restaurant used to belong to his parents-in-law and he has worked there since 1991. He took over the place in 2000 together with his wife Anne-Laura and was awarded his first Michelin star in 2005 (2006 guide). Before taking up his position at De Treeswijkhoeve, Dick Middelweerd trained at La Provence in Laren (now defunct), Hotel Okura in Amsterdam and De Hoefslag in Bosch en Duin.


De Treeswijkhoeve is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday until Sunday (no lunch on Saturday). Being a member of the Alliance Gastronomique in the Netherlands (admitted in 2003), the restaurant serves a Menu Alliance and a vegetarian Menu Alliance (each 5 courses for € 87.50). There also is the Treeswijkmenu (3 courses for € 57.50 or 4 courses for € 67.50) and the à la carte menu. I had lunch there with my husband on Sunday 24 March 2013 and we both had the Menu Alliance. When I was there, I couldn't help noticing that the Treeswijkhoeve boasts a rather magnificent collection of Michelin guides. So nice to see the France 1965 guide in which Paul Bocuse gets his third star (and in which La Mère Brazière still has three stars too), to browse though the Germany 1980 guide in which Eckart Witzigmann was awarded three stars and the 1982 UK & Ireland guide that marked the arrival of the first three-star restaurant in the British Isles, Le Gavroche.

We started off with some nibbles:
- crispy apple and five spice 'krupuk' with a dip comprised of a pure and smooth artichoke puree and a butterscotch centre. A lovely combination of flavours; nice natural creaminess from the artichoke
- two delicious bites: one with 'pekelvlees' (corned beef), daikon, ginger crème and the other one with chickpea, cumin, carrot and yoghurt
- a small bowl with juicy green olives.






Next the first of three amuse bouches was served. A light and well-set celeriac flan served with a fresh apple jelly, Savora mustard, walnut and some nice celeriac crisps. This was followed by a playful dish of beef tartare, a spicy but elegant gado gado of pak choi and Romanesco cauliflower and an intense peanut cream. The final amuse bouche was Cured salmon dipped in chia seeds with refreshing cucumber and goat's cheese cream, green asparagus and a lovely pure citrus and mustard seed dressing.






The first course of the tasting menu was Sardines, artichoke, tomato, ricotta, chorizo, puffed rice. Fabulous marinated fresh sardine fillet and very flavoursome sardine tail-end deep-fried in a batter with chorizo and sage, served with a lovely olive oil, chorizo, basil and tomato dressing. Also on the plate was some fresh tomato and a wonderfully intense and pungent black garlic puree and fresh ricotta which added creaminess and freshness. Lovely different textures of artichoke; a delicate clean-tasting puree, a rich mayo-like cream, a piece of fresh artichoke and some nice artichoke crisps. There was a lot going on on the plate, a variety of flavours and textures, but the dish was well-executed and the flavours worked. Nice balance between richness and freshness.


Second course, Razor clams, cockles, lobster, oyster, asparagus, saffron, turnip greens, fresh grapefruit, tarragon mayonnaise. A lovely selection of perfectly cooked seafood accompanied by fantastic fresh (first of the season) white asparagus, a turnip top puree with a clear dashi and kaffir lime leaf stock poured over. Wonderful interplay of seafood flavours and the hint of bitterness from the fresh grapefruit matched the sweetness of the seafood superbly. The turnip green puree was nice and pure and blended beautifully with the dashi and kaffir lime leaf stock. A wonderful dish with balanced and clean flavours; the tarragon mayonnaise on top of the lobster added depth and warmth.


Time for the third course: Skrei, fennel, quinoa, black olive, tangerine zest and tomato. Well-cooked skrei served with some delicious crunchy buttery bread and black olive crumbs, soft braised fennel, thinly sliced crisp fresh fennel and a lovely beurre blanc foam. Tucked away under the skrei was this gorgeous piece of sweet tomato that added a wonderful depth of flavour to the dish. An excellent dish with lovely sweet flavours and subtle bitters.


Fourth course, Roe deer, beetroot, carrot, cardamom yoghurt, foie gras, cherry and apricot puree, red onion tarte tatin, red wine jus. Beautifully cooked tender fillet of roe deer served with a marvellous foie gras crémeux, thinly sliced lightly pickled beetroot, carrot and sweet potato purees and a red onion tarte tatin which was divine. Lovely sweet and tart cherry and apricot puree. A very well-conceived dish that was brilliantly executed. The glass of Maxwell Ellen Street Shiraz 1997 that the sommelier served with it was magnificent too.


Next up, the pre-dessert called Multivitamines. A lovely dish of invigorating hibiscus flower granita, champagne sorbet and a crisp and airy goji berry meringue.


Fifth course: Cranberries, rhubarb, strawberry, white chocolate, lychee. A lovely refreshing lychee sorbet accompanied by 'cubes' of rhubarb, cranberry, strawberry and white chocolate mousse and jelly. A nice light dish with fresh flavours but not terribly exciting.


Last and sixth course: Chocolate, passion fruit, Bastogne biscuit, 'Hopjes'. A delightful dessert of Bastogne biscuit ice cream, nice and sharp passion fruit puree, chocolate with a passion fruit filling and fantastic 'Hopjes' (coffee and caramel flavour) crisp. A well-executed dish with a lovely balance between the sweet tang of the passion fruit and the warm caramel flavours of the Hopjes.


This was a delightful meal - a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. De Treeswijkhoeve marries traditional warm-hearted and unfussy Brabant hospitality to excellent contemporary cuisine. Dick Middelweerd is an accomplished, technically adroit and versatile chef who produces original and characterful food. The execution is flawless, whether it concerns the sauces, the cuisson of the meat and the fish or the consistency of the foams, jellies and purees. Ingredients are treated well, the plates are well-presented and the dishes are well-balanced. The food at De Treeswijkhoeve is attractive, playful and relaxed, is conceived and prepared with attention to detail and it does not lack finesse. With his confident style of cooking, Dick Middelweerd exemplifies modern Dutch cuisine.


Posted 14-04-2013




 
 
 
 

 
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