Hardly a well-kept secret, Lieve has been on our to-do list for some time now. For a restaurant in the Netherlands, the service is uncharacteristically good. We grossly underestimated the popularity of Lieve and were surprised when we were asked if we had a reservation, turning up as we did at 6 on a Monday evening! Thankfully there is a stylish waiting area for the imprudent, where we enjoyed two of the best beers in production: XX Bitter and Timmermans Peche.
I have a huge respect for restaurants that suggest beers to accompany your meal. With over 35 Belgian beers to chose form, they are able to recommend a different beer for every dish on the menu.
We plumped for something they call the Belgisch Barok ‘ambiance’ (dining is not a simple venture here) where one chooses three starters, four mains and three deserts to share in a tapas style.
The clear winner of the first round was the mini flemish stew of pork with Floreffe double beer and beer bread. The mushroom and truffle pate was also very good, but the the goose breast rilette (whatever that is) has a texture more than a little reminiscent of canned tuna.
We don’t normally eat frites (ahem). But the Belgian’s are quite insistent on this accompaniment. The pumpkin pie was unusual and delicious, but the wild boar and deer stew with cranberries probably takes top spot. The vegetable strudel was also great- tangy sauce and stodgy, buttery pastry marginally offsetting the health benefits of the vegetables.
Everyone was a winner in this round. The pannacotta is lined with a jelly made with a rouge beer which really works. The apple struddle was fine and the parfait of sugar and spice cookies is unabashed indulgence.
If you have time then this a a great experience- arrive hungry.
Kooky, rustic and homely. Definitely a restaurant.
Very unusual for restaurants to focus their menu on beer pairings; kudos.