Holiday Dining Standouts

Warning: this is a post about sheer decadence. Instead of exchanging gifts this year, the Roommate and I decided to dine at four fancy restaurants. We'd reached this decision after walking around town recently and seeing there were so many places we'd never eaten at but always said we wanted to.

**I attempted to be gluten and dairy free where possible....but I definitely wasn't even close to 75%.

dining, food reviews, restaurant review, restaurants Gent, Naturell review, Karel de Stoute review, Carte Blanche review, Pakhuis review, food Gent, christmas restaurant Gent, New Years Eve restaurant Gent, reservations Gent

So now was the time to make it a priority while we were both in town and with the holidays as a good excuse for celebrating. Also, we never take for granted how long we are living in Belgium and never know if it could be our last holiday season here.


It was our first time at Naturell, which pitches itself as an "all senses" cuisine. The video above of our first starter gives you a little glimpse at what they mean. Fantastic! We had let them know that one of us was gluten and dairy-free and they did a wonderful job accommodating the request. After a fantastic multi-course menu, we left already eager to return.

Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche is well reviewed in Gent and it was the only place we could get a reservation on Christmas Eve. I'm not sure if it was their first time hosting a Christmas Eve multi-course menu but there were definitely a few hiccups during the night. I wasn't as wow'ed as I wanted to be.

Karel De Stoute

This was our second time eating here and like our first experience, I was so impressed. The biggest thing to note is that they do a full gluten-free and dairy-free tasting menu for me. I greatly appreciate this and felt so spoiled. Also, they were by far the best-priced place that we ate at. If I could dine here once a week, I would. I'd say they are my favorite restaurant in Gent.


Pakhuis is an old standard for us; any time we have guests in town or simply want a good cocktail, we go to Pakhuis. The food (particularly the Poulet de Bresse) is always top-notch and the interior is unique and impressive. We went here for New Year's Eve and unfortunately I came down with a stomach bug right after arriving. I managed to make it through most of the meal but didn't really eat or drink. I was sad that I couldn't enjoy it because it all looked wonderful. I was home and in pajamas before midnight. No champagne toast for me.

Favorite dishes

dining, food reviews, restaurant review, restaurants Gent, Naturell review, Karel de Stoute review, Carte Blanche review, Pakhuis review, food Gent, christmas restaurant Gent, New Years Eve restaurant Gent, reservations Gent, Janines Gent, Janine's
  • Appetizer: Bonemarrow at Janine's (restaurant not listed above)
  • Vegetarian course: Carrot, Pumpkin, Kale - Naturell
  • Fish course: Soft Shell Crab-Karel de Stoute
  • Meat course: Hare two ways - Karel de Stoute
  • Dessert: Yuzu and black ride - Naturell

And now the dieting begins. To be honest, there were a few kilos gained throughout this holiday season that I'm not looking to keep with me too long into 2017.