Le Confessionnal, in Dinant: the cuisine of the heart

An interior setting that hesitates between the return of the flea market and the antique store. Old furniture, goodies, pretty pieces of “grandmother’s” dishes. A real bistro of comfort with a comforting atmosphere with rustic tables traversed by obviously vichy table runners. Towel rounds like at mamy’s or the old hairy aunt’s chin. The kitchen too. Philippe Gérard has been in charge since 2016. He is a real pro who has rolled his hump in so many establishments that he no longer remembers the exact number. About twenty probably. Here, at the risk of denying Simone Signoret, nostalgia is on the way. She is the one who dictates the tempo. Simple, sincere and approachable products, servis de abondance, prepared with a kitchen faucet that prefers cuivre à to technology. And yet the cooking is just right, the savory sauces that don’t deny cream or butter. All supported by well-chosen French wines (very pleasant Saint-Véran, € 36) or Walloon beers. A smiling and precise hostess puts you at ease and makes you feel “like home”. But for the better. On the plate, too, it’s like home. Better yet. As an aperitif, the freshness of a Crémant on elderflower syrup is a must. You can still enjoy the asparagus season (€ 16). But the bone marrow (two, in fact) roasted in the oven, with its thick toast (€ 13) invites you to channel. This classic French cuisine is suitable and some regional touches, especially a tomato sauce or Maredsous sur des champignons gratinés (€ 13). The preparations are presented flat and not on a plate. Good idea to share. The back of the cod is fleshy, accompanied by gray shrimp and leeks (€ 27). Authentic and creamy morels make a naughty cholesterol nose pie. They go so well with a pintadeau supreme or a yellow wine chicken in the Jurassic way (€ 27) to lick the babines. Fries escort the beef cheek, the veal rib is cooked with its bone. It is not surprising to find a chocolate mousse and a crème brûlée (10 €) for desserts which, moreover, do not ignore the fruit. An address all the more precious as it is one that is becoming rare. Which suggests that the game season must be exceptional, too. Patience…

Le Confessionnal, 4 Rue Rémy Himmer, 5500 Leffe (Dinant). 082 / 22.45.22. Closed Sunday night, Monday night and Tuesday. Menu step. Starter, main course, dessert, aperitif, wine, water and coffee: € 167 for two.

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