We had a festive dinner at De Loohoeve* on holidays in Drenthe, in the North-Eastern part of the Netherlands,

We had booked a cottage on a resort in the Netherlands in the midst of the first lockdown, as a “Plan B” for our already booked summer holidays in Germany. Eventually there were no longer any travel restrictions to Germany this summer, so I ended up rebooking the Dutch cottage to the fall holidays of the kids. Koen and Erica had booked a long weekend in a nearby AirBnB to celebrate Erica’s birthday, so we had scoped out some options for a festive dinner and booked at De Loohoeve* in Schoonloo.

About De Loohoeve

De Loohoeve is a boutique hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant in the Drenthe country-side, a 30 minute drive south from Groningen, run by Marleen and Jeroen Brouwer. They both worked in kitchens of various Dutch Michelin-starred restaurants. Marleen worked at De Librije*** in Zwolle, Jeroen at ’t Schulten Hues* in Zutphen and together under contemporary chef Kobe Desramaults at In De Wulf* in Dranouter, Belgium.

The talented pair took over the thatched roof former-farmhouse in 2014. Besides managing the 12 room hotel, both of them can be found in the kitchen; Marleen taking care of the bread and patisserie and doubling FoH as the maitre. late 2018 and 2019 was the harvesting a lot of recognition for their efforts Gault&Millau awarded Marleen with the 2019 Hostess of the Year award and the kitchen has 16/20 points and the restaurants also recieved their first Michelin-star. De Loohoeve also was the 2019 Dutch “Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe” Restaurant of the Year and can be found at #83 In the Lekker 500.

However, later that year they took everybody by surprise by the announcement that they wanted to move on and start anew in Hoogkerk, just west of Groningen. Due to initial building permit issues for the reconstruction of the former church building, and needing to first sell De Loohoeve, these plans have been temporarily shelved.

About The Menu

Our initial booking was at 7 pm, but due to 2nd wave restrictions, Dutch restaurant guests should have left by 10 pm. Consequently, De Loohoeve had informed us that they had their regular menu was now a special 4-course one and asked us if we wanted to commence earlier. We did, thinking that 4 hours should be sufficient, and thus we arrived at 6 pm at De Loohoeve.

Their standard 5/6 course menus – Omnivore and Herbivore – will set you back EUR 85/105, and can come with regular wine pairings (EUR 40/45 extra) or “prestige” wines (EUR 72/85 extra). Our specific 4-course menu was EUR 80 and the wine-pairings EUR 32/60. It was still possible to reintroduce the missing 5th course from their regular menu (EUR 25) and expand with a cheese board (EUR 16). Consequently, we still managed to have a 6-course meal and even had to rush a little with the coffee, tea and friandises to finish by 10 pm!

About the Food

Chantal opted for the vegetarian menu, of course. Koen and Erica expanded to the max, but Chantal and I skipped the additional oyster course, but we all elected the prestige. The only other variable possible was opting for 100g / 3½ oz Wagyu A5 beef instead of Anjou pigeon. The carnivores all gladly did – despite the considerable, but understandable, a surcharge of EUR 45 – as none of us are huge fans of pigeon meat. Quipping on deciding not to look at the menu and declaring that she would like to surprised that evening, we had a good laugh seeing Erica’s face when she still got the pigeon. The misunderstanding was quickly rectified, and Koen and I didn’t give up on the offer to snack the pigeon breasts as to not let them go to waste. Admittedly, they were cooked to perfection, but not at good as the Wagyu…

Overall, a generous dining experience (4 amuses, the garnishes with the cheeseboard, 5 friandises) with very friendly and knowledgeable service. We also received a great deal of background details on the excellent – often surprising – wine pairings. All dishes were met with approval, often with delightful sauces. The only thing we felt that wasn’t a good fit was the indiscernible Thai dressing that was served with the first tomato dish.

Luckily, no firework fountains on her dessert for Erica’s birthday, but she did receive a festive take-away gateau to enjoy at home!

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