Oberhausen, Belgium, March 5, 2012—
DINNER IN THE HOTEL again. Since my cold has really taken hold, I asked about the soup. Pumpkin, Mevrouw announced; would you like something else?
I was hoping for mustard soup, I said, encouragingly. Don't have it: but how about chicken in mustard sauce? It's the daily special. Oh, fine, I said; and I'd like that bruschetta too, please, with the soup…
The bruschetta was a warmed split roll with chopped tomato and raw garlic, lots of garlic, just what I need, and arugula, and Balsamic — gee, it was good. And the chicken turned out not to be chicken at all but my favorite, guinea fowl, what the Dutch call parelhoen, I suppose because live they seem to be wearing elegant jackets seeded with pearls. Dead it lay in a fine robe of mustard cream sauce, and was just what I wanted.
• Hotel Oberhausen, Oberhausen 8, Belgium; +32 8032 9497