Taking advantage of the visit of one of my best friend, on a relatively quiet Friday night – after a Thursday ended up at Saumur – we decided to try the new Mexican restaurant in the Rives de Clausen area, La Biblioteca. The restaurant opens its doors just the Tuesday before.
You can book your table online – thanks God, finally this is starting to be common as well in Luxembourg – and we got there ready and hungry at 8ish.
The place was still calm and we were allocated to a table indoor – unfortunately the terrace was already fully booked. The location is very cozy: forget Calavera and sombreros around, the place is all dark wood, books (La Biblioteca literally means The Library) and linear, minimal décor.
We started with a Corona beer and ordered a guacamole starter. The menu choice is limited: together with some entrée to share, you have a selection of main ingredients (chicken, beef, vegetables, etc.) to apply to the main course, in the shape of a burrito, tacos or quesadilla. I went for a carne asada quesadilla, while M. went for a burrito.
We concluded with an espresso and a cognac and our final bill (starter to share, two beef mains, 3 beers, one bottle of water, one espresso and one cognac) read slight less than 90 Euro, 45 Eur per person.
As routine, pictures of our dinner are followed by my impressions on the restaurant.
What I liked about La Biblioteca:
- I loved the mood of the place: finally an “exotic” restaurant with no cheesy decorations and music. The terrace is lovely, reminds me of some intimate places around Southbank in London. The service was friendly and all smiling, while kind of fast and a bit apprehensive, but the restaurant has been just opened for couple of days, so definitely understandable.
- I loved the food: as it’s clear from my reviews, I definitely don’t appreciate much restaurants with an infinite menu choice. I prefer a shorter list, that maybe provides you with limited decisions, but definitely with fresher ingredients. Having been to Mexico, I was finding my quesadilla so similar to those I was eating in Cancun with my feet in the ocean (take me back please!) as much as I loved the guacamole with its nachos – forget processed food, this was truly delicious. I also loved the fact they did not provide you with French fries as side as basically everywhere around Luxembourg, but rice and a tasty, seasoned salad were in the dish.
What I liked a bit less about La Biblioteca:
- For being a place that opens just in the same week, I feel things are almost all perfect. Definitely a bit of finishing here and there might be needed. The thing that might be less than impressive is how close tables are indoor. If you are booking on the week end for a romantic date, you might want to consider it. And a spicy sauce option with the main would have been highly appreciated on my side 🙂
In conclusion: I really liked La Biblioteca and I am looking forward to come back soon: it definitely has the ambience factor and the food is tasty and authentic. Remember to specify in your reservation if you want to dine on the terrace – I would do it next time – and definitely perfect if you are looking for a new, different informal place for a dinner with friends.
4 thoughts on “La Biblioteca, Clausen, Luxembourg”
Was so happy to see this restaurant opening… but 22 euros for Quesadilla’s ( traditionally on child’s menu) is pricey for such non-gourmet food. Luxembourg is still lacking a good quality/cheap alternative.
Thank you very much for your comment.
Honestly speaking I did not feel I overpaid in terms of Luxembourg standards and the portions were very big (I was barely able to finish the dish). The quesadilla includes three pieces, as well the tacos platter and was full of meat.
Unfortunately if you consider how much rents and salaries cost in Luxembourg, you can easy understand why in the City will never be possible to have cheap alternatives.. if a place with more or less 50 covers in the city center and 5 people employed at least between kitchen and restaurant offers you a meal for 10 euro, how can they amortize the costs? I think it is a simple financial exercise.
What a different experience you seemed to have. I work in the service industry in Luxembourg and grew up in Mexico. I went here very excited to finally have some slightly more authentic Mexican fare with two friends who also work in bars/restaurants.
After waiting 30 min to be asked what we wanted to drink (the place had 2 other tables of customers, and we finally grabbed our own menus). We wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt of having only been open a week but it was sort of downhill from there.
I’m vegan (but not completely inflexible) so I ordered the veggie burrito and asked for no cheese or sour cream. My friends both ordered chicken quesadillas. After 45 min our food came. We received two chicken burritos and one chicken quesadilla. I let the waiter know and he apologized and explained he must have mixed up the plates from the other table and placed two new burritos (again not two chicken quesadillas and one veggie burrito) onto the table. Once more my first bite was chicken.
I went to the bar and nicely let the waiter know that this too was chicken. He took my plate and apologized once more. My friend accepted that she wouldn’t get a quesadilla and simply ate the burrito. I waited another 15 min and was given two veggie burritos, both with cheese and sour cream…I ate one because I was starving. I wasn’t impressed, it was fine but nothing special and definitely not Mexican. The rice that was served on the side was undercooked and had no flavor whatsoever. There was no hint of spice or salsa at all. Supposedly the sour cream was chipotle but I tasted none. One thing I can say was at least the veggies were fresh although I’m not certain what a chanterelle mushroom is doing in a Mexican burrito…
Finally the waiter apologized and tried to chat with us for a bit. We laughed about it and tried to make light as we work in the industry and know how it can be. When we received the bill we had only been given three shots on the house as an apology for everything.
I wanted to like this place but I won’t go back and definitely not for these prices.
Just my two cents.
I would not be so hard with them. As it was clear from my review – they need improvements and they already tried to do some of them (for example: they changed already the sauces and added a spicy option). When I went there they were open from 3 days, therefore I feel normal things were not 100% perfect, they were a bit slow and apprehensive. I have been reviewing restaurants for 5 years and honestly never happened to find a place that was exceptional in all the side in the first weeks unfortunately.
On the food side, I never had vegan Mexican food, therefore I cannot comment on your experience. Mine – meat related – was definitely authentic and tasty.
In regards of the prices, I already commented: we all know rents in Clausen and salaries level in the City. We definitely cannot expect to have exotic food as the same price than abroad – I was having green curry for 2 euro in Bangkok, here is 18 Eur. It the financial result of the cost of the life in Luxembourg not of a restaurant decision…
Thanks anyway for commenting and if you find another Mexican you like send me a message and I will be happy to try.
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