Nyx Food & Wine Experience, Belval, Luxembourg

The second restaurant I have tried for RestoDays after my long time favorite L’Avenue was Nyx, Food & Wine Experience, in Belval.

Nyx has a quite nice and active Instagram feed, so I decided it was the time to move a bit out of the city and discover something new.

Nyx is located 5 minutes walking from Belval train station, on the edge of a residential complex, so with a bright and open view and a spacious terrace during warmer times.

We entered through a pastry shop (which felt a bit odd honestly for such elegant place) and then were welcomed at the reception of the restaurant.

I loved the extremely tall ceilings and the industrial, minimalistic decorations.

The Restodays menu had 2 options for every course, so we decided to take one each to try a bit of everything. We ordered an apero ahead the meal. I had margarita, which was light and pleasant – probably I wouldn’t be so happy to have the same cocktail on a night out, but for lunch it was great.

With the lunch we also had a bottle of Greek white wine, which was mineral and light, very enjoyable. The wine list is 90% about Greek wines, with very few French and Italian bottles. Prices per bottle are fair, starting 25 euro and mostly around 50 Eur, with some isolated peaks at 100 Eur.

Regarding the food: starters were gyoza with feta and lobster and mushrooms tartare with parmesan cheese and truffle.

Gyoza were amazing: well balanced, both in taste and consistency, perfumed, tasty. Mushrooms tartare was good, slightly too much on the acid side and totally missing the truffle promised, still very refreshing and pleasant to eat.

Mains were salmon with strawberry sauce and cheese balls and chicken cooked with red wine and Greek pasta. The structure of the two dishes was very much on the sweet side – both were probably dishes I would have never ordered a la carte. My salmon anyway was greatly executed, crispy outside and tender inside, and the Roquefort balls were Oh-my-gosh amazing.

Also my dessert was amazing: a sort of Karidopita served with chocolate and ice cream. It was probably, together with the gyoza, the best course of the lunch.

Finally we had good time at Nyx: the fixed menu is always a bit of a lottery, above all when you go to try a brand new place, still we were satisfied. I would reserve myself to try this restaurant a la carte to complete my opinion.

Here you have the pictures of our lunch followed by my final impressions.

What I liked about Nyx Food & Wine Experience:

I love the place and its decor: the space is wide and bright, with enourmous windows and great view. It must be amazing also during summer times outside.

Service was attentive and lovely: my napkins was changed when I went to the restroom, bread basket refilled during the dinner, we were given our time to go through the menu without rush.

– As said, fixed menu is a bit of a lottery and it is a choice I rarely love out of RestoDays. I like very much spicy and strong tastes, so both main were not much appealing for me. Still salmon was good and the two highlights of the menu were definitely the gyoza and the walnut cake, which were both delightful.

What I liked a bit less about Nyx Food & Wine Experience:

– As said I would like to come back to this place and eat a la carte to have my final opinion. For RestoDays it was quite a good experience, still it was not cheap: 2 apero, 1 bottle of wine (38 Eur, so in the cheap side), 2 RestoDays Menu, 2 small bottles of water, 1 coffee we spent 125 Eur. It was fine, but I feel if you eat a la carte the bill will add up quickly, therefore it must definitely be worth it.

– The one small stuff which I liked a bit less – considering how nice is the place and how lovely and upscale was the service – is that you need to go to pay at the counter. I personally find really tacky, above all if you are on a date or with someone who will not be too obvious to split.

To sum up: I liked Nyx, I had a positive first experience: location and service are definitely promoted. I would like to eat a la carte to have a proper idea about the menu, still I think the place has a potential – but not on a tight budget.

Nonbe, Restaurant Kaiseki, Belval, Luxembourg

This is the chronicle of an amazing experience: the one at the restaurant of Nonbe, in Belval. I usually tend to stay within the city borders for dinner, but this adventure has been definitely worth the 65 Euro cab drive back to the city.

Nonbe is located in Belval, 10 minutes’ walk from the railway station, in a pretty anonym area of residential buildings. There is a brasserie downstairs, which serves dishes a la carte, including sushi. The spaces of the brasserie are bright, with wide windows and a clean wood counter. There is also a small terrace on the back.

At the first floor, you have the gastronomique “kaiseki” restaurant. It is open from Wednesday to Saturday, only for dinner and only with reservation. They serve a seasonal fixed menu for all the table, with no modifications possible, but a choice between a main with fish or meat. The menu price is 115 Euro per person.

We got to the restaurant slightly before 7 pm and we were surprised to see the brasserie already animated. Thru the wooden, immaculate stairs, we have been taken by our lovely waiter to the upstairs room, which mainly overview the brasserie, but includes as well small semiprivate room like ours.

From there, it has been a crescendo. We had an aperitif maison, which was sake, crémant and yuzu. The dinner started with a sequel of minimal, but not too small, appetizers: I cannot mention one specifically as I loved them all. My friend and I were looking at each other, tasting every bite hoping the flavor was not leaving any time soon our mouth. Ingredients were amazingly fresh and the combination in every dish adventurous and surprising, with a level of interaction on our side, for example to decide if to add more or less sauce or more or less mustard to the tuna fish. I was amazed by the marinated egg yolk, combined with the avocado, probably because I could not expect a dish so simple to be so heavenly.

The main course was anticipated by a shiso granite. Palate perfectly cleaned and ready for next. As said, we had two choices: as meat, beef wagyu (which was mine) or, as fish, grilled sea bass.

The dinner was closed by dishes of the Japanese tradition (soup, rice with beans and pickles), which we were introduced like “less raffinate compare to the previous dishes but, indeed, proposed to show the real Japanese tradition”.

The variation of dessert finally was equally interesting: the white chocolate donuts was my favorite and we accompany the dish with a glass of plum sake, as we finished our bottle of Puligny-Montrachet.

At the end, with the coffee, we were proposed the astonishing list of Japanese wishy. When we put down our glass for the last time, we look at each other with almost tears in our eyes.

Nonbe has been an amazing experience: food-wise, to start with. Dishes were balanced, creative, prepared with outstanding raw materials. The service was absolutely awesome: they exceptionally open the room upstairs for us on a Tuesday night as I had a friend visiting and it was the only date we could go there. We felt spoiled. Timing of every courses was just perfect, and we felt full but not overladed at the end.

Nice things don’t often come as cheap, and including aperitivo, wine, sake and wishy we got almost to 230 Euro per person (Wine was a bit less than half of the bill), but, again, definitely worth, the de-tour and the spent.

Nonbe is probably not a restaurant for every evening, but if you celebrate something special and you love Japanese food, this is the place to book.

I might also visit the Brasserie sometime soon, but I was so impressed by the restaurant, that could be easier I wait for the autumn menu to go back there.

Just a funny note: there is a famous Italian movie where the main character is going to a party and every guest at the party goes to him and whisper, “go to the toilet!”. The reason was someone giving away drugs in the restroom. So, when my friend came back from the ladies when we arrived, and she whispered “go to the toilet” I couldn’t help but laugh as it reminded me that movie. I don’t want to spoil you the end in this case (but you will have a small hint in the gallery).

Vida Sushi Lounge, Kirchberg, Luxembourg

As you have probably noted in my IG stories, I have been truly taking advantages of the re-opening of terraces and tried, as much as I could, and compatibly with work, to have lunch outside.

I was missing my favorite places, so I mostly started from them. This week, anyway, as I was at the office, I decided to be a bit more adventurous and tried new places in Kirchberg area. On Monday, I have been to Ela Greek Cuisine and yesterday at Vida Sushi Lounge.

The experience at Ela, while service was nice and dish presentation captivating, was not impressive – I missed a lot of authenticity and flavour. Food was definitely not bad, but also totally not memorable.

Said that, I don’t hide I was a bit biased to visit Vida yesterday, basically expecting a much similar experience.

I start saying we had the most wonderful service I had in Luxembourg in a long time – which should not be taken for granted. All the three persons who served us were wonderful, accommodating our requests, following up our meal and radiant. The terrace was not full, but I really hope the same attitude will be preserved when the place will be completely booked.

I went for a Japanese mule, a Moscow mule prepared with Sake – which was deliciously presented and was also extremely balanced – I had three, so I suppose this is a good sign and I would definitely recommend you the same drink.

Now coming to food: you have one page for sushi related items and one page for warm dishes, raw bar and salads. It is not extensive but has a wide choice even for people who are not into sushi.

We went there for sushi, so we basically ignored the second page but I would probably consider it next time.

Sushi – wise you have maki, nigiri, sashimi, chirashi and similar to be ordered as single portion (x1 or x6). Very classical with some limited fusion hypes. Next to that you can order combos – let’s say, by subject: combo nigiri, combo maki, combo veggie, etc.

We went for a combo maki, a combo tuna and a gourmet combo – which is normally composed by caviar, truffle, foie gras, red scampi, fancy pieces. The waiter informed us red scampi was not available. So we had instead maki rainbow.

Our order was more than enough for two and while I was tempted by a dessert, we decided to close only with Espresso.

Total bill read 183 euro – 5 cocktails, 2 espresso and 3 combo for a total of 62 pieces (121 euro for only the sushi in two people).

Now pictures and my impressions about Vida.

What I like about Vida:

  • As said, the service has been outstanding and I wish in more places you would feel so welcome.
  • The Japanese mule will be my go-to cocktail every time there, for sure. Great presentation, balance, taste. Just perfect.
  • Sushi was surprisingly good. It was very classic generally and, except the tuna nigiri which had definitely too much rice, was very pleasant to eat. I was surprisingly (I used it twice, right) impressed. My favorite one, which I would order again, was the California avocado, salmon and tobico which was included in the Gourmet mix. Everything was fresh and I was feeling great after lunch – you know, sometimes when you eat too much at lunch you have this sleepy / “need one liter of sparkling water” feeling, not this case.

What I liked a bit less about Vida:

  • I missed a “mixed mixed” combo. Something where you can really try a bit of everything without overordering different things. Maybe in different sizes. Vida’s combo are very much specific (personally I don’t want to eat only nigiri, or tuna, or maki.. and the Gourmet one was overpriced) so I would have difficulties ordering probably next time.
  • As per above, the place is not cheap. It is true, it is fresh fish and quality costs and you are also in Kirchberg, so I would not say we overpaid. We enjoyed the lunch. Still, this is not your place if you are very hungry or you just don’t want to cook tonight – and this is probably not their objective tho. I personally see it as the kind of place you go on a date or with your girlfriends before a night out, great cocktails, you share some dishes and you will probably contain the damage.

In conclusion: I honestly liked Vida. It is a very upscale fusion restaurant, with a London feeling and an exceptional service. Definitely recommended (currently) for a lunch date or a girls out lunch. Hopefully soon we can enjoy it also for dinner, as I am sure it will be mint.

Oio, Osteria con Cucina, Clausen, Luxembourg

Opening a restaurant during a pandemic. It looks like possibly the craziest idea ever, indeed someone is doing it. That “someone” is Leonardo De Paoli, 15 years astonishing experience in Michelin stars restaurants, last but not least with Ilario Mosconi, at his restaurant in Grund. Leonardo is launching this week-end his first restaurant, “Oio – Osteria con Cucina“, located down the Rives de Clausen, overlooking the Alzette, where the former “La Biblioteca” had a short life despite the picturesque scenery.

We met Leonardo on the eve of the launch of “Oio” street food week-end, visibly excited, a bit tired, but never loosing his smile. Leonardo told us that the plan was to put to sea “Oio” with the anticipated opening in March and that the further stop of Horesca didn’t discourage his team. They decided to go ahead proposing a double format of take-away for the week-end of March 5th (Friday to Sunday, from 12 pm to 6 pm) in order to start welcoming the first clients as well as take advantage of the good weather. We said double format as you will have two possibilities: you can pick up some street food  (savory and sweet) and eat it around – likely on the bridge or the walk on the river. If you are not much adventurous, Oio proposes as well a meal kit which can be refreshed at home and you can as well pre-order online. Kit will be provided together with detailed instructions and link of videos to prepare them at home.

But what about Oio? What should we expect from this restaurant? Did we really need another Italian restaurant in Luxembourg city?

Leonardo replied to all our questions. The name “Oio“, literally, means oil in dialect, but its real substance stays in the idea behind: “Oio“, as the last trickle of olive oil to complete a dish, like a dash of oil and its lightness.

Leonardo describes his cuisine as tasty and easily recognizable, created starting from outstanding quality of material, worked as less as possible. The menu of Oio will be the same for lunch and dinner, without tasting menu and without the classic amuse-bouche from the chef, but with a price accessible to everyone – the kind of place you can come for lunch and in the same day also for dinner. The idea is to have a menu which will change continuously, based on seasonal products – Leonardo will work, for example, with Le Panier de Sandrine with seasonal vegetables which will be used to create the menu – rather than ordering raw materials starting from a pre-packaged menu.

Leonardo wants to create a direct connection with the client, who will be able then to check daily the dishes offered on their Instagram page. The menu card will be short but focused on quality as well as for beverage: a reduced Italian wine list, with prices in a range from 35 to 95 Eur, including some niche local wines. A bar cocktail card based on 5 / 6 cocktails – revisited: a Negroni with rhubarbs, a cocktail with olive oil, a cocktail with thym… Cocktails will be also available for take-away this week-end.

We asked Leonardo which is the target of his restaurant. He said Oio will welcome everyone but will definitely give a nod to people who are tired of the usual Italian restaurants in Luxembourg and to those who wants to feel on a vacation in Italy even at home in Luxembourg.

To complete the lovely dining room, minimal, elegant, warm and bright, the restaurant has a unique view on the river, where the idea is to have clients taking advantage not only of the dining option, but as well as of a “aperitivo” – sharing few apero dishes with a cocktail or a bottle or wine, without the need to go for the full meal choice.

Lastly, at the floor, a huge tasting room will welcome Italian cooking classes held by Leonardo.

Finally, we asked Leonardo which will be his signature dish. He replied that two dishes will mainly represent his style among the others: the “pappa al pomodoro”, prepared with fresh burrata and olive oil, and the “tortelli di ossobuco”, served with a parmesan fondue and a saffron sauce. Few ingredients, worked as less as possible, for an unpretentious modern Italian cuisine which is not much represented in Luxembourg.

We look forward to try “Oio” as soon as it will be open for dining, but for the moment, we recommend you to visit their street food stand this week-end, from Friday to Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm.

 

Mani D’Oro, Gasperich, Luxembourg

We kicked off the week with a place which used to be (and I discovered it is still!) my favorite and we will continue today with a review of a brand new restaurant!

Mani D’Oro (translated: Golden Hands, an idiomatic expression used in Italian to define someone who is gifted in doing manual works) has been opened for less than one month on route d’Esch, just before getting to Cloche D’Or.

Their core is the preparation of fresh pasta: you can eat sur place or take it away, together with pizza, sandwiches and salads. As Mani D’Oro is open from Monday to Saturday, from 11 to 8 pm (Saturday till 3 pm), we decided to visit it for Saturday lunch, which, since I am getting old and I am not partying anymore all night long, has became a very pleasant ritual.

As said, Mani d’Oro is located on the main street and has a lovely terrace on the front side – I am already looking forward to summer apero, I know!
The décor and the atmosphere are sophisticated and refreshing: a big counter as soon as you get in, where you can order or pick up your take away, tall tables on one side and table booths on the others, with a line of chairs in front of the windows with the view on the outside – very much street food feeling. On the back of the booths, the kitchen and laboratory, with bright windows on the main room – so you can see all the preparations.

The menu has a choice of pasta to match: you choose your format and you choose the sauce (including several vegan and vegetarian options), plus pizza in three sizes, sandwiches and salads. Some daily suggestions are also available.

I ordered a pizza La Piccante (ventricina sausage and nduja sauce) in the smallest format while E. went for one of the daily suggestions (home made ravioli with porcini mushrooms and truffle).
We concluded with a tiramisu to share and we were offered two shots of limoncello.

Total bills reads 49 Euro, 24,5 Eur each (for 3 beers, 1 bottle of water, 1 portion of pizza, 1 portion of truffle pasta, 1 tiramisu, as said limoncello was offered).

Pictures of our lunch are followed, as usual, by my impressions about Mani d’Oro.

What I loved about Mani d’Oro:

  • I definitely loved the concept of the restaurant and the decorations: honestly lunch places I have tried so far are going in-between extremely cheap eatery and posh restaurants offering pricey lunch options. Mani d’Oro offers you a very affordable Italian experience in a captivating atmosphere. Also – the restaurant has a great selections of cocktails, Gin and other drinks, so it is not your usual lunchtime place.
  • I loved the pizza and I cannot wait to come back to try more of that: crunchy, not greasy at all, light in the dough and with first quality ingredients. The small portion (12 Euro for the topping I have chosen) was definitely more than enough for just one person and I have found myself imagining there sharing a large size with several friends and a Campari (or Aperol Spritz, depending what you like). E. also said his pasta was delicious, even if slightly smaller in size: the pasta with truffle is the most expensive one (20 Eur – and it is very reasonable as they came to shave the truffle at the table), but other pasta dishes are around 12 Eur, like salads, 6.5 Eur for sandwiches). Again, ingredients are top quality and you can definitely taste it.
  • Service was friendly, with detailed explanations and very present despite the place was very busy during Saturday lunch (better to book during peak hours). I also appreciate very much the take-away and delivery option. I am a fan of pizza al taglio (don’t blame me, I like it more than your typical round pizza) so I would definitely prefer ordering it at home to share with friends.

What I liked a bit less about Mani d’Oro:

  • At the moment, as the place is open until 8 pm during the week, it is perfect for lunch or late lunch, after-work or a very early dinner. If you fancy their dishes after 8 pm, you will need definitely to wait for next day.
In conclusion: I loved Mani d’Oro and as it is not far from where I live, it is going to be my place to go for Saturday lunch and after-work with friends. Their pizza is delicious and they offer a great selection of pasta, sandwiches and salads – together with drinks, also alcoholic – for a very fair price in a charming location. 

Reloaded: Max & Moritz, Belair, Luxembourg

You might remember that, for the couple of years I lived in Belair, Max & Moritz was my nightcap place. I loved it and so I could have not been happier when Frank invited me last week end to try their new menu.

The place has not change much since my last recent visit: the space of the bar is separated from the one of the restaurant and I personally appreciate this choice very much. On the restaurant’s side, warm, cozy, intimate, plexiglass structures have been included to adapt the space to the new Covid rules. Still, the lovely couches on the windows, the tall wooden tables in the middle of the room, the lamps, the pillows, everything remained and welcome you in a lovely atmosphere.

Having a great bar on side means you could start your dinner with a great cocktail: the choice at Max & Moritz is pretty wide and my favorite one is definitely the Munich Mule, a Moscow Mule prepared with Hendricks Gin – sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

The menu is also charming: the first feeling myself and Rita had was that “we wanted to try it all”. As it was not possible, we decided to go for a “sharing option”, instead of ordering dishes just for ourselves.

We had: truffle croquettes (Rita’s favorite), bone marrow (served with home made pan brioche and red onions confit), Rockefeller oysters (my personal choice) and dry-aged Portuguese sirloin, served with vegetable and mashed potatoes.

If you are two people and you want to share starters, a number of four / five starters is more than appropriate, while another option might be to have a small starter each and then ordering a main dish. The focus of the main dishes menu is undeniably on the meat, but you have also some decent fish and vegetarian options.

We were pretty full after the meal, but we still had a small space for the dessert – you could not say no to dessert, right? Rita went for apple crumble, while me, as I cannot once again decide, I opted for the cafe’ du chef, which included 5 small-sized desserts chosen by the chef. Next to that, we had an unforgettable Espresso Martini.

Pictures of our dinner followed by my final impressions about Max & Moritz.

What I loved about Max & Moritz:

  • With no doubts, I love the place. It is extremely different from most of the places you can visit in Luxembourg and what makes it feel special is definitely the hearty atmosphere, relaxed, easy going. A place in which you can stay from after-work to after-dinner without feeling bored. The décor is very unique and if it was not for the windows on the street, you can easily forget to be in Luxembourg and find yourself in a posh eatery in Shoreditch.
  • Food is to die for: I have been among the first clients of Max & Moritz, therefore I can testify how their menu, over the time, has found its identity and it is now mature enough to be defined not just as a restaurant annexed to a great cocktail bar, but a great restaurant itself. As said above, there is nothing on the menu which was not appealing, if you like sharing, this is definitely the place for you as well as if you are a meat lovers. The dish I liked most, together with the sirloin, which was melting in my mouth as butter, was indeed the Rockefeller oysters, which are prepared with garlic, parsley, baby spinach and bread crumbs and baked. I am sure, even if you are not a fan of oysters, you will love them! My next stop will be definitely the truffle burger 😛
  • Service: kind, friendly, smiley. If you are in doubt, trust your waiter, as they are really prepared about the menu. Cocktails: what I can add? I think they are just the cherry on the cake of this amazing place. Do not miss the Espresso Martini to close your dinner – just espresso is boring, right?

What I liked a bit less about Max & Moritz:

  • Currently the only thing I don’t like is that I cannot just walk there (and back!) from my apartment anymore, like when I was living around the corner 🙂

In conclusion: if you are looking for a warm and cozy restaurant for a night out with friends or your date, look no further. Max & Moritz is the perfect place to share a dinner with your loved one: food is delicious, cocktails well prepared and service welcoming. Whatever occasion you are celebrating, you cannot go wrong choosing Max & Moritz.

PS Rita has a great page on Instagram as well where she talks about Luxembourg, cooking and travels. Follow her here.

 

Piadi – Italian Food House, Bonnevoie, Luxembourg

Last week I went back to basics and came back after long time to have dinner in Bonnevoie. If you missed the previous episodes, I have lived in Bonnevoie for about 10 years and probably my first posts on the blog were very centred on that area, a bit like now they are focused around Place de Paris 🙂

Piadi – Italian Food House is another one of those places which have been on my list for long time, so a quiet night of the week while I was not feeling cooking seemed the perfect night to try it.

We got there at 7 pm (yes, I know.. “eating with the chicks” as we say in Italian) and got to choose our table as the restaurant was basically still empty. The location is very nice: just few steps from the central station, with bright windows on the first roundabout in Bonnevoie. Not fancy, but definitely colorful, those kind of places were you feel like smiling as soon as you got in.

We were informed there was a special tasting night (“Pasta lovers”) and, if we wanted, we could have had three small portions of pasta for 19 Euro.
We decided to eat a la carte a as you know I am not very past oriented.

We started with a Negroni and a glass of white, together with a platter of cheese and cold cut, accompanied by piadina and gnocco fritto – a typical specialty from Emilia Romagna. We were not sure about portions, so we hold on the main order, but, after the starter, we were definitely still hungry: I went for a dish of passatelli with pesto and clams (another pasta specialty from Emilia Romagna) and E. for a piadina with Italian sausage, onions and bell peppers.

We spent 84 Euro for: 2 glasses of wine, 1 Negroni, 1 bottle of water, 1 starter to share, 1 piadina, 1 passatelli, 1 espresso, 2 digestif. 42 Euro each.

Pictures of the dinner followed by my general impressions of Piadi – Italian Food House.

What I liked about Piadi – Italian Food House:

  • As anticipated, I liked the place and the general feeling the place is giving you. It is very relaxed and friendly and the nice service is definitely completing this feeling. It is a place you can go straight from work for a quick drink accompanied by Italian antipasti, you can have an informal date or you can meet up with your friends. Probably the colors of the place are making me thinking you cannot be sad among those walls and you will definitely link that dinner to happy circumstances.

  • Food was good: we were given more piadina and gnocco fritto with the starter once we finished them, the squaquerone cheese which is included in the antipasti platter was my personal highlight and I liked very very much the passatelli – more than the piadina honestly. The menu is pretty various as well: a nice choice a la carte as well as suggestions of the day which are going from starters to main – they had rabbit that day that I love, but I was not feeling very much for that, next time. It is definitely a place where you can have dinner (or lunch) with pasta lovers, vegetarian or picky eaters.

  • As said, service was very kind and my bonus point goes definitely to the Negroni I had. Most of bars and restaurants are recently serving Negroni -which is my favorite Italian cocktail – and even if I have found really good versions around – and some interesting relook -, the one I had at Piadi’ was the one to me which tasted closer to the one I have in Italy.

What I liked a bit less about Piadi – Italian Food House:

  • Once again, another place where I cannot find something to dislike, we had a very happy evening and I would probably come back. There was only one small “discomfort” regarding to the price of some items, if we want to call it like that. The shared platter has two size (a small and a bigger one) and we ordered the big (21 Eur). We were feeling to have only that but as said we were still hungry after – I feel that compared to other places I had the mixed starter, the portion size is slightly misaligned with the price, but it is not a big issue, you just have to know you can/need to eat something else after. Same for the “digestifs”, rarely seen a shot glass priced 5 Eur, so I will probably not order it next time.

To know: together with the a la carte dinner, Piadi is also organizing various interesting tasting nights, all oriented around typical products you rarely get to eat somewhere else (like “Tigella night”) and Sunday brunches. To be informed about these events, follow them on their Facebook page.

In conclusion: Piadi – Italian Food House is an informal Italian place, focused on authentic Italian products from Emilia Romagna, located in the heart of Bonnevoie. You need definitely to try gnocco fritto but next to that you can have other very tasty dishes – and delicious cocktails. It is the perfect place for a night out with friends or an easy going date.

Al Grappolo, Gare, Luxembourg

A new week has started and the weather is very depressing, isn’t it? Personally I am a fan of the cold season, which I prefer much more than the hot one, but rain… I can’t really handle it. After a week of much work and some social gatherings, last week-end I just stayed in and cook for my friends.

But.. I have still couple of reviews to post about “new” places I have visited during the previous week-end. Al Grappolo, in rue Adolphe Fisher, is one of these places. It is not new, as it has been open for some time now, but for some reasons, even if I wanted so much to try, I never had the occasion. I heard a lot of great stuff about it, so I was very curious and excited.

First of all, book in advance as the place is very small. We got there around 8 pm and the place is pretty cozy, the atmosphere is calm and warm. Candlelights, white table cloths, an old fashion record player. We ordered a Campari spritz to kick off the night and then the owner came to our table to introduce us the menu. Indeed, there is not a fixed menu, but it is changing every day with some limited choices.

We chose two portions of porchetta (roasted pork) with gorgonzola to start. To follow, I had veal with mushrooms, L. calamarata (a kind of pasta) with squids and E. pasta with “nonna” ragu.

We had a bottle of primitivo during the dinner – which took ages to be chosen, so praise to the patient of the staff who supported our decision – and we concluded with some digestives.

Total bill read 210 Eur – two starters, three mains, 3 apero, bottle of wine (which was around 50 Eur) – 70 Euro each.

Pictures of the dinner – starter pic is ugly, but I was so hungry I forgot to make it before eating – followed by my impressions about Al Grappolo.

 

Things I liked about Al Grappolo:

  • My expectations about food probably were generally too high, we had a pleasant, tasty dinner, but I think what makes the place special is the combination between the good food, the amazing atmosphere and the bubbling service. Walking into the door, you are catapulted in an Alice in Wonderland’s hole, where Luxembourg grey sky is thousand years far, surrounded by this welcoming feeling you might have when you eat at someone’s place.
  • Next to the food, the choice of wine is incredible, wide and interesting. Personally speaking, I would choose not to go to a place which has decent food, if I don’t like the wine offer. At Al Grappolo, wine would be one of the first reason to have dinner for me.
  • Considering what we ate (and drank), I have found the bill quite fair compared to similar place, above all for how pleasant was our night.

What I liked a bit less about Al Grappolo:

  • Let’s be honest: the fact they don’t have a fixed menu and the choice is very limited, is ensuring that the products are always fresh and seasonal. At the same time, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The night we had dinner there was only one starter (pork), couple of meat pasta dishes, one fish pasta, one meat main course (the one I had) or grilled meat (for 2 people). I am very easy going in terms of food and I eat everything, so it was not an issue for me, but if you are with picky eaters, it might not be the right place.

 

In conclusion: Al Grappolo is a very cozy and warm Italian place located just off Place de Paris. It offers seasonal products and a very authentic cuisine, together with a great choice of wine. I would definitely recommend, especially for a night out with friends, when you want to be at restaurant all night and enjoy one glass more.

 

Kay, the new restaurant of Casino Luxembourg, City Centre

As promised on Monday, we got another “new place” on the radar which we tried this week. Kay, the new restaurant of the Casino Luxembourg, open its door last Thursday. The idea, this time, compared to the previous catering experiences at Casino, is to have a “real” restaurant, which is kind of independent from the museum – hence the entrance on Boulevard Roosevelt which allowed the access also in the evening.

The restaurant, from the press communication, proposes a creative Peruvian cuisine about natural ingredients. Ca va sans dire, I was very curious to try it and I booked a table with A. for Monday night.

The welcome was extremely kind. It was Monday and the weather was everything but nice, so the restaurant looks pretty empty. The décor has not significantly changed compared to before – at least for what I can remember – and table are left pretty minimal and naked. This completes a bright look of the main room, with the huge windows on the bridge, which should definitely give a suggestive view during less rainy evenings.

Our jackets and umbrellas were taken to the wardrobe and we were accommodated to our table.
First of all, we were given the cocktail list, which is pretty original – starting from cocktails’ names – and has alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices. We decided to go classic and ordered a pisco sour.

Together with two slices of tasty bread, we were given and presented the menu card: 6 choices for cold starters and around the same number for hot starters (meat, fish and vegan). Three choices for main: burger (beef or vegetarian), T-Bone and duck. We were explained in details the concept behind the dishes and the accent on natural elements – fermentation, probiotics, tastes.

We ordered 4 starters to share, 2 cold and 2 hot: the marinated nikkei, the “surprise dish” (osez! was the description), the vegan tiradito and roast-beef/peanuts butter potatoes balls. Three dishes out of the starter menu were not available (including octopus and razor clams), so we were offered a mini portion of clams to try.

We concluded with dessert: I had the Pan Comido (bread ice cream, honey, coffee, dates cake and tomatoes) while Angela had Ying and Yang, with chocolate and ginger sorbet.

The total bill reads 101 Euro which included: two cocktails, 4 starters to share, 1 bottle of water and 2 dessert (50 Euro each roughly). Pictures of the dinner followed by my impressions of Kay Restaurant.

What I liked about Kay Restaurant:

  • The concept behind and the idea of cuisine, for what we tried, is very interesting: in particular, I liked very much the marinated Nikkei and both desserts were surprisingly innovative and tasty.
  • The explanation of the dishes is made in details and the lady who is taking main care of the service is extremely sweet and polite.
  • I like the idea of having dinner in a museum and I am sure during sunny days the view would be amazing as well.

What I liked a bit less about Kay Restaurant:

  • Not all the dishes convinced us: the razor clams we tasted missed something and the vegan ceviche was a dish to forget. What confused me most, was the menu: while the starter section is well assorted, the mains look totally out of the contest and are very limited regarding choice – only one vegetarian dish, not even one fish one. The Pisco as well was not memorable.
  • While the main lady was very professional, the rest of the service was a bit shy and not very attentive. The restaurant was empty so small mistakes were immediately corrected, but we had the impression if the restaurant was full, the issues would have been more.
  • Finally: we felt we slightly overpaid for our dinner and this is my main blocking point to come back. It was Monday night, so a cocktail was fine for us and we were feeling sharing, so we had only two starters. But we made a quick calculation that with a main course (30 – 38 Eur) and a bottle of wine, the bill would have been scandalously higher for the feeling we had about the dinner.

In conclusion: the new Kay restaurant proposes a creative Peruvian kitchen in a very special atmosphere, the one of the Casino Luxembourg museum, in the city center. The restaurant has recently opened, so has definitely room for improvement service wise and in regards to the variety of the choices of the menu. I would definitely recommend it for a night out dinner or an after-shopping lunch with your girlfriends. Be careful: it might not be the place for you if you are on a budget.

The new “Rotisserie Ardennaise”

I am very excited as in the forthcoming weeks I put finally down a bit of planning and scheduled several visits to restaurants I have never been before. I have indeed realized I became a bit boring recently in my food choices and was going more to usual places where I feel “at home”, instead of being adventurous as I used to be in the past. Time for a change.

Last Friday night I booked at the new Rotisserie Ardennaise. The restaurant, you might remember, used to be one of my favorite when I was still living in Belair and has been now acquired by Come a La Maison group, so I was very curious to try it and see if and how it changed.

You can easily book online – I love places where you can book online! -.

We got there at 8 pm and the place was almost very packed. We were accommodated in the side room – honestly at the beginning I was a bit pissed, as it is definitely less charming, but soon I realized it is also less noisy than the main one.

The menu is mainly around meat, with three areas of choice: rotisserie (with chicken, pork, sausages to mention few), outstanding meat (as they call them, including beef filet, entrecote, burger..) and main dishes (where you have also couple of fish dishes, but no vegetarian options). Few starters are also in the menu and you have a great selection of sides (from truffle potatoes to aubergine parmigiana – one choice included in the price of your main together with the salad).

We started with a glass of champagne rose and one of wine to kick off the night, the chef welcome consisted in a chicken nuggets with ketchup sauce, both home made.
To follow, I had Tête de Veau Croustillante while E. had burrata salad. As main I had Pigeonneau et Sa Rôtie, while E. had half chicken roasted. I had truffle potatoes as side, while he had seasonal vegetables (Brussel sprouts and potatoes).

Our final bill read 235 Eur, of which 119 Eur for the one, a bottle of St. Estephe – so around 50 Euro each excluding the wine. Pictures of the dinner followed by my impressions about Rotisserie Ardennaise.

What I loved about Rotisserie Ardennaise:

  • I like very much the place. I used to like it also in the previous version, which was very much old fashion. They keep the spirit of the old place but made it a bit more modern, with this very strong liberty accent which to me it is making it extremely chic (yes, you know I am not a fan of minimal places, so this is encountering my taste more).

  • Food was delicious: we understood our dinner was going to be very tasty from the amuse bouche. Generally I pretty much dislike everything which is proposed as amuse bouche in restaurants, this time it was extremely good. The burrata salad, prepared with almonds and strawberry, was the best starter and my pigeon was to die for. Pigeon is one of my favorite dish and I tend to be extremely critical – this one was amazing, and was accompanied by beans with bacon and his juice.

  • When we got the bill, we the price – if we took off the wine – was extremely fair. The wine list includes several choices for limited price (around 30 Eur) and pigeon was the most expensive item on the list. Therefore you can get out with a definitely cheaper bill – for a very nice dinner.

What I liked a bit less about Rotisserie Ardennaise:

  • We had a very pleasant night and I would definitely come back. It happened very often that in the questions I received through my Instagram page, people are asking about meat restaurants in Luxembourg and usually I am very much in difficulties about what to reply, as so far there was not a place with a strong meat menu that I liked. Rotisserie Ardennaise is definitely now this place and even if they have been open just for one week, I was incredibly surprised about how good the food is. Hopefully they keep it up.

  • If we need to find something to improve, it would be definitely the service: while maître de salle was extremely competent, polite and present, the rest of the staff was a bit confused and out of the contest – one waitress was going around for our small rooms with dishes asking to whom they belong. The place is new, so it is totally understandable and I am sure they will improve.

  • Also, for my taste, the wine list has either extremely expensive wines or cheap ones – I would have personally preferred to have a better choice in the middle price range, but again, this is a personal point.

 

To conclude: I was impressed by Rotisserie Ardennaise. To me it can clear become quickly the best meat restaurant in Luxembourg city. The place is very fancy, food is delicious and the price is fair. Definitely recommended: perfect for a dinner date, a family gathering or a night out with friends.