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.

A coffee with…. CheckQ

Angela interviews Mike Sebban and Kim Bliksas, CEO of CheckQ, the real time restaurant reservations app among the winners of the contest launched by the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy.

Last minute bookers, hurry up!

So, imagine being at home and being very hungry, wanting to eat out, being tired and not wanting to travel too many miles. Or even if you are still in the office about to leave, panicking about an empty fridge and sad pantry, the supermarkets around you are closed and, obviously, you have not booked anywhere.
A gray cloud with a fast food sign in the center looms before your eyes. At best, you start frantically phoning all the restaurants in the area in search of a free table… luxury item in this crazy period of social distancing.
What a sad after work!

And now imagined being hungry, the fridge empty, the supermarkets closed, not having booked, not wanting to travel miles etc. To pick up your phone, open an app and quickly find the restaurant nearby, which still has a free table. Click, booked! Without queues and without waiting … Ah the rainbow!
Well, this is just reality. Forget the gray cloud, there’s CheckQ.

And since Corie is always on the alert and what happens in Luxembourg and does not miss much, when she asked me to interview the founders of this genial app, she had already tried it, of course!
While me, as usual, I go to eat, I do things, I see people … but I fall from the sky about news!

The interview with Mike Sebban and Kim Bliksas, founder of CheckQ, is held at the House of Startup, where their office in coworking with other startups is based. Cool, right near home. I had never entered it even though I pass it every day, looking up at the mirrored façade.
The interior décor is just like a collective of designers and creatives, with a slightly retro pop touch. Instead of staying in their office, we sit in the House cafeteria … with a coffee in hand, ça va sans dire.

 

 

Angy: Mike, Kim, you won a very important competition here in Luxembourg, which was attended by Startups from all over the world. I would like to know what the winning key was. But first I’m curious about your story. Where did you start from?

MIKE: Both Kim and I have traveled extensively in many countries around the world, taking inspiration and we are passionate about new technologies and innovative solutions that bring a plus to our daily life. You know? On vit à 100 à l’heure nous and so as much as the technology allows us to make the most of our time as we pleased! The two of us walked the same path. I lived in Paris for 6 years before arriving in Luxembourg in 2012 for professional reasons.
Kim: I was also in Paris and arrived in Luxembourg in 2013. We were colleagues until 2017, then we created Shawbe (Shiny, Awesome & Beautiful).

Angy: What was it about?

Mike: We realized that Luxembourg had a lot to offer in terms of local trade, but big brands obfuscated it and so we had ideas to give it visibility. We ran competitions on Facebook and gave away products or services in the various partner stores. The winners, going on site to collect the prize, discovered new places previously ignored, and contributed to increase their business thanks to other purchases and thanks to word of mouth. It worked well, but we had little financial capacity and we stopped this adventure. We then dedicated ourselves to other projects and training courses, always with the aim of increasing local trade.
Kim: Unfortunately, Covid 19 arrived in February 2020 and our business faltered. Just at that moment, the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy launched the Startup versus Covid 2019 competition with the aim of finding solutions to relaunch the country’s economy at a time when it was being tested. Startups from all over the world were involved.

Angy: Did you decide to participate at that point? With what idea? I mean, what did you bet on to win?

Mike: The protagonists of the Luxembourg ecosystem told us: “you who know the local trade operators well will find something interesting to boost business”. We made an analysis to identify the sector most impacted by the crisis. The result was: the restaurants.
At that time, we were in post lockdown.

Angy: What was the primary problem with restaurants after the opening in May?

Mike: The social distancing that for restaurants translates into a reduction in the number of tables: here is enemy number one. Let’s assume that from 50 tables we had reached 20 or sometimes even less. We asked ourselves: what can we do to increase the turnover of those 20 tables? They must be never empty, must que the few available are always busy. So, to stimulate turnover, we developed a virtual waiting list system, a remote queue, so if the customer had arrived at the restaurant and found it complete, he would have inserted himself in a virtual list, waiting quietly at home, for the its comfort and the safety of all.

Angy: But here you are talking to me about the virtual waiting list. It seems to me that this is not the only focus of CheckQ or am I wrong?

Kim: You’re not wrong. In fact, having entered the first test phase of the App, we realized that restaurants in Luxembourg are not always complete. Our mission needed to change a little. It had to become that of “attracting” customers to the restaurant.
Mike: We all usually use classic booking systems or call the restaurant in advance, or use digital platforms. And all the walking restaurants? Or is it the passing customers? Or those who book at the last minute? For them, we told ourselves, digital can be a salvation. Rather than making dozens of phone calls looking for a table, in our App they can find a marketplace where they can see the available seats in real time and book instantly.

Angy: Fantastic and useful for all last minutes like me. Was this the winning idea that allowed you to beat all competing international startups?

Mike : Yes, because CheckQ is a concrete help for restaurateurs. All together in the same virtual place are a major force. What’s more, becoming a CheckQ partner has no cost to them. They only pay a fixed fee for each customer if the mission is done. On the other hand, the goal is to give them visibility. This first. Lots of advertising for our partners (restaurants) and very little commitment. Those who live nearby benefit from it and the restaurants as a result.

Angy: How exactly does it work? Do your partners have to continually update the system to announce the number of seats available?

Kim: When the service starts, the restaurateurs report the number of unreserved tables and then the system works alone. Once the user books through CheckQ, he has 15 minutes to go to the restaurant. Just the time to get rid and sanitize (for the restaurant) and just the time to arrive (for the customer). The concept always remains to never let a table be free.

Angy: I haven’t used it yet. Can you show me how it works?

Kim: It’s super simple. The App opens, click on TROUVER UN RESTAURANT, enter the number of people to eat with and immediately appear the list of restaurants with places available within a range of 5 km, from the closest to the most distant. At that point, after the choice, click MANGER MAINTENONS. In addition to the booking button appear: the address, the map and the description of the specialties. Done! The restaurateur receives a notification and at that moment the available places indicated on the app decrease.
Upon reaching your destination, we inform you that you have a reservation with CheckQ.

Angy: Are you liking the concept? Do you have many memberships?

Kim: The app launched on October 5th and the download numbers are encouraging. Even those of the partners. Now 35 restaurants have joined CheckQ and can be viewed during that famous last minute when we remember being hungry.

Angy: Do you use it?

Mike : Every day at noon we are forced to have lunch out and we are always many, in order to compare ourselves with colleagues from other startups (an incubator is a bit like a big company , only we are all entrepreneurs) and every time le mene souci : we are many and we need to find a place without wasting time. CheckQ c’est top pour ça , not only do you discover new restaurants , but in 2 clicks on bloque une table et on va direct manger .

Angy: What is the order of appearance on the list?

Mike: Among the partners there are several high-quality ones. But in the first interfaces of the app it is not clear. They can also be starred, awarded, famous. We wanted the selection by the user was viewing. You eat first with your eyes… And in fact, we asked the managers to send us uniform photos, which show a dish that enhances them. Let’s not forget that the goal is to lead people to restaurants. Only after the choice the description is discovered. The first criterion of appearance, on the other hand, is proximity to the customer.

Angy: What if all the tables were booked and there was no room? No chance for hardened last minute?

Kim: I sure do. We specify that the App has a double functionality. In addition to booking in real time, it also allows you to queue with an estimate of the waiting time.

Angy: So let’s say the hardened last minute is me, can I book at the last minute, find it full, queue up and still have the luxury of doing it while sitting on my sofa?

Kim: Or taking a shower … hahaha

Angy: Ahahaha
Thanks Mike and thanks Kim for the time you have dedicated to me.
Would you like to add something before greeting the readers of Barefoot in Luxembourg (who are both users and restaurateurs)?

Mike : Yes . The Covid situation is shaking the signs again. So right now we are launching the news: until March 31, 2021 the restaurateurs who join CheckQ, in addition to having no listing costs, will not even pay the fixed price for each customer conveyed by the App. The crisis is too hard, we must listen to them.

Angy: Genius and with a heart of gold!
Come on now I’ll let you go, I know you have a lot to do.
Let’s take a picture? Don’t be shy and smile. Say Cheese!

 

A coffee with… Remy Manso

Sitting in a quiet restaurant off the station for a dinner-briefing, Corie asked me:  – What about Remy Manso for next interview?
– Who? -, I replied – clear signal I have moved to Luxembourg only very recently.
– He is the owner of numerous and interesting restaurants in Luxembourg. It manages at least a dozen, mostly Latin, including El Barrio.
– I love El Barrio. – I suddenly replied, after that name caught my attention  – So, of course I’m in -.
I followed up Corie’s contact with Remy and took an appointment with him – guess where? – at El Barrio, which, at 11 am, had a surreal calm atmosphere – if you have been there in the night, you will definitely understand what I mean.
After few minutes into our talk, I’ve found out that there could not have been a better chance to meet Remy, since he just opened his thirteenth place. Yes, you read that correctly. Piri Piri is number 13 restaurant of Manso Group. And it is a Portuguese restaurant, that aims to become the top of its genre in the city – but we will get there later.

Angela: I am so pleased to meet you, Remy, I cannot hide that I imagined you to be older. How can you be so young and have all this responsibilities? And managing so many restaurants and being so relaxed?
Remy: I work in a structured way, starting at 8.30 am with reservations and finishing at midnight after going around all the premises, or almost. I try to be present here and there every day, except one: Sunday, that for me means football… (laughing) …And then I surrounded myself with trusted collaborators, without them I would never have arrived here. You need to invest in reliable people, the best ones and I have chosen them among my old friends. We grew up and evolved together. It’s not only me to succeed in the business, but the whole team.
A: Do you give me a few names of your children?
RDäiwelskichen, Batucada, Chimi Churri, Manso, JFK, The Game Utopolis, The Game Downtown, Toro Toro, El Barrio, El Gato, Boca Loca in Echternach, Gringo’s and Piri Piri, the latest born.

A: Wow! So many! So we can talk about the plans for the future in a while. Now I’m curious to know how you started. Can you tell me more about your takeoff?
R: After school, I went to work with my father, who is no longer there. I learned a lot from him because he was a self-made man, really starting from nothing. He arrived in Luxembourg from Portugal in 1982 and in the evening, after work, he slept in the car. I owe him everything. I started out as a dishwasher, then as a cook and then, together, we managed Daiwelskichen and Batucada, both of which still exist. Growing up without skipping steps is very important. Only in this way can you learn to know how to really manager your business. There are many people who come from a completely different background and want to open a restaurant. They believe that it is enough to put their banner outside the door to make millions. It does not work like this. I have the notion of reality. I study the market and try to understand it, without ever believing I have fully understood it.

A: On the other hand, how do you choose what and where to open?
R: Here we are neither in Paris nor in Milan or New York. The population is limited and you have to study the territory and the public well before opening a gastronomic point of any kind. The people of Luxembourg invest a lot of their free time in the gastronomic circuits or in the cocktail bars, but, even if it is high-handed, they do not like to be fooled. The Luxemburgish do not give a second chance. So I open a new place only after doing an X-ray to the market. At that point, if I decide to start a new adventure I choose the best, point to quality, adequate and valuable interior design and I pay attention to the quality / price ratio. I do not mean to be a perfect owner, but I always work very honestly and this allowed me to get to the number 13 🙂

A: Yes! Quite right! You mentioned that with the new entry you are at a peak of 13. Tell me about the newborn!
R: It’s called Piri Piri and it’s a bomb. The kitchen, for the first time for my group, is Portuguese, like my homeland, but far from the one already proposed here in the city. Our culture is melancholic and evokes calm and sadness. This is why I have always preferred to open local Brazilian, Argentinian, Mexican and Spanish. I like to dance and also mojitos 🙂 But it was time to do something to pay homage to my father, who would have wished to open a restaurant with the flavors of his land. I also wanted to do something for the Portuguese community that is very large here. With my partners we had a lot of fun choosing the pottery and furniture, and I tested all the dishes. It is a restaurant completely different from what is already there in Luxembourg. Beautiful inside, with attention to the smallest details, with a traditional touch, but with a modern, refined and very rich design. Even the cuisine has its roots in Portugal, the flavors are authentic, but pervaded by a new twist. Some hints? The cod ceviche for example.

A: What does Piri Piri mean?
R: (Laughing). It’s a curious name, isn’t it? It is a spicy pepper typical of Portuguese cuisine. I chose it because it is very evocative.

A: Good luck then! So now we got a bit on the personal side. How can you be sure you differentiate one place to the other and you just don’t “copy paste”? I want to say: out of 14 restaurants, it takes imagination to avoid the same concept from happening again, doesn’t it?
R: Since working with my father, we have always chosen to address to an audience that loves the “Latin fiesta“. And so from the local Brazilian, to Argentine meat, passing through Mexican cuisine, without forgetting the Mediterranean area, one thing is certain, in my restaurants there is always a common factor that is the caliente style and typical of the Latin culture, but with an always different menu. I choose some detail that differentiates them, so that each place has its own identity. And where the food proposal looks similar, it is the location to be different – in the city and out-of-town for example. Said that, I believe that El Barrio is the strongest of all, is the “maison mère” because here everything has been done to perfection, just thinking about the fact that we have chairs for 400 Euro each, we have 20 people only in the kitchen and we have a kind of meat that is the top: the wagyu beef. Maybe I will seem arrogant, but I think there is nothing better in the city for quality / price ratio. I must also add that a great job had been done before I arrived, when it was still La Boqueria. I’ve always been fascinated by this place, in fact I wanted to direct it many years ago, but I was too young and they did not take me seriously. Better like this! Now I’m more mature and able to manage it.

A: Tell me the truth Remy, do you have a place in your heart among all?
R: Yes, Manso Restaurant occupies a special place. That’s where I put more about myself! The concept and the menu talk about me. Before and during the opening, in every place of the Mediterranean in which I went on holiday, I identified dishes that excite me most and put them in paper. Some dishes are Spanish, some Italian, some still Greek, and Portuguese and French are not lacking. But this choice was a mixed blessing! Do you know why? The “Mediterranean Cuisine” category is too vast and does not allow the Manso to have a well-defined identity. Usually the identity makes it the nationality of origin of the gastronomic proposal or the main ingredient of the menu. This is missing at the Manso. In the eyes of the public you can eat anything and everything, which is equivalent to nothing precise. So if at lunch I have a good customer basis mainly due to the offices nearby, in the evening we are penalized because people choose to go there they know exactly what to expect.

A: Oh, I’m sorry. Do you have a plan B?
R: Of course! Despite being in my heart, I will soon say goodbye to it!

A: Ah no, it was your favorite! And then will they become 12 again?
R: Noooo! Not at all! They will always be 13 because Manso Restaurant will turn into something else. And here’s the news for the year 2019 😉

A: Are you telling me that you have another opening in mind when you just opened Piri Piri?
R: Yes, yes. And yes, this will be an absolute novelty because for the first time I will be completely different from my kind to open a restaurant serving Greek cuisine. On the other hand, half of my members are Greeks. And we want to do it well! In the best way. We will also go to Greece to get ideas, so we will gain in authenticity and ideas.

A: Fantastic Remy. And when do you intend to open it?
R: We will start work in January.
A: Wow. I’m afraid that if we stay here to talk a little bit, you can make me a program of openings until 2030 …
R: Hahah no. I do not intend to reach 20, but creativity and the desire to do are certainly not lacking.

A: Thank you for your time Remy. It was a true pleasure meeting you.

I greet my interlocutor, but before going he shows me something that I adore. A nice piece of wagyu beef comes out of the kitchen to finish immortalized straight in my hands. Ok, I do not know what to put on my 2019 to try list first: Piri Piri or wagyu here at El Barrio. What would you say?

Pictures: Giacomo Salvemini (instagram.com/slv)

Guest Blogger: Ross Campbell

Today on the blog we welcome a column by the guest blogger of the month, Ross Campbell. Ross relocated from US to Luxembourg one year ago and loves the life in the Grand-Duchy.

One Year Down and I’m Still In Awe of Luxembourg Food

As an American, I didn’t move to Luxembourg to save money, I moved there because I fell in love with the culture and especially the food. Not only are many of the food options in the city more delicious and seemingly made with more care than what you would find in American restaurant, but they are generally healthier as well.

Where to Eat in Luxembourg

I’ve been living in Luxembourg for about 14 months now, and over that course of time I’ve come to know a few different restaurants that I can always count on. They’re what I would call old favorites by now, and each one of them has two things in common. They’re reasonably priced and you can generally get a meal there for less than 20 Euro, and they offer excellent food made from quality ingredients.

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La Campagnola in Steinsel

This unassuming little Italian restaurant offers excellent tasting food at lower than average prices. It’s one of my favorite locations to eat at within the surrounding Luxembourg area, and I personally really enjoy the pizza here. For less than 20 euro you can get a good rich pizza with toppings of your choosing, and it’s particularly enjoyable when paired with a good quality wine, and there are many wine options available.

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La Riviera in Bereldange

This little gem of a restaurant offers up a mixed selection of food types. There are pizzas and other Italian dishes, but you’ll also find French-inspired options. The tartar here is especially good, but many of the pizzas are also enjoyable and there is always a good selection of fresh toppings to choose from, which keeps me coming back for more. If you’re a fan of Italian wine, this restaurant also has quite a bit to offer in that regard as well, with several good strong options for each dish that you decide on.

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La Romantica in Moutfort

Finally, there is La Romantica out in Moutfort. This is a place that I’ve come to love, despite the large crowds of people and the tightly spaced tables. This is one of the best places to go and get a huge pizza that is cooked within a fiery oven that you can enjoy with friends. There are tons of toppings to choose from, and they’re all nice and fresh and full of flavor. Most of the pizza options are excellent here, and you can also pick up your food to go if you would like.

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My Challenges Moving to Luxembourg

While I certainly can’t complain about the food or living conditions in Luxembourg (both of which are excellent) I can say that I wish the overall process of getting set up here was as simple as finding the amazing restaurants throughout the area. I struggled through the Visa process, as many non-student Americans will when moving to Europe. I had to get my permit within 90 days and I had to show them I was working and could provide for myself adequately financially and I also had to prove who I was by showing my passport, my health certificate showing my recent vaccinations and a lease contract provided by my new landlord. This was all handled through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I didn’t want to leave behind my small household property including my clothing, computer, books and other personal items so I had them boxed and shipped in the cargo area of the plane to accompany me when I arrived. My car took a little more effort as I had to have it shipped with an international car shipping company, A-1 Auto Transport, Inc., and I paid just under $3800 USD to have it shipped overseas and then transported by land to my new home in Luxembourg. When you bring a car to Luxembourg, you must provide paperwork including the registration, title, permit of residency and a passport to show you are the actual owner. It is time consuming, but having your own car here is a great convenience when you want to travel or sight-see once you arrive.

If you’re a foodie like I am, there’s really no place that can come close to comparison to Luxembourg, at least no place I’ve been to and I have traveled extensively for quite a few years. I encourage you to come and visit and try eating at a variety of restaurants to get a feel for the area. Sure, you may find the cost of living a little higher than in the U.S., but there is a lot to love about this cultured city.

 

If you wish to participate to the guest blogger column, feel free to send an email to Barefoot in Luxembourg!

Guest Post: Patricia & Reale Restaurant in Castel di Sangro, Italy

Good Morning Folks! I am particularly happy today as it is going to be a short week for me and a super girly trip abroad will take me out of Luxembourg for some days.

I have decided to feature a blogger each and every couple of weeks and today is the turn of Patricia.
Patricia is a an incredible Brazilian architect – and an amazing mum – who has lived for years in Milan and moved to Luxembourg for love some years ago. She has an awesome inspiration page on Facebook (check it here) and you can either follow her on Instagram.

She has been recently on a trip to Italy and she visited this fascinating restaurant in the Abruzzo region.

Reale” restaurant is located in Castel di Sangro, Abruzzi region, Central Italy, in the premises of Hotel Casadonna. The restaurant was awarded in 2014 with the maximum recognition for the worldwide cuisine, the 3 Michelin Stars – something extremely rare for an eatery lost in such remote location.

Born as a typical Abruzzo restaurant today it has a more regional connotation to stand and highlights the raw materials of the territory. And the kitchen is definitely very unique and intriguing.
The settings of the restaurant are the mirror of the kitchen, the concept of the restaurant is controversial” in a positive connotation even if only by trying the dishes and visiting “live” the environment you can understand the true taste of the cuisine, you can feel the true essence of the space the architectural design and furnishing are very pure and synthetic, just to embrace the dishes that are the central feature and that color this neutral enclosure.

Below you can enjoy some pictures of our dinner and the location. Whenever you will visit this region in Italy, I hope you will book your stay at “Reale“, because it is really worth a try – and we are going there each and every time we got the chance.

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One Lovely Blog Award

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What a pleasant start of the morning! Betty nominated Barefoot in Luxembourg for One Lovely Blog Award.

Check out Betty’s blog: Betty’s Fashion Lounge: she posts her super trendy outfits, writes about lifestyle and daily inspirations – I love her beauty related posts!
Thank you so much Betty!

The aim of this award is to reward a blog that fellow bloggers consider to be lovely.

The Guidelines for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award (check 🙂 )
2) Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post.
3) Share 7 facts/things about yourself.
4) Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

So, about me:

1) I love ice cream. It is probably my fav food ever and I can eat it even with -20 degrees outside.
2) The name of my blog is coming from “Barefoot in the Park”, a lovely and funny movie from the 60′ with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.
3) Indeed, I really like movies from that period. I watched all Hitchcock movies and I was in love with Paul Newman – even if when I was born he was already too old for me.
4) I have lived in Milan for the merriest seven years of my life. I thought I would have never ever left that city and when it happened I never talked about that period again and I am trying not to go there if not strictly necessary, – like a boyfriend you broke up with even you still in love, knowing things could not work out, I use to say.
5) I have five tattoos. My mom knows I have two.
6) I met my husband in a nightclub. At 3 am. On a Sunday night.
7) My best moment from 2014, after my civil wedding, was The Libertines’ reunion at Hyde Park.

So, blogs I nominated are:

1) Luxessed
2) Claire Bonello
3) London Unravelled
4) Une Prise De Luxe
5) Poppy MarshMellow
6) Learn Luxembourgish
7) YaYaVanChique
8) Trace Ta Route
9) Simply V.
10) What 2 How 2
11) Julie loves Beauty
12) Champagne & Macarons
13) Sweetness in the City
14) An Expat Mom in Luxembourg 
15) Yourshop.lu