Tapas at Chez Rafael, Luxembourg

There are those nights you feel like eating out but not having a proper, formal dinner. This happens to me pretty often actually – if you follow our IG account (@corie.bratter), you realize we have many shared platters, Italian style apero, more than separated courses. As we wanted a bit to change last week, Jenni and I decided to head to Chez Rafael, a Spanish restaurant located in Place de Paris – our favorite area recently! – that proposes, among others, a great selection of tapas.

The restaurant has been there for ages – before I arrived in Luxembourg probably – and I have actually been there couple of years ago for lunch on several occasions when I was working in the area, but never visited during the evening. So, to change from our usual “charcuterie and cheese platter” we said, why not?

We got at Chez Rafael on a Friday night without reservation around 8.30 pm and we were afraid for a minute it was a bad idea as the place looks quite full. Luckily the owner was able to find a comfortable space for us quite quickly and we took a seat. There is a main menu of Spanish specialties, including paella – that seemed to be the main choice for all the other tables – and a separate list of tapas, available in the same number for the categories meat-based, vegetarian and with fish.

We ordered Patron’s Peppers, Galician Octopus, two times Bread with Tomato (actually we supposed the portion was just one slice, indeed it is composed by several…), Codfish balls and Tortilla. We had two glasses of Sangria to start (and 3 more in total afterwards) and we concluded with one espresso.

Total bill read 67 Eur for 2 persons.

Some pictures of our tapas dinner and my impressions.


What I liked about Chez Rafael:

  • Food was really amazing. Authentic taste, natural ingredients, a triumph for the palate. In particular, the octopus was extremely tender and it was prepared with fresh tomato and onion. The codfish balls were to die for and while normally I am not a fan of tortilla, the one we had was the best I have ever eaten in my life!
  • Service was extremely friendly: the owner was always smiling and doing polite jokes with us.
  • The price was exceptionally fair: we were very full (as the food was a lot, portions are not micro) and we spent barely 30 eur per person.

What I liked a bit less about Chez Rafael:

  • The place is not very fancy: the interior design is very basic without any particular feeling. Colorful, very clean, but still plain. That is perfect, but might not be appropriate if you are looking for something for a posh date.
  • Let’s face it: the service is “Spanish way”, so it took quite some time to us to be served, receive the food, have the bill and coffee. But that, again, was definitely fine to me, as I was not in a rush and I wanted to have a very relaxed evening with my friend. If you want to have dinner in 1 hour, it might not be the place for you.

In conclusion: I loved Chez Rafael, dining there took me back to Spain for one evening. The tapas were great and the service nice. Very recommended for a dinner with friends in a relaxed, informal ambience for a fair price. I cannot wait to come back to try more tapas and above all the wonderful paella that was passing in front of us.

Brasserie Herve, Luxembourg – a pleasant discovery!

In my last posts of the series “What to do” regarding the Station and Bonnevoie area, I was complaining the lack of a refined and fashion place to dine.
After learning about its change of management, I decided to head with Patricia to Brasserie Herve for a relaxed lunch. Brasserie Herve is, unluckily, located in a not very fashionable area, just few steps from Luxembourg Main Station.
Indeed, since its opening, I was attracted by the décor and the intimacy of the location. Unfortunately, previous management seems not to be able to use the potential of the place.
On Tuesday, we had indeed an amazing lunch.
We were welcome by a very kind and professional waiter speaking both English and French perfectly and we received a great amuse-bouche prepared with truffle cream and dried tomatoes. This was just an initial indicator that our experience was going to be exceptional.
The restaurant, for lunch, has a menu du jour selection (choice among 3 dishes) for 12.5 euro, plus chef suggestions between 9 and 16.5 euro plus “a la carte” menu.
We were advised by the waiter to go for the “Italian burger”, prepared with sautéed peppers , pesto and beef meat. He was also available to explain in details other dishes on the list we were interested to – but at the end we follow his experience.
We accompanied the lunch with two glasses of wine – again, the waiter made us try the wine, even if it was just the “home selection”, to be sure we were fine with it, before serving. These are the small little things most of the places are not taking care about and that, for me, are doing a big difference.

After the pictures of our lunch, you will find as usual my impressions about this restaurant.

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Things I loved about Brasserie Herve:

  • Unbeatable ambience: around the station you cannot find such elegant and fashion place. Once you enter the front door, you can forget where you are, like you directly transported in a Manhattan fancy bar.
  • Great food: everything we had on our table was exceptional. From the truffle amuse-bouche to the burgers to the apple pie served as dessert with the menu. You can definitely understand the quality of the materials is really important at Brasserie Herve, and I especially loved the truly amazing meat taste.
  • Quality/Price and Choices on the Menu: 12.5 euro for a Brasserie Herve menu du jour that includes an amuse-bouche and on Monday/Tuesday also a dessert is a very good deal for Luxembourg city and above all for this kind of restaurant. Just some weeks ago, I paid 18 euro for a pasta dish around the corner… and here you have meat, fish, veggie choices for all the tastes and for all the prices – so not only on budget, but also recommended If you want to spoil yourself.
  • Authentic customer service: through my interviews of “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people“, I realized that what most expats complain about in Luxembourg is the level of the service. At Brasserie Herve, it was clear they really care. We never had to ask, we were always served before and never bothered by the waiters. From bread, to water, to mayonnaise, everything was taken to the table on time.

Things I liked a bit less:

  • You might not be attracted by the surroundings, but this is definitely not restaurant’s fault. Indeed, I find refreshing to have a fashionable place to visit also in the station area, without the needs to find yourself each and every time walking past the same places in the city center. We had great time at Brasserie Herve – our lunch was delicious, the atmosphere is very modern and fashionable and the service was outstanding.

    This is the perfect place for a lunch with your girlfriends before some shopping, for a relaxed happy hour with your colleagues during the week or a fancy business dinner after a day of meetings. We will definitely come back.