A peaceful escape: L’Altra Osteria, Bonnevoie, Luxembourg

It has been since one month or so my husband promised me to have an Indian meal – I love Indian food, but recently I tended to have it take away at home as I am missing mates who love this spicy cuisine to join me. I was finally happy to have some Indian food on Sunday while taking my bath ritual after breakfast and before going out, hubby came to me with this face telling me some friends just called up and we were invited for lunch in a new place in Bonnevoie – ca va san dire, Italian.
As a good wife, I accepted and said bye to my Indian meal – and only because new places are always exciting me a bit.

So – L’Altra Osteria is located in the premises of Bonnevoie tennis club – you have this impression to be in a remote village, while actually you are just five minutes driving from the station.
The location is very typical – red and white table cloth, ham and Auricchio cheese on display, various yummy products to buy around. A lovely terrace – that cannot be used yesterday because of the weather – and a nice view of the countryside.

While having an aperitif – Italian alert: they have the real Camparisoda – we were served some small bruschetta with cheese. We then had a pizza to share as starter – with cherry tomato, cheese, zucchini and ham – and I ordered some pasta with mushroom and lamb meat.

Find the pictures of our lunch below and, as usual, my impression of the restaurant.


  
  

Things I loved about the L’Altra Osteria:

Very relaxed environment: tables are very distant (you know I appreciate it!), huge windows overlooking the city, calm area.
Great authentic food – the pizza was amazing (I will definitely go for pizza next time) and while the menu card is very classic, the weekly suggestions offer a very gourmet journey through real Italian flavors. My pasta dish was seriously to die for.
Fair prices – with 4 aperitif, two bottle of wines, one starter to share and four pasta dishes we spent 35 euro each. We had coffee and digestives offered.

Things I loved a bit less about L’Altra Osteria:

– Hubby is very picky on the pasta side and found his orecchiette too “al dente” – I had to eat them at the end while he was having the other half of my strozzapreti. His dish was less impressive than mine – in particular, the dried tomato made it quite salty.
– The list of the wines is still under construction – they had only few choices of red wine, no one of them memorable. We ended up taking a Chianti 2012 that was the oldest red they had – nothing special.
– This is not directly due to the restaurant, but when you access the premise you need to enter through the tennis club. The smell on the basement is incredibly disgusting and while going up to the restaurant it disappears completely, it makes the beginning of our experience very unpleasant.

To conclude: L’Altra Osteria is a very cozy Italian restaurant located in a calm area of the city. The food is genuine and various. Some improvements might be due to the new settings, but for sure we will come back and I will highly recommend it for family gatherings and meetings with friends. Amazing pizza.

What to do – Bonnevoie

I had great feedbacks from the first post of the series “What to do”, so I decided to publish another post sooner than expected. Thank you also for all the lovely comments you left and for sharing my article! I am going to try all the places in the Station area you suggested very fast! As Ruxandra said in her comment, having a good recommendation will help you trying a spot you maybe passed in front hundreds of time but never get a chance to stop, giving you more confidence!

Today we go ahead visiting Bonnevoie area. I know Bonnevoie is not considered by many as a fashion area of the city, but having lived there for 9 years, I learned to love it deeply and I find really difficult considering moving out!

Once again, please comment with your favorite spots around the area!

Where to go when you want to pamper
Bubbles Hairdresser
I am really jealous about my hair. I used to have long hair for more than half of my life and even now that I got a shorter cut for couple of years, I tend to use great products and to be really careful about cuts and coloring. Ca va sans dire, I think I have changed at least a dozen of hairdressers in Luxembourg, as I was never satisfied. Since Rosario moved his shop, Bubbles Haidresser,  to Bonnevoie, I have been a loyal client and I have recommended it also to friends.
I tend to go there during the week, when they are less busy and they can give you all the necessary attention. After years of going out from the hairdresser looking at the mirror and saying: “What the f*ck have they done?” now finally for me it is the time to giggle: “Beautiful me”.

Where to go when you want a relaxed after-work
Bouneweger Stuff
I started to go to the Bouneweger Stuff when it was not yet mainstream (I also cooked there for their event “Chef for one night”!)  and I honestly sometimes find annoying when, above all during summer, it is so packed. But at the end, being just few steps from my apartment, I find it the perfect place when you want to have a chat with a friend without the urge of dressing up like you go to the city center. And the Joslette (not sure  I am writing the name correctly, but it is Pimm’s plus Ginger Ale) is one of the best cocktail ever!
Why not
If Bouneweger Stuff is too packed, I walked few blocks down to the “Why Not” cafe’. They also have a sunny lovely terrace – even bigger -, fairly priced drinks and friendly environment, kind of place you like to go when you want to meet someone, have some booze and fun, without any stress. Check out their page, as they have also pretty good live music nights.

Where to go when you want to get inked
Absolut Ink
To come back to the earlier discussion, your tattooist is like your hairdresser. You should trust him and when you find the good one you must not change it. This was my case, after several tattoos around, when I started hanging out at Christophe’s Absolut Ink – I already wrote an article about his shop here. Pass by to this bright and spacious studio for your tattoos, piercings, shopping some unique accessories as bags or watches, or for one of the music event they organize from time to time (next one, in collaboration with Luxuriant, will be on September 26th).

Where to go when you need to shop for a vegan dinner
Mullebutz
Not only vegan, but also gluten-free, lacto-free and bio products, together with fresh fruit and vegetables. Definitely not cheap and not for your daily shopping if you are on a budget, but for sure a reference point for specific food products. I love the vegan mushroom pate’, the dried fruits, the kamut pasta and the miso soups.

Where to go when you want some “pizza al taglio”
Pastificio La Modenese
“Pizza al taglio” is an institution in Italy. In a simplistic way, it is like the normal pizza, but squared and small, and you normally eat it between proper meals, as a snack. There are tons of shops in Italy and you can ask to take it away in a box – great to eat on the couch with a Pepsi Max watching Geordie Shore 🙂
Well, I didn’t know there were any “pizza al taglio” shop in Luxembourg before finding out my husband was having breakfast at “La Modenese” with some pizza salami and not at the next Fisher. The pizza is really Italian, great taste, very greasy. They have also home made lasagna and regional products. You can have lunch on spot.
Just a small note: they close at 6 pm.

Where to go when you want to take a friend out on a budget
L’Atelier del Gusto
Located in the heart of Bonnevoie, this truly Italian grocery shop offers several regional products (including Birra Moretti, ‘nduja and burrata) and a tiny restaurant, informal and familiar, where to eat based on the daily suggestions. You can have a mixed ham & cheese platter or try one of the lovely pasta Angela, the chef, is preparing.
Check out the event calendar: for big appetites and empty wallets, the Panzerotti night is amazing!

Bonus Track: Where to go for a nice dinner
I talked about on the blog about my favorite fish place, La Gambahere and here. And I had also some words about Matese, a Carpini chain restaurant, just behind the Station, great when you are too lazy to cook, and recommended also La Veranda, an authentic Italian, here.
At the middle of my personal ranking in Bonnevoie, I would put the “Bay of Bengala”, brother of the Royal Bengala in Merl. The food is excellent, one of the best Indian in town, but the service and the attitude of the manager/waiters sucks, really, so much I find annoying going there and prefer to order their delivery at home – I shared this view with my sister and another friend who went to this place, so I think something needs to be changed, as it is a pity for such good restaurant!
La Bonne Auberge“, at the roundabout, is a fairly good place: the menu is very long and normally when they do too many things, I don’t like it, but here almost everything is good quality: I tried the pizza (tiny and fair enough taste), the fish and the meat (good quality, high substance) even if the reason for me to suggest this place is definitely the “Picanha” night, where, for a reasonable price, you will be served with meat, chips, beans, rice, banana, all night long. Bonus point: they have one of the best waiters I have been served by in Luxembourg!
Another nice spot is Le Puits Magique, which propose traditional Portuguese food, with a limited choice, in a familiar environment.
You won’t find anything too posh in Bonnevoie, I am sorry – this is gonna be the next chapter (Clausen!)

Le Grec Restaurant in Bonnevoie, Luxembourg

I am currently enjoying a short week at the beach, at my parents’ place, before a well-deserved vacation abroad – it is since our Mexican honey moon last year we are not taking a proper vacation!

In the meanwhile, I was putting my pictures in order and I found out I never talked about a place we really enjoyed, Le Grec restaurant in Luxembourg. Hubby is not a great fan of exotic cuisine, but this is one of the only places he visits with pleasure.

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Things I love about this restaurant :

  • The friendly environment – after being there couple of times, it was like having dinner at a relative’s place. The owner is very funny and you could start a dinner at 9 pm and leave at 1 am – in my language we say: leaving on the knees, you know what I mean 🙂
  • The great food and the giant portions – this is definitely a place for big appetite as portions are huge. But the choice is very wide – they have fish, meat and veggie platters, so you can either mix and share different dishes as we usually do. My personal favorites are the Atherina fish as starter and the Gyros as main (onion alert!).
  • The quality/price – compared to other similar places I have been, Le Grec is definitely not very expensive.
  • The restrooms. It might be a strange thing, but I am in love with the restrooms of this place!

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Things I loved a little less:

  • The atmosphere is really familiar – so not recommended for a posh night or a date. But definitely the place to go with friends for a funny night out! Don’t exceed with the raki as I usually do :))

Sunday dinner at “La Veranda”, Luxembourg

Since hubby has started to work again with busy schedule during week-ends, the only night we can actually have a proper dinner out is Sunday.

Before my business trip to Amsterdam, we decided to spoil ourselves with some truly Italian food and we went for “La Veranda” restaurant in Howald.

We had some starters (charcuterie, cheese, pizza) and then, as main, I had grilled meat and hubby went for lamb. We accompanied it with a bottle of Tuscan wine from Bolgheri, a lovely one.

See the pictures of our night and find after some impressions about the dinner and the restaurant.

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Things I loved about dining at La Veranda:

– Food was definitely outstanding quality: I loved the cheese and the pizza was yummy. My main course included lamb, entrecote, beef filet and sausages. Everything was very good, special mention to the entrecote that was just perfect, thin and soft.

– Portions are huge but the quality is so great you can arrive at the end of a glorious dinner like ours without feeling sick.

– Service was also extremely fine: attentive and available for suggestions and clarifications about the origin of the productions and the dishes composition. Not very common in Luxembourg.

Things I liked a bit less:

– The interiors are a bit dated and old fashion and the terrace is overlooking Route de Thionville that is definitely not a fancy view.

– If you are choosing a good wine and meat/fish main and you add up some dessert and digestives, the bill is growing pretty fast.

In conclusion, I definitely enjoyed our dinner at “La Veranda”, it is a good place for an informal dinner with friends and family and, even if the surroundings are not fancy, it is definitely worth a visit.

My favorite fish in town: La Gamba, Bonnevoie

Coming from a seaside place, I am pretty picky when it comes to fish. Above all, I really dislike the tendency foreigner people have to destroy lovely sea products with tons of creamy sauces. Moreover I have the tendency myself to consider that, when the restaurants need this trick to present a sea dish, maybe the fish is not so tasty/fresh – am I wrong?

Therefore, when we want to eat some good cooked fish, the only place I like to suggest my husband is “La Gamba“. The restaurant, in the heart of Bonnevoie, has pretty old-fashion settings and is nothing too fancy or posh. It is just the kind of place where you go if you want to eat well. The service, indeed, is extremely kind and attentive – good suggestions and perfect timings.

We have been there last Friday night and luckily we were able to find a table at 9.30 pm – hint: call for reservation if you plan to go there during week-ends. I had a glass of cremant while waiting for my husband that was accompanied by olives and codfish croquettes. We are always going for the mixed grilled for two, that has different kind of fishes and scampi and on side a spicy ail sauce, saffron rice and home-made fries (to die for!). I love the fish there as you can really taste the sea without any unneeded make-up. The menu discloses also several Portuguese typical dishes, but the portion of the mixed grilled is so huge you better not have any starter. The list of wine is also mainly Portuguese-based, prices are extremely affordable, with the most expensive one being around 35 euro. The atmosphere is nice and this is the kind of place perfect for a week-end dinner with friends – those kind of dinner you start at 8 pm and you don’t know at what time they are going to finish, also thanks to the amazing Portuguese grappa. Highly recommended if you are focus on the content and not on the container.

PS Terrible quality picture of the main course that is missing a half, I am sorry, but we were so hungry I remember only after eating all the scampi I had to take some memories 😛

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Sunday Funday: Culturando + Matese

The weather in Luxembourg this week end was not inspiring any outdoor activity – yes, I was feeling quite lazy. We had a home dinner with friends on Saturday and I experimented my Granpa’s zeppole recipe. They are kind of puffs filled with cream and sour black cherries. In Italy, they are prepared for Carnival and specially for Dad’s Day, that is on March 19th. The result was definitely fine, considering I did not have any more zeppole on Sunday morning for my breakfast 😛
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On Sunday, after the usual two hours cardio, we watched a movie and we went  to Culturando for couple of glasses. We decided to arrive a bit earlier this time so when the night started to be busy, we took our way back home – as old people always do…
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We stopped at Matese , in Bonnevoie, as my fridge at home was almost crying.. Matese, in fact, is the restaurant we are always going when I don’t want to cook. It is really close to our house, we don’t need to dress up – actually we went also there in gym wear -, it has a lot (and when I say a lot, it means five pages menu) of choices and the food is pretty nice.

Things I love about there:

– The manager and the staff are lovely. It seems to me you are going to eat to your aunt’s house.
– They always have a table for you, even at 11 o’clock on Saturday evening.
– As said, they have several dishes on the list – pasta, pizza (try the “Riardo“), salad, meat or fish main courses and most all of them are delicious. So it is the kind of place where to go if one of you wants a big meal and the other one is on diet, or if when going out you don’t have yet clear what to eat.
– Fried calamari is one of my favorite, but as we wanted to stay light after the aperitif, we opted for my second fav, the traditional Carpaccio. The portion is huge, the meat is soft as butter and it is served with salad and super piadina. I could eat all of it – well, actually I did….
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Depending on what you eat and drink, it can be really cheap or a bit pricey. We managed to stay on 22 euro each for the big carpaccio plus 2 half-liter bottles of water.

Definitely worth a try if you want a familiar environment and good Italian food. They have also a nice relatively cheap menu for Valentine’s day.
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Ah, they also brought us some yummy polenta as welcome, but my hubby could not wait I took the picture to have its own.

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Restaurant Matese
,
89 rue de Bonnevoie,
L-1260 Luxembourg Bonnevoie

Absolut Vinyl Session at Absolut Ink In Bonnevoie, Luxembourg

Christophe’s Absolut Ink is one year old, but it seems yesterday that it opened its doors for the first time. It filled a gap in Luxembourg panorama, as a tattoo shop was missing in the area. Above that, if you visit is, you have immediately the feeling it is definitely something different from the usual tattoo piercing shop you are used to. It is full of light, minimal and clean spaces all around, bringing it far from the misconception that this kind of places are only for dark, gothic people. They sell also nice products – so you can jump in also for buying your girlfriend a lovely gift (a unique bag or a bracelet from the brand “Too Late“) and not only if you want to get inked.

Once per month, they organize busy parties, with Dr. Gonzo in charge of the dj bit. This Saturday it was the occasion to meet back after Christmas holidays and to introduce the new shop manager, lovely Sandra.

Take a look to some pictures and pass by as soon as you get the occasion – just if you want to change your piercing or you are curious, they are conveniently located in Bonnevoie, few blocks from the Central Station.

Absolut Ink
2, rue Sigismond
L-2537 Luxembourg
Bus: 3, 5, 6, Stop: Leon XIII Bus 15, Stop: Rotonde

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