Friday night in Merl: Restaurant La Bergamote, Luxembourg city

Last month-end closing at work was so much painful I did not have lots of time to go out, as you might have realized from the recent lack of my review posts. When my partner in crime Kochi proposed to have a dinner out the Friday of that week, I was indeed very glad she has chosen a place in Merl, very close to where we live now.

Last time I have been to La Bergamote, it was still called Stan’s. The restaurant is located in Merl, at a very walkable distance from the city centre and in a quiet area. It has two floors, one at the level of the street and one below, with a cosy terrace, for which it was not yet the time due to the unpleasant rain.

We got there at 8ish, after having reserved during the week, and the location was quite packed, but still not noisy. The settings are those from a brasserie, with a sophisticated accent and a minimal touch. My favourite piece was the ham cutter vintage machine on the corner, next to a neon column of bottles.

After a look to the menu, we decided to go for the evening tasting, that proposes 3 courses at the astonishing price of 35 Euro. I was pretty surprised indeed to find such good deal, as I always retained the restaurant to be on the pricey side. While the “a la carte” menu in fact proposed dishes around 28 – 30 euro, for the main, the tasting menu is definitely competitive if you don’t want to splurge.

For the menu, you have two choices every course: I went for the sea bass tartare as starter and white fish with peas and chorizo for main. Kochi had the meat choice, with chicken as starter and veal with Sardinian fregola and vegetables as main. For last course, we both selected the cheese platter – and that’s the main reason because we are friends, we love cheese 🙂

As for drinks, we started with a house aperitif – an house kir, prepared with cremant and bergamot, delicious – and we continued with a bottle of Saint Aubin – again, cheer up to the friend who always selected the wine to match my course and not hers 🙂

Discover our dinner in pictures and find my general impressions afterwards.


Things I loved about La Bergamote:

  • We had a high-end dinner with brasserie price tag. All dishes were very tasty and well-prepared, with a refined presentation and cared in the details. My fish dishes were very satisfactory and I liked the combination of tastes, the freshness of the raw materials and completeness of the plats in all their parts. Kochi was very happy about her starter, as she had a similar one recently in a gourmet restaurant and she noted this one was even better. Her veal meat was indeed great.
  • Service was very professional and attentive. We got wine served, dishes explained in details, requested satisfied and correct timings for the dinner.
  • The location is very relaxed and you don’t feel stressed by the rythme of the city centre.

Things I liked a bit less about La Bergamote:

  • While the combination between the location and the tasting menu price is perfect, I would not be much convinced going to La Bergamote for a la carte full dinner, as it might get a bit too much expensive for the kind of settings – for example: tables are a bit too close for my taste.
  • The only deluding dishes among ours was Kochi’s veal – as per above the meat was extremely good and well cooked, but the fregola is meant to be prepared in a soupy way and as a risotto was plain and overcooked. Same same for the vegetables, that deserved al dente cooking point and missed it very much.

In conclusion: I personally really enjoyed my dinner at La Bergamote. I would definitely suggest to visit the restaurant and go for the tasting menu if you are looking for a sophisticated dinner with a reasonable price. Perfect for a tete-a-tete or a girls gossip night.

 

Dinner with view: Beim Siggy, Luxembourg

Often during this season, friends are asking me for a place for dining in town with a nice terrace. Honestly I cannot lie – even if, you know, I would sometimes prefer to keep my best places secret to avoid them becoming overcrowded. Then I usually suggest them at first “Beim Siggy”, a traditional brasserie located halfway between city center and Clausen, that has a wonderful terrace and one of the most amazing views in Luxembourg.

I have been there more than once last year during sunny evenings and I visited it recently with friends. The menu, as said, is very conservative, but portions are great, prices extremely fair and the quality is above the average.

I love the tartare – I had the salmon one and the beef one last time – but also Luxembourgish dishes are pretty yummy – hubby is a fan. List of wines – mainly French and Luxembourgish – is proportionate and has some great names at legitimate prices.

Find some pictures of the night – definitely a place highly recommended for me, above all if you have someone visiting to impress or if you want to arrange a romantic dinner without splurging:

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Sunday evening at Chateau de Bourglinster Brasserie

I had a pretty quiet week-end after all – definitely too stressful season at work, so I preferred to lay on my couch watching silly TV programs – I am addicted to chavs reality, like Geordie Shore, apologies – and eating Indian take-away.

On Sunday night, after a sunny afternoon spent at the new Rotonde, we joined some friends for an informal dinner at Chateau de Bourglinster Brasserie. The castle complex is located about 20 minutes driving from Luxembourg city in the countryside and includes a Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant and a small brasserie. This one has a lovely terrace overlooking the valley, but due to the number of guests and the wonderful day, it was already fully booked, and we dined inside.

The Brasserie offers a combinations of menu – starter, main and dessert or two starters main and dessert – plus eventually wine match for reasonable prices, starting from 49 Euro. The card is not very wide – about four dishes each section, including one veg option and one daily suggestion. Unfortunately some of the dishes were not available anymore when we arrived.

I opted for tuna fish as starter, guinea fowl as main and cheesecake as dessert. Hubby had tuna dish as started, oven-baked beef as main and pistachio biscuit as dessert.

The wine card is indeed extensive, with some good numbers – we went for a Saint-Aubin all dinner long.

Enjoy some pictures of our night and find after them my usual general impressions and comments.

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Things I loved about this restaurant:

– Fairy-tales atmosphere: it is incredible that driving just for 20 minutes, you will be wrapped up in surroundings from another century. Definitely recommended for a romantic evening or for a night trip with someone visiting.

– Structured dishes, more on the gastronomic side than on the real brasserie one. I was expecting to have some typical charcuterie, beef tartare and bouche a la reine, like in most up-class brasserie in the city. The selection of ingredients and the dishes themselves were surprising and pleasant. Finally something different!

– The sorbet served as welcome of the chef – together with the snails – and the guinea fowl were definitely the best dishes of the night for me. The guinea was pure butter and the combination with the mushroom and the various sauces was just delicious.

– Service was fairly impressive. Notwithstanding the fact we ordered all different dishes on a table of 10 people, the plats were arriving directly to the person without any delay or questions from the waiters (same situation, different place: here we have a beef filet – screaming – who did take the beef filet? – louder – we have one dish less, who is missing? and similar noisy sounds more appropriate for a fish market than a restaurant) . Service was also always on time to fill up the wine glasses and the boys appreciated the fact the chef seated down with them for a chat after the dinner.

Things I liked a bit less:

– Interior settings are quite featureless. Personally speaking, I would not do the trip and spend some serious money for dining inside in the brasserie.

– I am fine having a short menu card, since my previous posts you should have already understood it is something I prefer. But then if out of 13 dishes you miss already 5, the choice starts to be hard. I had already opted for lamb as main and chocolate dessert when the waiter said they were over. Sad.

– I had half of hubby’s beef and some of his dessert and I was not really impressed. The beef was sickly sweet and some sauces were definitely out-of-place – too acid. Happy I went for the guinea fowl!

In conclusion, I really appreciated this evening at the Chateau, but talking with hubby and another friend while driving back to town, I confessed that I would have come back only to dine at the main restaurant of the castle. 75 euro and 20 minutes driving for me, lazy spoiled Corie, are not worth a dinner with friends in such settings. I really see it as a place for a tete-a-tete and in this case, “go big or go home”.

 

Tasty Sunday: Brasserie Le Plëss, Luxembourg

The only little thing I continue to find  a bit annoying after eight years in Luxembourg is the total lack of a social life in the city on Sunday night. I can understand that most of the people are going out like crazy during the week end and they are therefore not such motivated to have alcohol again on Sunday evening. Since I grow older, I must admit, I find most interesting resting on Saturday night and have a full Sunday to enjoy (wow! what a change!). Yesterday, after a very tough session at the gym, I enjoy an afternoon with my girls and we ending up at Culturando, a nice new meet-up place (I would call it wine-bar but I am not sure is the best way to define it) that is proposing the Italian aperifit in Limpesberg on Sunday evening. It is a great place indeed and I am already preparing another post for next week.

After couple of glasses of good wine, hubby and I were wandering around in the desperate search of a nice place for having dinner. We used the Explorator application – and except for some Asian places and some not updated restaurant choices, it looks like Luxembourg has curfew on Sunday night. We headed to the city center and due to the time, it was already  twenty past nine, most of the touristic places were already closed.

At the end, we tried at Brasserie Le Plëss, one of the restaurant in the building of the Place D’Armes hotel, and lucky enough they gave us a table.

I had some doubts before vising this spot, as we had a pleasant experience at the Cristallerie – the posh restaurant of the hotel – back in time, but awful time at the Cafe’ de Paris, the brasserie on the other side.

The menu list is not extremely extensive: there are some dishes to share (mainly charcuterie), some standard starters (like Caesar salad), and some classic, but not so much, main courses, including some shrimps pasta & angus burger. The list presents also a good choice of wines, each bottle can also be taken as single glass, and being a brasserie, this is highly appreciated, even if the price is relatively high (12 euro average for a glass).

I went for a filet de bar with cauliflower, while hubby chose the pork entrecote with mashed potatoes. The service was nice and relaxed and the ambience is soft, on the romantic side, with great view on the square and polished décor. The style is the same of the Place D’Armes hotel, but you don’t have the feeling to be in the hotel dining. Tables are pretty close one to the other, but when we arrived there it was almost empty, so we were alone on our side of the room. It could be indeed a bit annoying on a busy night.

The food was great, really: my bar was perfectly cooked, tender, with a perfect combination of taste of the two consistencies of cauliflower, a mousse that was almost divine and a seared one. The only thing I did not enjoy, the dish was decorated with pop-corns. They were delicious and they created a yummy ensemble, but their internal part was very very hard, and if you don’t pay attention you risk to crack your teeth.

The wine we chose was also great, it was bring with the bottle at the table even if we took only a glass and we concluded with an espresso – long, but extremely strong, I was not able to sleep tonight! – accompanied by some lovely madeleines.

The total spent for 2 glasses of wine, 2 main courses, 1 diet-coke, 2 espresso was 100 Euro. Not cheap , but commensurate to the style of the hotel.

We came to the Brasserie Le Plëss because it was the only place open on the square on Sunday evening and it resulted indeed in an extremely luscious choice in a refined environment, even if on the expensive side.

Check it out:

Brasserie Plëss
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