Tailors Concept Restaurant, Luxembourg City

Here we go! I am closing my busy season at work and coming back at full-time blogging with probably the least expected review yet. If you are following the Facebook page of the blog you are aware of the background – and, if not, you can find the post somewhere there.

You know, I never stop at the first bad experience – I have at least a dozen before I can feel satisfied. This happens with restaurants – and with men, definitely. How bad someone can be, I should have at least couple of sips of it, I am not happy otherwise. I am the queen of disappointments and the favorite target of my friends “I told you”.

With the “no same day reservation” in my mind, I decided to book quite in advance at Tailors Concept for dinner. Look guys, just to be transparent: this review refers fully to my restaurant experience. My repulsion for the idea about having to reserve in advance for drinks is still pretty strong – even if I am not ruling out the possibility that I will try also the Speakeasy at some point in the future.

Now. We got at the restaurant around 7ish. It is located in the prime heart of Limpertsberg, this sepia tones, residential landscape, in a quiet, still postcard. You walk the door of a suits shop, tailor-made, where you can just have a glimpse of people, seated. If you didn’t know this was a restaurant, you would have expected them to be business men discussing on the couch of the shop, while waiting to have their measurements taken.

The restaurant area is dominated by a huge wooden counter and the atmosphere is extremely old fashion – I love it. I am feeling like getting into a movie, where suddenly I am not wearing my Isabel Marant dress anymore, but a midi, wide skirt and a fascinator and my boss is changing into a charming man with moustache (no, not the one you are thinking of, thanks).

We are taken to our table and ordered an aperitif – went for bubbles, as we were celebrating the closing of the season. Shortly after, we were given the menu, that is pretty wide and offers a dish for almost every taste – raw fish, including oysters, pasta, an astonishing selection of meat -.

As I normally do when I visit for the first time a restaurant with so much on the plate – not just metaphorically – I went for the tasting menu. There are two versions, a shorter one – mainly meat based – and a longer one – mainly fish based. This solution to me is an excellent one for couple of reasons: you have the possibility to try more than two dishes (starter and main) and it is also great if you are in-between some choices. Also, in the tasting menu, you normally have smaller portions, that it is also positive if you end up not liking something – so you don’t have a full dish to finish in front of you. And, lastly, I would expect that tasting menu to be a “best of”, so the greatest expression of the chef, perfect to understand – or at least try to – its philosophy.

We had a first welcome from the chef composed by a cheese gauffre, panzanella and foie gras. Cappuccino of cod and Croissant. King Crab Salad. Cappellacci with Prawns. Risotto with Prawns, Cacio e Pepe, Lime. Cod with tomato, olives, capers, garlic. Mini-pastries with ricotta & red berry and cannoli with Marsala. A sweet bread to share with vanilla butter, bitter orange jam and zabaione cream.

We closed with two espresso – accompanied by some more sweets (salted chocolate and chocolate truffle).

Total bill read 296 Euro, of which 85 each were for the menu, 64 Euro for a bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse we had over dinner, 20 euro for two bottles of water and 16 eur/19 eur for the champagne glasses.

Pictures of my dinner at Tailors Concept, followed by my impressions – there’s always a pause when the jury goes out to consider its verdict*.

(I apologies for the quality of the pictures, that it is even worst than my usual shitty ones, but unfortunately the restaurant has very dark lights and being with my boss I could not stretch around having her to wait and giving out my second life as a blogger..).


*This is only a quotation from the favorite scene of my favorite movie. If you comment and get it, I will give away couple of invitations for Luxembourg Nightlife Awards night – just as I don’t like the boring “post and re-post” giveaway and I am not your usual blogger 🙂 Competition is open till end of September 2019.

What I loved about Tailors Concept:

  • I loved the atmosphere. As said, you feel like you are getting into a costume drama and you expect Colin Firth to walk by at any second with a walking stick and a top hat. I loved the idea of the restaurant hidden behind a shop – even if in Luxembourg secrets are easily out – and I loved the interior design of the place – reminding me easily the great times in the blue Bob Bob Ricard booths, in a modern, restored Orient Express.
  • Food was lit. I am being honest saying that my expectations were not set high, as some of my best friends did not have great experiences there. But, jez, happy for once we had different opinions in food and not only in men. I was flabbergasted. Some dishes were definitely better than the other – I loved the cappellacci, on the other side the crab was fine but not memorable. But what surprised me most was the bravery about some mix and matches, as some dishes – the risotto and the cod cappuccino for example – were so over the edge to almost digress into arrogance. Well, that limit has been well touched but never crossed over. Like taken out the courage to stick out almost to the limit of the ravine to admire the best of the gorge. I think we had the best in those dishes, and the combination between the cheese, the lime and the prawns in the risotto was almost divine – and strong, you have to consider that.
  • Service was definitely fine. Actually I did not want to include this point, but I received couple of messages from followers pointing out that the service there for them was superficial and rude. I did not experience that. Actually the service was on point, on the casual side – that is definitely my favorite option, between a posh service and an “Italian” style one – well, you know what I mean… Moreover, I have to add, that both our credit cards got declined – this will request another post, so stay tuned – and they were so nice to prepare us an invoice to pay the day after. So – really, nothing to complain.

What I liked a bit less about Tailors Concept:

  • The place is not cheap definitely and it is not the kind of place you just walk by when you don’t want to cook – and you cannot, as you have to reserve in advance 😛
    Still, the price for our menu of 5 courses plus several bites was definitely appropriate and I did not feel at all that I overpaid – well, actually I felt the price of the menu was a steal compared to what we had. A la carte, it might be a slightly different discussion, but still I would personally prefer paying the prime for eating here than giving away 25 Euro for eating a pizza – good and everything, but still pizza – few blocks down.
  • Having confirmed that for me the price is not an issue at Tailors as you get what you pay for, I would say that for me the downsides were only two: first one is the recurring one of my reviews – tables being so f*ck*ng close. We were definitely lucky yesterday as the restaurant was not packed, so the table next to us was empty. I was also with my boss, so I did not care if the people next to me would have listened to our debt restricting plan for Ireland or for my next Turkish trip. Still, it would have been less pleasant if I was out on a date – also because most of my recent dates ended up in a fight LOL – so not pleasant for our neighbors. As said, this is a recurring issue in Luxembourg, so nothing new here.
  • Lastly, I really would have expected a better wine card. I know that the place is famous for cocktails, but I would have really liked to have a wider choice, in line with the amazing food we had. As wine is important part of my preference for a restaurant or the other, I would say this might be the only blocking point for me to come back soon.

In conclusion, as I felt this review took ages to be over and I digressed quite a bit, I loved the food at Tailors Concept and I loved the place. Food is sophisticated and, for some side, subversive. It is the perfect place for a business dinner and if you feel like splurging for a special occasion. Atmosphere is lovely and service informal.

Advertisements

Les Jardins D’Anais, Clausen, Luxembourg

Some days ago I was about to publish this article related to Les Jardins D’Anais – it was pending from the end of the summer and it was finally ready to go. As indeed I have already planned and booked to come back there next week, I decided still to keep it on hold and to go ahead with other reviews, to add some more pictures and a more detailed description. In the meanwhile, the restaurant has been awarded with its first Michelin star, so I changed the plan and decided it was a good moment to talk about my experience there.

Over summer, I was lacking inspiration for places for taking visitors when, suddenly, the opening of Les Jardins D’Anais came to rescue me – thanks Marco for the suggestion!

The place is not totally new: the location, in fact, is the same than the old Les Jardins du President and, then, Maho, just a short walk from Rives de Clausen.

I used to love its first version, as it reminds me of my arrival in Luxembourg. One of the first company I worked for used to organize very swanky Christmas parties and, at some point, in my earliest years in Luxembourg, one was at Le Jardins du President. I was quite young at the time and so was the silly boy I was dating, who was totally unused to a corporate environment and its rules. So after (more than) couple of drinks – as the open bar was an unexpected experience for him – he was jumping in the middle of the main restaurant room like I would probably do only at 7 am in front of Marco Carola. My colleagues slowly started to leave, including this very old guy who was the companion of one lady in my team. We were seated next to each other over dinner, so my boyfriend retained it was appropriate to say them farewell properly. Boyfriend complained they were “already” leaving and when the guy mentioned the fact he was not young like him, boyfriend replied “tell me the truth, now she (his wife) is tipsy so at least you will have  good f*ck at home tonight”. Wonder they did not catch his Italian humor. I just wanted to disappeared and dragged him to the taxi line without even say bye to the others.

It seems ages passed since that moment. After the period of Maho, that was not my favorite, the location has come back to Le Jardins d’Anais with some significant interior design changes and a more sophisticated, light allure.

I took our lawyer visiting from the US there right at the end of summer, as said – those pretty warm weeks we had and a place with a lovely garden seems to be a perfect bond.

We dined in the veranda – that was a great compromise to enjoy the weather without the night peak in temperatures – and we chose our dishes a la carte – even if the restaurant proposes couple of very nice set-up menus.

I went for the egg and caviar as starter followed by turbot. As it was a business dinner, I did not take pictures of my guest meal, but she had beef filet as main course and, trust me, it looked very tasty.

Pictures of the dinner (mine), followed by my impressions about Les Jardins D’Anais.

 

What I loved about Les Jardins D’Anais:

  • The place is perfect: the structural changes that has been done made it really bright and peaceful – I remember at Maho I had issue to understand what was in my dish as it was too dark. At Les Jardins D’Anais you will not have this issue. The tract I appreciated most is that the ambience is so reserved and quiet you will feel kilometers aways from the noisy of Rives de Clausen. It is a fairy tales’ heaven in the middle of the city.
  • Food was just wow. I am not in the position nor I have the knowledge to say more than what the Guide Michelin has already said, but I appreciated in particular the complex composition of dishes, all made by different textures, perfectly combined. I also liked very much that tastes were really light, perfectly balanced, soft.
  • Service is in line with the ambience and cannot be differently. We felt pampered the all night since the first step into the restaurant – just to mention one small detail: I went out to have a phone call in-between courses and the waiter accommodated me at a table in the garden and went even inside to take my glass of wine.
  • Lastly, they have an amazing wine list – that to me is a quite important detail -. We had a remarkable Barolo and my guest was amazed by the whole dinner experience.

Nothing to note on the downsides, our dinner was to remember. Still, I was happy it was a business dinner as with 4 glasses of Champagne, 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 bottle of Barolo, 2 coffee, we hit almost the 400 Eur bill – said that, the Barolo was also the pricey part.

In conclusion: I am very glad Les Jardins D’Anais was awarded with its first Michelin star. My experience there was delightful and I look forward to come back next week. The place is very calm, bright and heavenly, even if just in the middle of the city. The food proposal, ca va sans dire, is amazing and it is perfect for a business dinner, a romantic date or a special celebration. During summer, the garden is definitely an unbeatable asset.

 

House 17, Luxembourg City, Reloaded

Finally I made it for getting my (company) membership to House 17 and I decided to inaugurate the season inviting a client for a business dinner there. We reserved on a Monday night and got there ahead him with M. The bar area was quite animated and we stopped by for a drink before dinner.

During the past year, we visited the House 17 several times for drinks, but actually my last time at the restaurant was the one I reviewed here. Normally in the past I did not review a place more than once, but since the blog started to be quite mature and places are changing, I decided to tell you more about this new experience at House 17 as I felt several things were different – and several not – so would be good to have an update after long time.

House 17, located in this lovely building in the very city center, is generally a members-only club, but if you watch out for their calendar there are several occasions in which it is open to the public and you can join their events, mainly after-works, even without a membership card.

Coming back to us, at the bar, our glass of champagne was accompanied by some small, sophisticated appetizers. Once our guest arrived, we moved to the restaurant – that was very quiet instead, but we did not expect anything different for being a Monday night.

We started with a small amuse-bouche, followed for me by foie-gras and afterwards by a suggestion from the chef, roe deer. I did not take pictures of the other dishes as it was a business dinner and did not sound very appropriate – sorry! Anyway my other two companions had my same main, but a risotto as starter, that looked tasty. We accompanied the dinner with two lovely bottles of red wines – an Italian Barolo and a French Nuits Saint George. We concluded with coffee and digestif.

Some pictures of our dinner followed by my impressions.

What I liked about House 17:

  • I like the idea to have an evening in a members-only club once in a while. It is reserved and a bit posh. Atmosphere is uptown and welcome is great. It does not feel old-fashioned as other similar places in Luxembourg and I would definitely go there with my friends as well, not just for a business related event.
  • Wine and drink selection is great, really. There are several nice choices at different price level and cocktails are well prepared – I did not have one in this occasion, but several the one before 😛
  • The food, compared to last time I was here, improved significantly. It was a lovely dinner, presentation was cared in details and my dishes were delicious, classic but never boring. In the menu you have evergreen numbers and seasonal suggestions, including veggie choices. The bill does not come out extremely cheap, but definitely in line with the place and well worth it!

What I liked a bit less about House 17:

  • Our evening was perfect. Almost. While the service generally was on point – great at the bar, fine at the restaurant -, at the very end I was quite disappointed by the behavior of one of the waiter. As background, this guy did not take care of our table during the night, but apparently he realized I was speaking Italian while I went out for a call.
    So, the lady who was responsible for our table came at the end with the bill to check and I noted the tips – a gracious one – by pen on the receipt. As already agreed with the reception ahead the dinner, in fact, we would have needed to pay by invoice to be charged to our company. The lady took the bill and went back to the counter and, at this stage, this waiter stepped in, speaking directly with me in Italian – in front of my client – telling me that if I note down the tip by pen on the bill, they (the waiters) would not receive it and I should have given it by cash. I was quite embarrassed honestly, as something like that never happened to me in a similar place. Now I don’t know if the story is true – if the restaurant is not giving the waiters the tip that is not paid by cash – whatever: this is not my problem and should be sorted internally, not involving a client out on a business dinner.

Except for this small episode, our evening was great and I was really happy to subscribed my membership to the club so I would have more occasions to go. House 17 is a mondaine place, perfect for a drink or for a dinner – a romantic date, a business meeting. Don’t miss the occasion to visit it during the open events. Bonus point: the food is delicious!