Urban City Luxembourg, a lunch in town

I usually tend to avoid writing a blog post about places which are very much known, but this time I really feel that Urban City needs a mention, as it started to fulfill recently a need it emerged I have after the lockdown. A place to have a nice, fairly priced and easy going lunch in town, but with a cool atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong: Luxembourg city center is definitely full of pleasant places for having lunch, but was missing for me a category in the middle, in-between a fancy, rather expensive lunch (Giallo, Um Plateau, to name few) as opposite at a daily lunch at the office (like at La Table du Pain).

I decided to write this review after being there couple of times, on Fridays I had off work – hence the beers 🙂

First time I had the falafel wrap – next to a classic burger for my companion of the day. Second time I had zucchini fries and avocado toast with poached eggs – while I well sold to my friend the falafel wrap I had the first time. To be honest there was a third time where I had a club sandwich, but I was too hungry to take a picture, so please use your imagination.

Here’s are the pictures of the lunch I had at Urban City, followed by my general impressions about the places and the food.

 

What I loved about having lunch at Urban City:

  • Food is to die for. The falafel wrap is to me probably the best dish they had on the menu, but having tried the burger, the sandwich and the toast, I can say that honestly everything I tried is really good, well seasoned, not greasy at all. Sauces and fries are also worth a mention.
  • Service is smiling and present – oh, what a pleasant surprise for such a crowded place! You never feel forgotten, dishes are coming quite fast and waiters/waitresses have even the time to share jokes with you – happened the last time, when we took huge time to decide what to order as I could already acknowledge everything is so good there.
  • I don’t have much to tell you more about the ambience compared to what you probably know already, but Urban City is definitely a cool place where you can go straight from the office, in your sweatpants after a walk around the city (or off your bed) or already dressed up for the night. What I want to add is that, even if so central, the price for the lunch is very fair: every time we spent around 50 Euro in two people (so 25 Eur each), including beers and coffee, euro more, euro less depending on the dishes. Probably it is not the place to have lunch every day, but it definitely well compares to other similar places.
    And don’t forget, kitchen is open non-stop, so you can enjoy your “lunch” at whatever time in the afternoon.

What I liked a bit less about having lunch at Urban City:

  • Not much honestly. Probably I recognize the fact that once it will be winter, having lunch inside will be less cool (for my taste) than being on the terrace, but still pretty good.
  • Finally, can you please cut the zucchini fries a bit smaller? Like actual fries? I think they will taste really better, but this is just a personal suggestion 🙂

In conclusion: I had to re-visit my motto of not having food where I normally have drinks. Urban City is the perfect place for a lunch in town: cool, easy going and fairly priced. Amazing and well presented dishes, including a wide choice for vegetarian. I am very much sure they are so well-known that they don’t need my blog post, still we had such nice time there recently I find impossible not to share.

A new cozy wine bar: La bulle de vin, Luxembourg

On Friday night, I have been invited to the re-opening of La bulle de vin, a very stylish wine bar located in the Old Town, just next door to Companero.

The bar and the restaurant were already open to the public but the new management invites friends for a tasting to celebrate the re-launch.

The bar, as structure, used to be one of my favorite in town when it was still called “PM”, but the previous managements were not able to valorize such great architecture.

 photo bb9e77f2-2c1c-47e1-9667-c17e845013a5_zps6tui1jdj.jpg

The concept now is that the entrance hall is dedicated to chill out: the music is soft, each table has great own space and you can relax, drink and chat.

 photo 192c9714-9ca7-4ecf-b67b-d3bf8c3acf05_zpsywxdi4tm.jpg

Going down, the middle floor is working as restaurant.

 photo 99dc9f21-f5da-4209-b9d2-d52430b1c757_zpsbykaeap1.jpg

Then, down at the basement, a stunning high-ceiling “party room” with a dedicated bar. This room has higher volume music (with a separated system from upstairs) and tall tables. You know, I am kind of claustrophobic in this basement Old Town bars, but actually here you have a very high staircase leading outside.

 photo bbd801e9-cc3a-43af-b98f-b9a95a1001d2_zpspm6uobyh.jpg
 photo d5093c99-b47d-4e40-945c-77da9d3f9ed2_zpsssqxdwza.jpg
 photo 09bd5fcf-6a7e-4df2-9ca4-ad6be6ba762a_zpszirgeie8.jpg
 photo cacac48b-5a96-41de-8f7d-e86f03226299_zps1zcijkhm.jpg

Back to the bar offer, La bulle de vin has an outstanding quality value. They offers great, non-commercial wines at fair prices. You can also have champagne and wine tastings – they change each month – and, to accompany your glasses, you can combine delicious platter of cheese and charcuterie. .

 photo 04ac3581-16d7-4a90-a99d-47500b1be63f_zpsxsombovo.jpg

Yesterday evening we had tasted three types of wine – plus a glass of pink champagne to bubble before leaving. Wines were great and the bar personnel is well prepared to explain you the wine background. We only had some finger food but looking at the dishes that were arriving at other tables, I am definitely motivated to come back for food. Environment is trendy but not formal.

The basement party room could be also privatized for parties and La bulle de vin organizes special events like Wine Tasting for Girls – subscribe their newsletter to receive update on the events!

Great tapas on a budget: El Companero, Luxembourg

El Companero was one of the first place I visited when I arrived in Luxembourg. The restaurant at that time was still located near rue du Cure and having dining and dancing space in the same, large room. I have so many confusing memories related to those nights and actually I was not a fan when they moved in the Ilot Gastronomique, as I think the kind of restaurant El Companero is was not and will not be the same of others in that part of the city.

But I am still visiting the place and I also partied there my birthday some years ago. Actually I consider it an nice place, where you want to go for a quick and easygoing dinner and if you don’t want to splurge for the classic three-courses Luxembourgish menu. You can either have food at the restaurant on the first floor or on the cocktail bar basement – definitely the best if you are coming too early or too late.
My personal recommendations: Go Tapas and Caipirina (or Sangria) like a pro 🙂

 photo f7af15a8-3e42-48aa-8178-f3549c780dcf_zpsherxz2zq.jpg
 photo b1f3206c-ccdf-4e4a-9d42-fb980078c830_zpsavezhqfg.jpg
The tapas mixed platter is hugeeeee. The quality is fair enough (nothing haute cuisine) but will fill you up before a night out. Tropical cocktails (if you plan not to drink too much) and Sangria (if you share a pitcher with your companions) are the right drink choices and the best in the area. If you wish to upgrade your dinner, add a mixed Jamon and Queso (ham and cheese) platter.

Note also that if you are vegetarian or vegan, they have numerous choices for your appetite –  not extremely healthy, as most of the food is deep fried, but still.
Personally, I am not a fan of the main courses here – above all if you want to cut your bill – but they could be an option for some.

I also tend to recommend El Companero if you are a large group and want to have fun, as the atmosphere is definitely not formal and you can just move downstairs for a dance after dinner!

 

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 😛

 photo 1369bd42-61be-4950-aad5-a026fddf41d8_zpsactgdp0d.jpg
 photo be35b05b-6c17-481a-b508-a59f246ce5d8_zpsoym5ctiv.jpg
 photo e0078106-1c83-4c77-abcc-670b7cddf646_zpsdskodfyu.jpg
 photo 251ae45e-50c5-43f2-bef6-b9929f01a759_zpskt2lm2f0.jpg