Corie goes to Frankfurt: Food Porn Alert

Differently from most of my fellow bloggers, I am not a fan of Christmas period.
The reason behind has nothing very sentimental but the fact that December is one of the busiest month for me at work. I have to prepare for boards, have tons to reviews to be done before year-end and I travel pretty much to other offices for meetings.
When I was younger, I loved travelling for work. It means having laundry-fresh clothes for weeks, no needs to wash dishes or cook, restaurants and drinks each and every night on company’s expenses. Becoming older, it started being less attractive to me. I work for a kind of lads-only company, where small talks during lunch or dinners are mainly related to company’s matters or silly sports I don’t even understand or musicians that were already too old when I was born. If I stay for a short week, like in this case, I tend not to use laundry service at the hotel, that means when I am back I have at least 5 washing machine cycles to run – considering my husband doesn’t even know how to plug in the washing machine, I have also to take care of the clothes he did not wash during my absence – and the dirty dishes and the empty fridge.
And business dinners.. oh, fancy places, nice wines, delicious food.. but have you ever had breakfast, lunch and dinner out for a week, an entire week? – not during a vacation, but having to work in the meanwhile? Sometimes I just wish I can stay in for one night and skip the social part of the work – I don’t like to be social at work, I am sorry.
Short story long – I was busy and I am a bit behind on my blog postings schedule, I am sorry for that! My series “What to” and “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people” will be regularly back next week.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy some random pictures of the amazing food I had in Frankfurt this week.

You will find picture from Charlot (City Center area, Old Opera House), The Ivory Club, Belluga and Mediterraneo (both in Eschborn), Best Western Plus (Schwalbach).

Enjoy!

 

  
  
  
  

What to do – Restaurants open on Sunday evening in Luxembourg

Since my husband started to work during week-ends, it is really common we want to have a date on Sunday evening. Unfortunately it seems that there is a sort of curfew in Luxembourg on that night and only few places are accessible.
This is the reason because I decided to do a short list of places, open on Sundays, I tried and I might recommend – at least you don’t have to call half of the Editus “restaurant” chapter to check them in advance like I usually do  🙂

Budget-Friendly

Mr. Wok
Mr. Wok, Hollerich area, is the perfect place on a budget for big appetite on Sunday evening. They have a huge main room – no needs to reserve, definitely – and infinite choices of food on the all-you-can-eat buffet. Starting from Chinese starters to main courses (noodles, fried chicken, Cantonese rice) to fresh sushi to conclude with cakes and ice-cream. The best part, anyway, is the wok/grill area, where you can choose your raw ingredients and ask the chef to prepare them in front of you. Everything for 24.9 Euro (drinks not included)
Perfect for: hangover recovery

Bosso
Bosso restaurant, Grund area, has lovely settings, decent service and various menu choices – including vegetarian – mainly from Alsatian kitchen. Flammekuchen are extremely tasty and main course portions are pretty big. With starters between 4 and 10 Euro, flammekuchen for around 10 Euro and meat mains around 15 Euro, you can definitely have a nice and pleasant dinner without going bankrupt. Reservation recommended.
Perfect for: eating on terrace during summertime.

Pizza Places

Bella Napoli
Bella Napoli is located in the main Station area and it is quite an institution. They have delicious tiny-crust pizza with Italian garnitures, the service is pretty fast and the location is always packed – and a bit noisy.
Perfect for: a quick dinner with not many formalities.

Mama loves you
Mama loves you is a trendy pizzeria – with also great alternative like burgers – down rue de Hollerich. The settings are very modern and cared in details – even if the gap between tables might be a bit small.
I love this place because has very tasty pizzas with unusual – but not too much – garnitures. My favorite one is with nduja spicy Italian sausage and bufala.
Perfect for: taking out for dinner someone you just met over the week end.

Matese
Matese is a typical neighborhood place in Bonnevoie and, despite its old fashion location, is always packed over week-ends. They offer an informal but kind service and a huge choice of dishes from yummy carpaccio to amazing pizza – one of my favorite in town.
Perfect for: a family gathering or if you live in Bonnevoie

La Torre
La Torre is located in Limpesberg and has a typical Italian atmosphere. Pizza is thick and prepared with fresh ingredients from Italy. Sundays are always busy, so you better call in advance to secure you place.
Perfect for: a dinner with friends

Romantic

Beim Siggy
With the best view in town, Beim Siggy, in Clausen, is definitely more than a simple brasserie. Courses have a wonderful presentation and delicious taste and the wine list is nice and with fair recharges. Lovely service and affordable bill are the ingredients to complete your night.
Perfect for: a date with someone you want to impress

Brasserie Herve
If you are not afraid of going out of the “city center” comfort zone, Brasserie Herve is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic date. The interior design resembles cosmopolitan and posh locations, the menu is limited but full of fresh ingredients and different choices – including vegetarian -, prices are reasonable and service amiable.
Perfect for: if you are bored of going always to the same places

Exotic

Tibet
It must be said that most of the Indian restaurants in town are working on Sundays. Tibet restaurant, located near Zitha Clinik in the Station area, is one of my favorite, because it offering not only traditional Indian dishes, but, as the name suggested, also Tibetan ones. The location is colorful and the service always kind and smiling.
Perfect for: concluding with a pinch of happiness your week end

Le Grec
This lovely and noisy Greek restaurant in Bonnevoie welcomes you with informal service, big and tasty dishes and authentic ingredients. The only problem might be that you would like the day after to be still Sunday.
Perfect for: having fun with friends.

Splurge

Sapori
Located in Beggen, Sapori restaurant proposes a traditional refined Italian cuisine prepared with seasonal ingredients. The location is elegant but minimal. The service is proactive and dishes are great – above all those with meat. The wine list is one of the best I have seen in town. Ca va sans dire, the bill is adding up quite fast, but it is definitely worth it.
Perfect for: a special celebration that deserves a great bottle

Ikki
Even if Clausen is a bit silent on Sundays, Ikki is not closing its door. You can start with a drink at the ground floor and move to the trendy restaurant. The menu proposes both traditional international dishes and a great sushi choice. Service is appropriate and if you are not yet tired, you can move back downstairs for the last dance of the week.
Perfect for: feeling part of the jet-set also on Sunday evening.

Other places open on Sunday Barefoot in Luxembourg reviewed are:

Taj Mahal
Brasserie Le Pless
Culturando
La Veranda
Brasserie Cote Cour
Pavillon Desom
Ambrosia
L’Osteria

La Maison Lefèvre, Esch-sur-Alzette: great expectations, fine result

On Sunday, inspired by the good weather and by a quiet – and sick – Saturday night, we travelled to Esch-sur-Alzette for a date lunch at La Maison Lefèvre.

I had great expectations toward La Maison Lefèvre, which made it recently on the Gault&Millau 2016 guide and I wanted to try it since long.

We had a side table facing the street and, after a cremant aperitif accompanied by some focaccia canapé, we received a Saint Jacques amouse-bouche. I went for a poached egg with  potatoes pancake and truffle while hubby had foie gras and then we continued with rack of doe for two. We had half bottle of red wine and two coffees for a total bill of 127 euro (2 cremant, half bottle of wine, two starters, two mains, two espresso, half water)..

How was our lunch at La Maison Lefèvre? Discover it after the pictures.


  
  

Things I liked about La Maison Lefèvre :

Food was nice and not plain: both my dishes had unusual combinations of tastes for usual recipes and I really like the effort in creating unique propositions and not having the common, boring brasserie meal. This was for me the very good point in favor of this restaurant – everything on the menu was new and appealing – and the main reason for coming back.

Fair quality – price: we had a lot of food in a nice environment for a reasonable price. They have also a tasting menu for 55 euro that looks very convenient. The wine list is various with several good choices for small prices – and great bottles with honest recharges.

– Amazing bread, wide vegetarian selection and private parking under “other good things”.

Things I liked a bit less about La Maison Lefèvre:

– They should have had a great photographer for the website as the place in reality it is a bit less suggestive. It might be because it was daylight, but I was not impressed by the settings as I was online.

– Attention to details very lacking: our table was just attached to a cupboard that was full of dust (see picture). The cheese trolley was in the middle of the restaurant, in a very busy place, without any coverage. My main course presentation was a disaster (joking I said hubby “my doe should have been killed by a car”). From a place like this and for its potential,  I would expected something different.

– I booked the table one week in advance but apparently I was not on the reservation list. The waitress who welcomed us kept us for a quite long time at the counter asking me if I was sure I booked, who I talked with, when did I do my reservation.. My husband saw I was a bit disappointed and he smiled back to don’t worry. And then the waitress herself looked and me and stated “yes – be calm please” in a very impolite manner. I don’t think it is the right attitude at all. You have a table for us, ok. You don’t have, we leave. Not really fancy keeping me in the middle of the room interviewing me to understand if I just pretend to have a reservation – I have a schedule of the places to visit that covers the next two weeks and I am not at Zuma, so no, I am not pretending.
Then, as hubby and I speak both decent French and fluent English, I don’t see the reason why she had to speak her bad Italian with us and treat us as kids, with very informal attitude, even later at the table. We might be not as old as the average of the restaurant, but I am not your sister. Just to say, other waiters were pretty fine and professional as it is supposed to be.

To sum up: maybe because I had seriously big expectation about La Maison Lefèvre, I was a bit deluded. Food combinations are great and prices very fair, but I think they should put a bit more effort in the care of details and on the service. Indeed, it think it is a lovely place for a family celebration.

An easy going sushi: WOK Asian Restaurant, Luxembourg city

One of the problem I have, when I want to dine in town during the week-end, is the need to reserve well in advance – and to spend sometimes a freaking amount of money for plain dinners.

Since I discovered WOK Asian Restaurant, I know I can easily have an (almost) inexpensive sushi at last minute. For sure, this is not a posh one, not even for a romantic date, not to have a refined dinner. WOK Asian Restaurant is anyway a nice place when you decide to go out at the very last, mainly with your friends and with no needs to dress up.

I have been to WOK Asian Restaurant last Friday with some friends. We did not reserve but at 8 pm the main room was still mostly empty.
Matteo and I went for a portion of mixed dumplings to share (8 pieces), I had a miso soup while my other friend had two portions of fried rolls. Then I continued with a California sushi plat (15 pieces), while the others decided both for sautéed rice with chicken.
We had couple of Japanese beers each, espresso and cold sake’ at the end. The total bill read 40 Euro each (3 people: 1 big dumplings starter, one soup, two rolls starters – two main courses, one sushi platter of 15 pieces, six beers, two bottle of water, three espresso and 1 cold sake bottle). Definitely fair enough.

Discover what pro and cons of WOK Asian Restaurant after the pictures of the dinner.


  

Things I liked about WOK Asian Restaurant:

Easy going environment: no formality, no need to reserve in advance, great atmosphere
Various menu: they have a very wide list of Asian dishes, from Japanese to Chines to Thai, definitely good for all the tastes.
– The California platter is one of my favorite in town: fresh fish, good composition and nice presentation.
Very fair prices: I am not sure there are several other places in the city center where you can spend 40 euro – with drinks – for such big dinner.
Kind service: the waitress was really glad to explain us couple of dishes content and to prepare a special dish for one of my friend who has allergies.

Things I liked a bit less about WOK Asian Restaurant:

Service might be slow when it starts to be crowded. We waited pretty long between the starters and the main courses.
– While I really like the “upstairs” room, if you ended up in the basement one it might be not so fancy.
– I tend to eat only starters and sushi – I am not a big fan of other dishes, at least I don’t find them good as the sushi.

To sum upWOK Asian Restaurantis a really nice place on budget in the city center. Most of the time you don’t need a reservation, they have a very kind service – even if a bit slow – and it is perfect if you are not in a hurry and you are out for a informal dinner. Recommended for a relaxed supper with friends.

Mansfeld Reloaded: Business Dinner with the Boss

I talked about the re-opening of Mansfeld Brasserie some posts ago. I said it used to be one of my favorite place in town and the first visits confirmed the old glory. I tested it once again while my bosses were in town and I was not disappointed.

We had a fabulous time and my guests were extremely glad about the choice.

Definitely and once again highly recommended if you want to have a posh delicious dinner, without the heart attack upon bill receipt. Ca va sans dire, this is not gonna be cheap, but you will have, beyond any doubt, the clear impression to have spent the fairest price for the merriest evening.

Super thumbs-up: friendly and smiling service, some kind of rare gem among all grumpy waiters at most gastro places in Luxembourg.
Secret hints: great choice of gins for a strong start or a relaxing after dinner; lovely terrace overlooking the river; my favorite dish is the tuna tataki – just heaven! and.. make same place and don’t skip the dessert, they are all worth it!

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L’Assiette Champenoise, Reims. An unforgettable experience.

During our Duke’s break in the Champagne region (detailed post to follow), we decided to spoil ourselves and finally visiting a 3-stars Michelin restaurant. I was also able to convince hubby to join, as he is definitely not a fan of the gastronomic cuisine, but he will be after that.

L’Assiette Champenoise is located just outside Reims, in a wonderful park, in the same complex of the hotel. We had a drink in the patio before starting the dinner and the modernity of the details was there perfectly combined with the style of the villa. I loved the lamps in the garden and the chairs were so comfortable you don’t want to leave.

Everything was perfect. We started with a glass of champagne accompanied by some cheese cakes and moving inside for dinner, in a lovely table in the middle of the room with the garden behind us, we went for the surprise tasting menu with champagne accord.

Nothing really to describe: it is impossible to explain the taste of certain dishes if you haven’t tried them. The combination of tastes was awesome, a plat could look like “simple” but then exploding in your mouth in a rainbow of aromas. Amazing. I loved the lobster, the celery mousse with caviar, the tempura artichoke.

Service was outstanding as well. Glasses were never empty, menu explained in details in English (for me) and French (for hubby), we had the time to enjoy this special moment till the very end, while having a cognac in the garden with a cover for the fresh breeze.

The chef came to our table to welcome us and at the end to check that everything was fine. We left with our printed personalized menu and a bag of fresh bread. Nothing more you could really be asked to a restaurant experience. I hope we could have dinner like this one more often, really.

Some pictures of our dinner follow.
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Indian Dinner at Taj Mahal, Luxembourg

Before getting engaged, I was eating Indian food almost once per week. I really like spicy food and Vindaloo chicken was my favorite comfort food, my hangover remedy and my usual takeaway order. Unfortunately hubby is not so much into exotic food, so since we moved together I am allowed to have Indian food only on special occasions 🙂

Among all the Indian restaurants I’ve tried in Luxembourg, my favorite one is the Taj Mahal, in rue de Strasbourg, Station. The area is not extremely fancy, but when you have such great food this is not extremely important.

On last Friday night we visited it, we had some meat samosa, lentil soup, plain and spicy papadom. Chicken as main – I had a spicy one from Agra region, while hubby stayed safe with a butter and tomato one – and garlic naan. We drunk Indian beer as usual.

Things I love about this restaurant:

– They are extremely kind. Even if we are not coming here so often, they are always treating you as a special client.

– Food is great and portion are fair. Ingredients are fresh and mostly home made.

– They are always happy to make you take away the remaining food.

Things I love a bit less:

– Décors are a bit dated, but this is not a real issue if you are not looking for a posh dinner date.

Taj Mahal, 2 rue du Strasbourg, Luxembourg Ville.

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Birthday Dinner at Le Bouquet Garni, Luxembourg

Uff! Even if I pretend to be young, I needed some days to recover from the last birthday week end – after three days of partying I still feel a bit blurred.

On Friday night, that was actually the day of my birthday, my husband booked a table at Le Bouquet Garni. Even if I love French restaurants, we never had a chance to visit this one during our pretty long stay in Luxembourg.

The restaurant is located in the area called “Ilot Gastronomique“, in the Old Town, just behind the Grand Duke Palace. It has preserved traditional settings of the area – stone walls, timbers on view, old furniture. We were welcome in a small entrance and accompanied to our table. The restaurant has different rooms on the two floors and our table was indeed on the first one – just next to the window overlooking the back of the Palais. My husband loved the fireplace, the table was quite big for two persons and the distance with other guests more than appropriate.

There are two menu choices: a menu for 40 euro (starter, main, dessert), with brasserie imprint, and a more gastronomic one for 72 euro (again, starter, main, dessert). Both have several choices between fish and meat, plus there is the possibility to upgrade the second menu to four dishes for 85 euro.

We had a glass of champagne rose’ as aperitif – on the table there were olives and nuts to enjoy – and we went for the “Menu Selection”: cauliflower welcome from the chef, lobster as starter, sole a la “bonne femme” (with mussels and shrimps) as main and moelleux au chocolat as dessert. We accompanied the dinner with a bottle of Chablis Gran Cru.
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 photo 9ca588c8-ba0a-4838-aadb-69691aad4282_zpsqhvumuel.jpgThings I loved about the night:
– The sole and the chocolate cake were just perfect. Amazing combination of tastes, fair portions, great raw materials quality. The sole was accompanied by potatoes mousse that was just delicious, while the dessert was also composed by a yummy fruit sorbet. I am still dreaming about both.
– The service and the settings were great: I really appreciate some distance between tables, the timing of the dinner was almost great, we did not wait too much but it was not even too fast. The bottle of wine was next our table but we were always served by the waiter and our glasses were never empty.
– The two menu choices are perfect if you are coming for a dinner with friends – and therefore don’t want to splash the cash – or for a special occasion – like we did. All the dishes were appealing and the portions look correct for the price.
– The location is really romantic and perfect for a tete-a-tete.

Things I did not really love about the night:
– Overpriced aperitif (and drinks). As said, we ordered a glass of champagne rose’. I have been to the most expensive restaurants in Luxembourg and normally the maximum we paid was 18 euros (with an average of 13/15 euro). The champagne was billed 26 euro per glass – 52 euro for two glasses (!!!!). As it was a blind choice – the waiter asked us if we wanted an aperitif, so we did not have any list in front of us – I really think it was too much. Skip the aperitif if you don’t want bad surprises. Drinks had a pretty high recharge as well – 9 euro for the water, 4 euro each for espresso but in line with other similar restaurants, French wines starting from 40 euro and upgrading very fast. No Italian white wines below 100 euros. What is the sense then of having a 40 euro menu if you are going to spend the double for water, coffee and wine?
– The lobster of the starter was great, but was accompanied by a light sauce that was made only of vinegar. We were provided a spoon and when I tasted the bisque I was almost disgusted. The lobster alone indeed was very good.
– Service a bit worst at the end of the dinner, when the dessert was taken to the table we were still finishing our last glass of wine. We had a very dry wine, so I would have loved to take a sweet glass with the cake. In this way we ended up not finishing our wine and not ordering anything else. We had also to ask the waiter to wait couple of minutes to serve the coffee as he seemed a bit under pressure for made us leaving – it was not even 11 pm, so not so late and we were not the last table.

In conclusion: we had a lovely dinner. We will come back for sure, maybe to try the brasserie menu, as the settings are perfect for a romantic dinner, but please remember total price is escalating fast with the drinks – so still recommended for a special occasion and not for a “I don’t want to cook” night 😛

Postkutsch Restaurant, Esch sur Alzette

We discovered Postkutsch Restaurant recently as we were looking for some fancy places to have dinner a bit off the city chaos. At the same time, as I totally avoid driving if I plan to drink even a glass of wine  and I am not keen travelling with someone that did (I am sorry, démodé, maybe, but I really do care about my safety), so Postkutsch appeared as the best solution, as it is located just 5 minutes off Esch/Alzette station and trains from and to Luxembourg are running until 1.20 am – luckily enough we live at a walking distance from the Gare.

As said, after a first amazing experience, we decided to come back with my sister and her fiancée. Be careful, you need to book a bit in advance for week ends: we placed our reservation three weeks earlier in order to secure our place, as it was the only night we were all available.

The internal décor of the restaurant appears to be coming from another age: a bit old-fashioned, maybe, but I love to be projected in this 20s atmosphere, with big round tables, mirrors, candles. As client, indeed, you are not feeling obliged to dress up – as in many same-style restaurant in the city center – and this makes us feel even better. A simple shirt and jeans for men is enough for enjoying an agreeable dinner.

Coming to the food, the restaurant as a formula called Temptation, with a fixed menu and some in-the-middle choices (starters, main, sorbet or cheese). The price is really affordable, 48 Euro, for the quantity and above all the quality of the food received.

As “amuse-bouche” we received a cappuccino of mushrooms with truffle and a mousse of ham. Both of them really tasty. Following, I opted as started for an Hamburger from the Sea, a very structured dish that was served with a mousse of ketchup (yummy!) and avocado. It was a great start, my husband only did not really enjoy his dish – roe deer terrine – saying it was too gummy and fat.

The next dish for me, main course, was Saint Pierre fish, cooked with meat jus and potato gallette. Also this dish was great, as it was a perfect combination between the sea taste and the aroma of truffle with the jus. My sister had the same, while her fiancée took a kind of saltimbocca and my husband the picanha. Everyone loves his dish.

Next step was the chariot of cheese, that is always an extremely interesting adventure for me – I love cheese! I took three strong softy cheese and I really enjoy them – the Calvados Camembert was one of my favorite.

At this point we were already pretty full and our train was about to leave. We had the dessert, composed by a combination of tree small dishes, and the coffee, accompanied by chestnuts mousse and some sweets. I was not even able to finish my dessert, as it was really a lot to eat, but everything was perfect.

As drinking, they have as well some standard formulas that include aperitif – several choices of “maison” cocktails – wine through the dinner and coffee. Being Saturday, we had to opt for the formula for 37 euro each – while during the week you have as well the one for 22 euro – and it was a great combination. I started with a vodka strawberry cocktail – normally strawberry cocktail are always a bit too sweet but this was not the case, it was balanced and flavorful. I continued with a Pinot Blanc for the starter and another white mineral wine, a Viognier,  with the rest of the dinner. My husband and my sister’s fiancée had red with the main.

Once again, it was a really nice experience, next time we will only try to arrive a bit earlier – we were there a quarter to nine – in order to relax a bit at the beginning and avoid the rush between aperitif and starters.

Postkutsch is the perfect place if you love French cuisine but you don’t want to squander, you will get spoiled there by all the treaties they propose and it is perfect for family celebrations.

Check their website for menu and other updates:

Postkutsch
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Oldie but Goodie: Bick Stuff Restaurant, Luxembourg

It has been long time since my last visit to Bick Stuff. It was my favorite spot in the first year in Luxembourg, when I was living next block for a bit and later, when myself and my Megane were passing there in front each and every night. I don’t know if it ever happened to you, but sometimes when you close a period of your life, you try also to move on from the places where you were going, trying to cut it away from your memories..

Anyway. We decided to go to Bick Stuff for our Saturday date as last minute booking. We wanted something classic but fancy, and there are not a lot of places with this style in the city center.

Bick Stuff is just located quietly in the Clausen area, off the mainstream, but easy to get. You can spot the lightly restaurant sign from the street, even if the entrance is a bit hidden.

You will fall in love with the cozy décor. The restaurant is set just on a big room, wood all over, Christmas decorations all around. The attention to details is extreme: ornaments are not loud or trash. Small snow balls are on a shelter next to our table, a teddy bear is sitting on the couch overlooking the room, tiny lights on a tree at the entrance. The atmosphere is unreal but delicate, you can enjoy your dinner in a fairy tale mood. Obvious but true, perfect place for a date.

We had a cremant aperitif, quiches with leeks as amuse bouche, I went on the classic side with Fois Gras as starter and Filet de Boeuf as main, while my husband took the seasonal menu with terrine of pheasant and roe deer stew. Dishes were just perfect. The home made fois gras tasted different from every fois gras you have ever had before and it is join by delicious cereal bread. A pity that no salad/vegetables were proposed on the dish, as it was a bit too dry – I had the salad of my husband indeed. The beef was cooked with mushroom crust and accompanied by potatoes and a thin puff pastry with nutmeg. The portions were not tiny themselves: my husband had his dish filled three times with the lovely stew and we were really full at the end. During the dinner we drunk a delightful Saint-Emilion and my husband took from the list the last bottle of a Medoc 2004 to bring home. We concluded with Nespresso coffees and two Cognac.

Excluding the bottle we took home, we spent 100 euro each – of which 56 euro were for the Saint-Emilion bottle and 32 for the cognac. Not extremely cheap, neither on the luxury side, definitely commensurate to the enchanting dinner we had. Virginie was a perfect host, even if we were the last clients remained we never felt pressured to accelerate the timing.

A place recommended if you love the classic cuisine and you are not looking for food artifices: extremely good ingredients, perfect hospitality and graceful ambience are the distinctive elements of this lovely restaurant.

Bick Stuff
95, rue de Clausen
L-1342 – LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg)

http://www.bickstuff.lu/

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