Mamacita, Luxembourg city: good Friday night spot

I visited Mamacita in Luxembourg city as soon as it opened its doors, some years ago. I clearly remember I was not impressed: cocktails were less than average and pricey and food was nothing special. The service, on my first visit, has been really bad and I left particularly annoyed by the waiters’ attitude – they totally ignored us in favor of a kind of “VIP” table next. After this negative experience, I came back there only for some drinks during summer.

But as said several times, I tend to give all the places a second chance after some times, so last week I decided to come back to Mamacita for a Friday night dinner with a colleague who was visiting.

I booked throught their Facebook page – replies were fast and very kind. One improvement point already!

We got there at 8 pm after couple of warm-up drinks next door at White House – good combo on Friday night, even if White House is basically empty at that time, you have the best service and the best tables for you.

We were accompanied to the floor and we got to choose our table between two which were still empty. The room quickly became very busy, with couple of groups celebrating birthday parties.

We started with some frozen margaritas and chilli beers, which we accompanied with a mixed platter of starters for two to share – we were four – and some tequila shots – we were in good mood ūüôā

After that, we went for single dishes РI had spicy shrimps while hubby had chilli con carne, similarly my colleague opted for chilli and his wife for a ceviche Рand a bottle of Nebbiolo from California. We concluded with some more shots.

Here you have some pictures of our dinner. After that, my impressions about this second try at Mamacita.


  
  
 Thins I loved about Mamacita:

  • ¬†We had great service, indeed. We felt never forgotten by the waiters, notwithstanding the busy evening, and all of them were kind, smiling and in good mood. They granted us a very funny night, thanks.
  • Food was good – not amazing,¬†but still very¬†good. The mixed starter platter was enough to share for 4 people, in particular the quesadillas were very tasty. My main was nice: well presented and fair quantity. I have seen amazing burgers passing in front of me for other tables.
  • Drink selections – my colleague noted it – was very good: between tequilas, beers, wine and cocktails for sure you won’t leave thirsty.
  • The atmosphere is¬†warm and you feel very welcome. Everything is pretty fine priced (we spent 237 Euros in total for 4 persons – 3 cocktails, 3 beers, mixed starter, bottle of wine for 47 euro, 2 platters of shots, 4 main courses).

Things I liked a bit less about Mamacita:

  • I confirm my first time impression on cocktails, unfortunately: frozen margarita was not good at all (lots of ice and syrup) – but as said, you have other things in the list of the drinks you can enjoy more.
  • At a certain point, the room was very very noisy. This might not be definitely a bad point for some, but I would not suggest it for a romantic date or if you want to chat with your mates.

I recommend Mamacita: For amazing and very kind service, nice food at a fair price and great atmosphere. Perfect for a night out in town, parties and celebrations, even for small groups. I will definitely come back soon – during the week – to try the burgers!

 

 

 

Advertisements

What to do in Luxembourg for Saint Valentine

That time of the year is here again! Single or in a relationship, Luxembourg offers you several option to enjoy the all Saint Valentine week-end.

Here you have those selected by Barefoot in Luxembourg.

A candlelight Valentine
Where: Truffle Bistro – Centre – Luxembourg City
What: A gastronomic and sophisticated dinner in the cozy location of the Truffle Bistro with a very reasonable price (50 euro per person, including an aperitif).
For: romantic couples who want to try this new fascinating location.
More information: here

A breathtaking Valentine with view
Where: Beim Siggy – Clausen – Luxembourg city
What: A lovely combination with a warm atmosphere, one of the best view in the city and revisited classic dishes. 58 Euro without drinks or 80 with wine paring
For: Luxembourg lovers or if your date is not living in the city
More information: here

A delicate and refined Valentine
Where: Bick Stuff – Clausen – Luxembourg city
What: Bick Stuff proposes a romantic dinner in a very intimate and cozy location. The menu starts from crispy shrimps with mango tartare, passing through scallops with foie gras ravioli, beef filet with wasabi or sole with lobster crème, concluding with a delicate pineapple and ginger dessert. Price for the menu is 57 Euro.
For: Old-fashioned couples who love peaceful and charming service
More information: here

A Fashion Valentine
Where: Brasserie Mansfeld – Clausen – Luxembourg City
What: Chic is once again the safe word at Mansfeld, which is exceptionally open also on Sunday 14th for Valentine. The food proposal for the special day is as usual never boring with French dishes and a fusion point of view. Price for the menu is 70 euro.
For: Couples who don’t want to give up on style even on Valentine day.
More information: here

An opulent Valentine
Where: Le Sud – Clausen – Luxembourg City
What: a white gloves dinner with Le Sud old favorites and new menu proposals. Start with a drink on the last floor bar and being then taken away by the fairy-tales and baroque  atmosphere of the main dining room. 125 Euro menu only, 180 with wine pairing.
For: Couples who want to splurge
More information: here

Gin – Music – Brunch
Where: Vagabond Barrr – Dudelange
What: A full week-end of events, starting with a gin tasting (reservation only!) and concluding with a colorful Sunday brunch.
For: couples and friends who get easily bored by routine
More information: here

Saint Valentine at the movies
Where: Utopolis in Belval and Kirchberg and Utopia in Limpesberg
What: Two Avant-premiere at 6 Euro per movie
For: If you don’t want to talk during your date
More information: here

Pirate Party
Where: Kjub Bar РHollerich РLuxembourg City
What: Safe word: find your treasure. A very hot theme party for single and couples who wants to have fun also on Valentine day. Tapas, Latin Music & Cocktails.
For: LGBT singles & couples
More information: here

Single only night
Where: Theatre Le 10 – Neudorf – Luxembourg City
What: 80s music and the possibility to find your soul mate or having just fun. Ticket 10 Euro including one drink
For: funny singles
More information: here

Dinner & Games
Where: Limbo RestoClub – Centre – Luxembourg City
What: You can choose between a romantic Dinner or a drink game party with lots of free shots.
For: whenever you are single or in couple, but you want to enjoy this day
More information: here

Love Party
Where: Sobogusto – Hollerich – Luxembourg City
What: Free bubbles for ladies and food until 6 am
For: a single girls night out
More information: here

Private music session
Where: Vins Fins – Grund – Luxembourg City
What: A combination between a concert and a theatre performance. Mandatory reservation, 20 Euro entrance
For: alternative spirits
More information: here

Jazz & Food
Where: Vertige des Saveurs – Martelange
What: Delicate French food (52 Euro for the menu) and Classic Jazz repertoire
For: Jazz aficionados
More information: here

Other girls night at:
Updown Bar – Grund – Luxembourg: here

Other candlelight dinners at:
Lagano – Differdange: here

Other very single nights at:
Casino 2000, Mondorf: here
Hitch, Limpesberg, Luxembourg City: here
The Tube, Centre, Luxembourg City: here

cute-valentines-day-2016-background

 

here

Truffle Bistrot: a romantic delight in Luxembourg city centre

As part of the week-long celebration for hubby’s birthday, on Tuesday night we had a t√™te-√†-t√™te at the new Truffle Bistrot – Relais San Maurizio 1619, that opened at the beginning of December near Hamilius.

You might remember from a previous post, I have already tried once to have dinner there. Unfortunately, in that case, I had booked very much in advance and during the Christmas break, the restaurant changed it opening times. I was kindly contacted by the restaurant manager – who was very happy to explain me the background of the place.

Said that, we arrived at the Truffle Bistrot about 8 pm. The location has been totally renovated compared to the previous Italian bar that used to be there. At the ground floor, you have a lounge and bar area where you can have a drink whatever time – without the need of having dinner afterwards. There is also a shop corner with authentic products from Relais San Maurizio – you might find more information related to the original place on their website.

On the first floor, the restaurant room. Lovely settings, open kitchen with wide windows on the main room, so you can look inside but the smells stay there. As the place was quite empty, we went for the table just next to the windows.

We went for a bottle of Barbaresco 2006 from Relais San Maurizio, we were offered an amuse-bouche with squids and burrata, I went then for home made pasta (tajerin) with truffle followed by wasabi tuna fish, while hubby had a pumpkins soup with poached egg and truffle followed by beef filet with its juice and vegetables. As we were very full, we skipped the dessert. I opted for a coffee – that was accompanied by delicious dried fruits – while hubby had a cheese platter.

As usual, be captivated by the pictures of our dinner and find after them my comments about Truffle Bistrot.

       
  
  

Things I loved about the Truffle Bistrot:

  • Incredible atmosphere: when they started to work on the old Italian bar, I could have never imagined the new place would have been so impressive. The upstair room is warm, sophisticated, luminous but not too bright. Perfect light for a cozy dinner, whenever romantic or with friends.
  • Good menu selection: truffle, mainly, but not only. You have several fish and vegetarian choices and authentic products.
  • High quality dishes and sophisticated presentation: the best dish for me was the wasabi tuna fish and I also liked the pumpkins soup hubby had. Cheese selection was inventive and the dried fruit selection was mouth-wathering.
  • Fair quality – price: you can imagine you are not in a cheap place, but the prices are in line with same style restaurants in the city (about 16 euro for starters and¬†25 for main, plus extra for truffle if you want some). Moreover, compared to comments I heard before about this place, I have to say portions are definitely not small – after one starter and one main I was very full and you know I am not a skinny bitch. If you want to splurge, the tasting menu is for 70 euro.

Things I liked a bit less about the Truffle Bistrot:

  • Lucky enough, this was another place I visited recently I liked as a whole. If I have to find something, some dishes have probably a very delicate taste compared to those we are used to in Luxembourg – I think about the squid amuse-bouche and my pasta starter. Don’t expect the usual butter¬† Luxembourgish cuisine – at least for some of the choices.

I recommend the Truffle Bistrot: If you want to impress someone you love. For a romantic date (ask the table on the window!). For a girls night out if you like delicate and sophisticated food. For a family gathering to celebrate something special. If you don’t want to splurge and you want have couple of glasses at the bar floor with Italian aperitif and great wines – a different place from the usual local bars.

 

 

La Maison Lef√®vre, Esch-sur-Alzette: great expectations, fine result

On Sunday, inspired by the good weather and by a quiet Рand sick РSaturday 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 Рprice: 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 Рand 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.

Saturday night drinks and snack at Kritzel Bar, Luxembourg

After the Fashion Days Luxembourg, back in town, Anna and myself decided to have a quiet drink in town and we opted for Kritzel Bar, the temporary new bar of Hotel Le Royal.
The bar is located in the basement of the hotel and has some pop and bright features.
We went for a bottle of Alice Hartmann Riesling and a cheese platter, that was of the only thing we could get, as the kitchen was already closed.

After the pictures of our evening, you will find my general impressions about Kritzel Bar.
IMG_3928 IMG_3929 IMG_3931
Things I liked about Kritzel Bar:

Lovely settings and nice atmosphere: definitely you don’t feel to be in a hotel bar and is the perfect place if you want to chat and relax, in the city center, but not in the chaos.
Nice service: the waiter who served us was very available, he asked the kitchen for our cheese platter even if the dinner time was over and served the wine when our glasses were over.
Reasonable wine prices: compared to other¬†posh hotel bars in Luxembourg (no name…), you can stay at Kritzel Bar couple of hours without going bankrupt and recharges on the wine list are more than fair.

Things I liked a bit less:
– While the wine list is reasonably priced, the cocktail bar is going more on the “VIP” direction, with an average of 16-18 euros for a drink.
– No windows in the all bar and no smoking area – you should go back to the main entrance of the hotel to smoke outside, not very comfortable.

At the moment, the bar is anyway temporary and we understood that the new location will be refurbished after the works that are taking place at Le Royal.
I hope the good things about Kritzel Bar will be kept, as we have pleasant time and I would not mind to come back for some wine for a quiet evening.

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 Рwith drinks Рfor 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 up:¬†WOK 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.

Best pizza in town: Pizzeria La Torre, Luxembourg

For an Italian, pizza is not an easy matter, I know.
I suppose it is like going to the hairdresser for girls. The one you find A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, was the shittiest experience ever for your friend (#truestory) and the one you would never enter again, it is your pal’s bf. Definitely like that: it is a question of taste. So for example, hubby loves really tiny pizza – the one in Italy we call “alla romana” – while I can have it just as a slide for snack and, on my side, I prefer the really thick one – “napoletana“.

This short preface was requested, as I know my favorite pizza place, in Luxembourg, could not meet your expectations. I love La Torre in Limpesberg Рjust next to the water tower, short pleasant walk from Glacis Рas they are doing a thick pizza and they have my favorite version Рwhite focaccia with mozzarella cheese, tomato and Parma ham.
They have several “really Italian” pizza tastes,¬†I mean, nothing with kebab¬†or fajita chicken¬†spread over¬†– another favorite of mine is the one with porcini mushroom and sausages – and if you are not up for a pizza, they are also thick on the menu side, so you can go wild – I have never had anything different from pizza, so I couldn’t help with suggestions.

Be aware – pizza could be expensive here – for example, my favorite Parma ham is over 20 euro sigh. I don’t come here too often*, so I still find it acceptable and a good quality value.
The atmosphere is Italian and informal. Service is very friendly.

 photo 8fd4ae2c-0926-4f9b-82d6-b9fd1cd83f4c_zpsg2sudfg5.jpg
 photo 62fa1521-48de-4c3b-8747-0ab73a3fa576_zpsxth0qbd0.jpg

*It could seem strange I declare my unconditioned love for a place and then state I am not visiting it often.. You know what, there I had my last date with that  boy and after years (five?), I still cannot look out of those windows without feeling uncomfortable. Illegitimate, but honest.