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 tête-à-tête 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.

 

 

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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!

 

  
  
  
  

Lanzarote bites

I am just back in Luxembourg after two chaotic weeks of holidays and now, just in front of my office windows, the most chaotic event in Luxembourg ever is taking place – the summer Braderie. I have a wedding and funeral band playing louder than my printer and a pile of posts to open. So, the laziest, I decided what would be better than looking back at my vacation pictures?

We had great time in Lanzarote, the island is amazing – something totally different from what you have seen so far – and you can spend days visiting around. Or you can just lay in the sun, eat and drink. We tried to do both of them, indeed, and I have to admit the quality of the food and drinks was above my expectations.

Enjoy this gallery and have a lovely week.

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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 – just next to the water tower, short pleasant walk from Glacis – as they are doing a thick pizza and they have my favorite version – white 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.

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*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.

La Cantine @ Hotel Le Chatelet, a delightful, romantic dinner date

I had already a chance some times ago to eat at the Cantine of Chatelet Hotel, on a quiet side of Hollerich/Gare area, but I did not write a review as having been there only for lunch, I supposed it was not extremely indicative. I had some lovely fish and chip on that occasion and the service – even if, as said, was just a business lunch – was great.

I came back with hubby this week for our weekly date. We called for booking a short while before and we were proposed a table on the terrace.

The restaurant has in fact an open space on the street – for drinks -, a main dining room, a bar lounge and a backyard covered terrace, that is very pleasant during summer time.

I had a ham/melon starter and hubby a beef carpaccio, while for main we shared a “cote de boeuf“,  that was served with vegetables and fries.

Our dinner was just perfect – except for this Spanish guy calling all his f*ck*ng family on Facetime at pretty loud volume just next to our table for hours – nothing could have been better.

We had a great St.Emilion Gran Cru that was always served by the waiters, the starters were delicate and tasty, and the meat was indeed delicious – maybe next time I will go for the Chateubriand, instead, as this cut was just a bit too nervous, but only for my taste, hubby loved it.

The final coffee was accompanied by a yummy almond cake and, with the bill, we were offered two digestives – oh mon dieu, how much time had passed since a restaurant offered me some final drink? Well done and highly appreciated!

I have also to say that, together with the ambience and the food, one of the best thing of this place is the service. Talking with hubby I said: for me, tonight, this is exactly what I consider the real perfect service. Waiters were smiling, kind, affable, always there when you needed them but not bothering rest of the time.

I will definitely visit La Cantine more often and I highly recommend it for a couple or friends date. If you fancy good food and refined atmosphere, you would love this place!

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Sunday dinner at “La Veranda”, Luxembourg

Since hubby has started to work again with busy schedule during week-ends, the only night we can actually have a proper dinner out is Sunday.

Before my business trip to Amsterdam, we decided to spoil ourselves with some truly Italian food and we went for “La Veranda” restaurant in Howald.

We had some starters (charcuterie, cheese, pizza) and then, as main, I had grilled meat and hubby went for lamb. We accompanied it with a bottle of Tuscan wine from Bolgheri, a lovely one.

See the pictures of our night and find after some impressions about the dinner and the restaurant.

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Things I loved about dining at La Veranda:

– Food was definitely outstanding quality: I loved the cheese and the pizza was yummy. My main course included lamb, entrecote, beef filet and sausages. Everything was very good, special mention to the entrecote that was just perfect, thin and soft.

– Portions are huge but the quality is so great you can arrive at the end of a glorious dinner like ours without feeling sick.

– Service was also extremely fine: attentive and available for suggestions and clarifications about the origin of the productions and the dishes composition. Not very common in Luxembourg.

Things I liked a bit less:

– The interiors are a bit dated and old fashion and the terrace is overlooking Route de Thionville that is definitely not a fancy view.

– If you are choosing a good wine and meat/fish main and you add up some dessert and digestives, the bill is growing pretty fast.

In conclusion, I definitely enjoyed our dinner at “La Veranda”, it is a good place for an informal dinner with friends and family and, even if the surroundings are not fancy, it is definitely worth a visit.

A perfect evening in Florence: Borgo San Jacopo

During our (second) honey-moon break in Florence, we wanted to have one special evening to celebrate one year marriage and the renewal of the vows at the church. We did a bit of research on the internet in order to find a place that could be special both for the settings and for the food.

We ended up choosing the Borgo San Jacopo restaurant, in the premises of the same-named hotel, just few blocks from Ponte Vecchio and our hotel. I contacted the restaurant a bit in advance as I wanted to reserve a table in the amazing terrace overlooking the river. They were definitely available to explain me the possibilities and the special evenings they have already in the agenda and to postpone the confirmation of my reservation because of the weather – the terrace in fact is open only during the summer.

We were lucky. That night was just the perfect temperature, not too cold, not too hot. We arrived at the restaurant by cab – just cause I had high heels and Florence’s cobblestones are even worst than those in Luxembourg. We were welcome by the staff and accompanied to our table. The view – ca va sans dire – was amazing, I think you might have the occasion to dine in a place like this few times in your life but it is definitely worth. Moreover, the actual trend is “rooftop” but I would say this restaurant has nothing less than a balcony overlooking the city.

We started with an aperitif – you have the drink list and you can easily decide between cocktails, bubbles and wines. We went for a glass of Franciacorta Millesimato – served perfectly chilled and with the bottle opened at the table. Good start.

The restaurant card has two tasting menu: one regional (“My Tuscany”), based on Tuscany dishes, the other one with a common item – potatoes. There are also lovely dishes a la carte, but we decided to go directly for the regional menu.

We accompanied it with a bottle of Sassicaia 2011. This is one of the greatest wine in Italy – based on my personal opinion and on general wine rankings, and the bottle was definitely worth the price. Moreover, considering the normal price, the restaurant recharge was pretty fair.

The dinner itself was one of the best I had in my life. Check out some pictures and my detailed comments after them:

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 photo 602923ee-f62e-4488-a4e4-8ac4ddd448c8_zps2ki4yqiz.jpgThings I loved about this restaurant:

Everything. I cannot list something in particular. When we booked here, we did it basically because of the special location. We wanted to eat something “nice” and not too much touristic, but we were never thinking of finding one of the best restaurant we have ever dined in our life.

We loved the atmosphere, romantic, quiet, delicate. We loved the service – take notes Luxembourgish restaurants! – that was always present but never annoying, waiters were smiling, presenting nicely the dishes, offering the bread when over. We loved the timing of the dinner: we definitely had the right time to enjoy all the courses without feeling overwhelmed. And finally, we loved the food – this perfectly balances Italian cuisine with a lovely French accent. Gastronomic, but attentive to details and authentic ingredients. I still dream about the “bottoni” we had as one of the first courses and the “dama” made of chocolate bites was terrific.

I know in Florence there are tons of good restaurants – we tried several just in few days -, but if you are going with your companion and you fancy something unique, you cannot definitely miss Borgo San Jacopo.

Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant, Borgo San Iacopo 62/R – 50125 Florence