What to do – Bonnevoie

I had great feedbacks from the first post of the series “What to do”, so I decided to publish another post sooner than expected. Thank you also for all the lovely comments you left and for sharing my article! I am going to try all the places in the Station area you suggested very fast! As Ruxandra said in her comment, having a good recommendation will help you trying a spot you maybe passed in front hundreds of time but never get a chance to stop, giving you more confidence!

Today we go ahead visiting Bonnevoie area. I know Bonnevoie is not considered by many as a fashion area of the city, but having lived there for 9 years, I learned to love it deeply and I find really difficult considering moving out!

Once again, please comment with your favorite spots around the area!

Where to go when you want to pamper
Bubbles Hairdresser
I am really jealous about my hair. I used to have long hair for more than half of my life and even now that I got a shorter cut for couple of years, I tend to use great products and to be really careful about cuts and coloring. Ca va sans dire, I think I have changed at least a dozen of hairdressers in Luxembourg, as I was never satisfied. Since Rosario moved his shop, Bubbles Haidresser,  to Bonnevoie, I have been a loyal client and I have recommended it also to friends.
I tend to go there during the week, when they are less busy and they can give you all the necessary attention. After years of going out from the hairdresser looking at the mirror and saying: “What the f*ck have they done?” now finally for me it is the time to giggle: “Beautiful me”.

Where to go when you want a relaxed after-work
Bouneweger Stuff
I started to go to the Bouneweger Stuff when it was not yet mainstream (I also cooked there for their event “Chef for one night”!)  and I honestly sometimes find annoying when, above all during summer, it is so packed. But at the end, being just few steps from my apartment, I find it the perfect place when you want to have a chat with a friend without the urge of dressing up like you go to the city center. And the Joslette (not sure  I am writing the name correctly, but it is Pimm’s plus Ginger Ale) is one of the best cocktail ever!
Why not
If Bouneweger Stuff is too packed, I walked few blocks down to the “Why Not” cafe’. They also have a sunny lovely terrace – even bigger -, fairly priced drinks and friendly environment, kind of place you like to go when you want to meet someone, have some booze and fun, without any stress. Check out their page, as they have also pretty good live music nights.

Where to go when you want to get inked
Absolut Ink
To come back to the earlier discussion, your tattooist is like your hairdresser. You should trust him and when you find the good one you must not change it. This was my case, after several tattoos around, when I started hanging out at Christophe’s Absolut Ink – I already wrote an article about his shop here. Pass by to this bright and spacious studio for your tattoos, piercings, shopping some unique accessories as bags or watches, or for one of the music event they organize from time to time (next one, in collaboration with Luxuriant, will be on September 26th).

Where to go when you need to shop for a vegan dinner
Mullebutz
Not only vegan, but also gluten-free, lacto-free and bio products, together with fresh fruit and vegetables. Definitely not cheap and not for your daily shopping if you are on a budget, but for sure a reference point for specific food products. I love the vegan mushroom pate’, the dried fruits, the kamut pasta and the miso soups.

Where to go when you want some “pizza al taglio”
Pastificio La Modenese
“Pizza al taglio” is an institution in Italy. In a simplistic way, it is like the normal pizza, but squared and small, and you normally eat it between proper meals, as a snack. There are tons of shops in Italy and you can ask to take it away in a box – great to eat on the couch with a Pepsi Max watching Geordie Shore 🙂
Well, I didn’t know there were any “pizza al taglio” shop in Luxembourg before finding out my husband was having breakfast at “La Modenese” with some pizza salami and not at the next Fisher. The pizza is really Italian, great taste, very greasy. They have also home made lasagna and regional products. You can have lunch on spot.
Just a small note: they close at 6 pm.

Where to go when you want to take a friend out on a budget
L’Atelier del Gusto
Located in the heart of Bonnevoie, this truly Italian grocery shop offers several regional products (including Birra Moretti, ‘nduja and burrata) and a tiny restaurant, informal and familiar, where to eat based on the daily suggestions. You can have a mixed ham & cheese platter or try one of the lovely pasta Angela, the chef, is preparing.
Check out the event calendar: for big appetites and empty wallets, the Panzerotti night is amazing!

Bonus Track: Where to go for a nice dinner
I talked about on the blog about my favorite fish place, La Gambahere and here. And I had also some words about Matese, a Carpini chain restaurant, just behind the Station, great when you are too lazy to cook, and recommended also La Veranda, an authentic Italian, here.
At the middle of my personal ranking in Bonnevoie, I would put the “Bay of Bengala”, brother of the Royal Bengala in Merl. The food is excellent, one of the best Indian in town, but the service and the attitude of the manager/waiters sucks, really, so much I find annoying going there and prefer to order their delivery at home – I shared this view with my sister and another friend who went to this place, so I think something needs to be changed, as it is a pity for such good restaurant!
La Bonne Auberge“, at the roundabout, is a fairly good place: the menu is very long and normally when they do too many things, I don’t like it, but here almost everything is good quality: I tried the pizza (tiny and fair enough taste), the fish and the meat (good quality, high substance) even if the reason for me to suggest this place is definitely the “Picanha” night, where, for a reasonable price, you will be served with meat, chips, beans, rice, banana, all night long. Bonus point: they have one of the best waiters I have been served by in Luxembourg!
Another nice spot is Le Puits Magique, which propose traditional Portuguese food, with a limited choice, in a familiar environment.
You won’t find anything too posh in Bonnevoie, I am sorry – this is gonna be the next chapter (Clausen!)

Pavillon Desom, Remich

After a stormy start of Sunday, the warmer afternoon invited us to take the car and escape the flatness of the city. Most of the time you don’t know exactly what to do when going out on Sundays in Luxembourg.
We checked if any special event and at the end, thanks to the sunny feeling, we headed to the Mosel for an afternoon drink.
We stopped at Pavillon Desom, located on the Route du Vin, in Remich.
I really like this place – the space is huge compared to other location in Luxembourg city and they have a lovely terrace with view on the river. Pavillon Desom is sponsoring its own wines, but on the list they have also other nice bottles from the area – and if you are used to Luxembourg city prices, you would be positively surprised!
I had a glass of rose’ cremant Desom while hubby a Pinot Noir from Cote de Remich. We ordered also a platter with parmesan cheese, ham and olives to eat while enjoying the last sun shining on the river, out on the terrace. We spent – in total! – 19 euros.
The Pavillon is working also as restaurant and, on the menu, you can find as well small dishes and other platters to share.
The environment is refined and the service young and friendly.
Only downside, if this could be considered one, the average age of the customers is pretty high – but I am the kind of person who is not so interested to the people around when in front of a glass of wine….

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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.

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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.

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Going down, the middle floor is working as restaurant.

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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.

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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. .

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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!

Week-End late considerations: how important is the Service? My awful experience (Aka cite’).

We had a pretty painful (and alcoholic 😛 ) Saturday night and I woke up on Sunday with some relevant considerations about restaurant experiences. I was not sure I wanted to write a full review of the restaurant I have been, because I am not here to make bad advertisements, but I will take it as an example to ponder what actually is important when you are eating out.

Late edit: After some early morning further considerations, I have decided to disclose the name of the restaurant. I would like to hear from you guys if you have been there recently to share further points of view. This was my experience:

Saturday night. The restaurant was full but now fully booked. We were escorted to our table and left alone for more than 10 minutes after which we physically had to stop a waiter – as no ones was making eye contact and checking tables – to ask for an aperitif. To me, it is nice to ask the clients an aperitif as soon as at the table so they can drink it quietly while making dinner choice.. but it was not the case.

We ordered a dish to share as starter – that was actually called on the menu “Medley of tempura to share” – and two separate main courses. The lady who bought us the starter tossed it on my side without even say: Please. The dish was hot and it was pretty complicated moving it on the middle of the table to actually allow also my husband to have some of the food as well. Moreover, no single plats were taken to the table – and it was not something you can eat with your hands, gosh, it was fried! We asked for them together with the wine list – as our aperitif was over. No menu card were available at the moment (really?) and we waited other good five minutes before commanding a bottle of wine – actually Champagne Rose’, but it is relatively important. We ordered it while the starter was yet to be started and until we finished nobody took care of bringing our wine or some water that we have also ordered. We had indeed to eat completely dry. Our mains came and my dish was wrong – I ordered Ebi Ebi rolls, Boston Rolls and Demi-Cuit Tuna Sashimi, and my dish had three kind of rolls on it – I had already the feeling that the dish was coming wrong as we ordered several things and the waiter did not take any notes – come on, how could you remember?. I asked to change it and the waiter took it back to the kitchen – that is “a vue“. Therefore I could clearly see she was removing some rolls from my plat with bare hands. She came back and pretend the dish was correct now – I said it was still not and she insisted it was really what I ordered, (Ebi Ebi rolls and Boston Rolls) but I have been there before several times, so I knew it was not the case. I accepted then also because hubby was starting to be starving. After finishing the dishes, we remained I think something like 15 to 20 minutes without anybody asking for a coffee, the dessert list or the bill. Pretty fed up – also because waiters were just in their gossip corner talking and were not busy – we moved to the counter to pay directly there. We pay 165 euro for two aperitif, one starter to share, two main courses, one bottle of water and one of wine.

How was the food? The food was indeed delicious, I think it the best in town for sushi. The atmosphere is nice and it is a really going out spot. On the other side, would I be happy to come back here soon? I would rather say NO. I can understand if you are eating for 30 euro each, you cannot pretend to be treated like a prince (even..), but why do I have to spend 165 euro for swallowing my starter dry or having my main coming wrong or haven’t had anybody asking me if the dinner was nice and if I am fine or I want a coffee. Please.

Don’t get me wrong. It is really important to eat well, and this is probably the first reason because you are choosing one restaurants instead of the other. BUT. I am a pretty good cooker and I enjoy having dinners at my place. The reason because I like also going out, it is the spoiled feeling you get when you don’t have to be bothered running around if the salt is missing or if the wine is still in the fridge.
I love when people are smiling – because I am paying for being here, you are not making me a favor serving -, when the timings of the dinner are correct – not in a rush, but not even 20 minutes before someone asking me for a coffee – I like people to check how my dinner was because they would be interested having returning clients and not fulfill their counter with one night stands.

Am I asking too much? How is important for you the service in a restaurant compared to the food and how you would rather behave when service has been really really disappointing like in my case?

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