Restaurant Pizzeria Chez Vito, Hesperange, Luxembourg

As Italians, we know pretty well the struggle of “finding the perfect pizza abroad”. My personal research in Luxembourg did not have yet satisfying results and I stopped it some times ago, remaining loyal to the couple of places which I like mostly – and which are delivering my pizza still hot.

Last week, some friends took us for dinner in the one they consider their favorite place and that I was very curious to check out, Chez Vito in Hesperange.

From outside, the location never appealed me much passing in front there, but we had a very warm welcome, for being Monday evening. We started with some mixed Antipasti della Casa and Italian red wine, followed each by a pizza. I had the one for the week with “cime di rapa”, Italian sausage and Bufala. I was very full, but I still had space to try couple of spoons of the tiramisu’ M. took.

Find some pictures of our dinner followed by my impressions about Chez Vito.

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What I liked about Chez Vito:

  • The food is really authentic and proposes a very different selection from the “usual” Italian-Luxemborgish standards. For example, in the mixed starters we had “lampascioni” – some very special Italian sweet onions – prepared with ndjua – spicy soft sausage from Calabria – that I have never tried before.
  • Pizza is great – finally: crunchy pasta, fair size, delicious topping. My choice was to die for but I was intrigued as well by the one taken by my friend – even if I am not a fan of pizza with sea food.
  • My friends were always talking about the tiramisu prepared Chez Vito but I was quite skeptic – as I am not a “dessert” girl. Indeed, I have to say, if I was not so full from the previous two courses, I would have taken an entire portion just for me. Definitely best tiramisu in town.
  • Service is very friendly and price very fair – starters, pizza, dessert, three bottles of wine, coffee, water and digestive was less than 40 euro per person.

What I liked a bit less about Chez Vito:

  • The ambience and the decorations are not making a favour to the place, are quite anonime and a bit saddish. This is the kind of place you visit to have great food and fun with friends, not to impress a girlfriend. Indeed, during summer, the backyard terrace is lovely.

In conclusion: Chez Vito was a very positive surprise. The location is nothing fancy, but the food is delicious, quite different from the other Italian restaurants in town and the pizza way of the best I have tried so far in the city. Bonus points: the amazing tiramisu and the kind service.

 

Restaurant Essenza, Luxembourg City

After the Christmas break, we decided to have a reunion with my girlfriends and arrange a fancy dinner in town to celebrate New Year and couple of other various personal achievements.
We booked at “Essenza“, the Italian restaurant upstairs Apoteca bar, in the very city center: I had always been extremely satisfied of all my dinners there, but recently I was missing from the place since my bacherolette party in 2014. Good timing for a come back 🙂

We got to the restaurant slightly in delay compared to the reserved time, after having advised, due to the crazy traffic and icy roads. Once arrived, we waited good ten minutes at the entrance, as nobody was in the reception area. We decided then to check upstairs and the waitress welcomed us to our table.

We started with an aperitif while waiting for the crew to be completed and we decided then to go for a fish dinner. I had Tuna Carpaccio with Bottarga as starter and Crumbs-Bread Shrimps with Orange as main. Most of my friends went for the mixed carpaccio platter as starter and the tuna tataki as main.

We had a decent Sicilian wine during the dinner and we concluded with some mirto and biscuits offered by the house.

Some pictures of our dinner followed by my feelings about the night.

What I liked about Essenza:

  • The location is really fancy – perfect either for a reunion with friends or for a romantic date. The candle lights are giving a very special mood to the rooms.
  • Dishes presentation is very appealing, the kind of you say “wow” when the plat arrives at the table.

What I did not like about Essenza:

  • Unfortunately, food was not good at all: the presentation was giving a lot of expectations that remained poorly deluded. My carpaccio was extremely watery – you cannot even feel the fish – while the gambas were badly defrozen. Potatoes, vegetables, amuse bouche, everything was missing of taste, like ingredients were only nicely assembled for the presentation and not for the palate. Everybody had the same feeling: dishes were “fine” but not delicious as we remember them to be. Without being arrogant, I would say you can get a better level at home, with supermarket ingredients.

In conclusion: I was really looking forward to come back to Essenza after long time, but my expectations were not satisfied. I remember it to be a very good Italian fish restaurant in town and now I would say it is on the average level, pricey side (we spent 62 euro each). While the location has lots of atmosphere and presentation of dishes was amazing, the food failed to impress us. Hope it was just a bad night for them.

Discovering Surroundings: Restaurant La Taverna, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg

Sorry for being missing – it has been a mad period at work and, again, I am a bit behind in blogging, as moreover I have tons of new projects coming in the next month for Barefoot in Luxembourg that I have to follow up and, as usual, a pile of shirts from my husband to iron.

Anyway – more and more often on Sundays we tend to go out of the city for dining, as the weather is pretty pleasant (even if it doesn’t look like yet we are officially in summer!)  and I am a bit fed up of the usual places in the city centre. This refers in particularly to pizza, as unfortunately my favourite pizza in town (I Quattro Mori) in closed on Sundays and all the other pizzeria we have been in the last months were a bit disappointing.

Last Sunday finally we decided to head to Grevermachen, that is very close to the German border and 15 minutes drive from Luxembourg city centre via motorway. I have been following “La Taverna” page on Facebook for some times and I was always attracted by the pictures they were posting.

This characteristic Italian restaurant is located in the city centre of Grevermachen and has a truly authentic appearance, with wood decorations and green and white checked tablecloths.

We got there around 7.30 pm and there were already some tables occupied. I ordered a starter with “bruschetta”  and a pizza “Vagabondo” with Salami and Gorgonzola (hence the four sessions at the gym this week!), while hubby had a starter with rolled eggplants and a pizza “Turi” with sausages. We concluded with two homemade desserts, I had Tiramisu and hubby had a ricotta cake.
Scroll down after the pictures to discover my impressions about this restaurant.


Things I liked about La Taverna in Grevenmacher:

  •  The place, as said, is really authentic – for example they don’t bring you the commercial bottle of spicy oil, but a pot from the kitchen with fresh chilli marinated. You feel you are at home and the service was very kind and accurate.
  •  Pizza is super delicious – good spot, finally! – and there are several nice “Italian” combinations – no pizza with chicken on top, but only kind of dressings you would find in Italy as well.
  •  The prices are very fair: pizza starts from 8.5 euro for a Margherita and got up maximum to 15 euro for pizza with Parma ham and bufala (in the city, I paid 23 euro for the same pizza…)

Things I liked a bit less about La Taverna in Grevenmacher:

  • I like my pizza to be a bit bigger, honestly, maybe because I am used to Milan where the pizza is getting out of the dish when it is served. At La Taverna the size is on the smaller side, but as my husband noted – as he liked it – in this way you can easily have a starter and a dessert without feeling full.

So – I was definitely very happy to have discovered La Taverna: this restaurant jumps in my top three of the best pizza in Luxembourg, definitely. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a place to have an informal Italian dinner, at a very reasonable price, with amazing ingredients and home made products.