Il Quadro Delizioso, Luxembourg City

There are some evenings in Luxembourg, when you want to go out for dinner but options are incredibly limited. You should always keep something up your sleeves: my emergency solution in this case is “Il Quadro Delizioso” in Gasperich. Apparently they are always open ūüôā

We ended up there on Sunday night, after checking couple of other places that were closed: even if it was already almost 10 pm and there was only one table left eating, we were nicely accommodated.

I had a pizza with fresh mozzarella, Parma ham and arugula, while my friend went for a huge dish of pasta with sea food, including half lobster.

I concluded with a lovely espresso gourmand while he had a portion of black forest cake. We had a bottle of Pinot Gris with our dinner and we were offered a digestif at the end. Our total bill was 90 euro (two dishes, two desserts, water, bottle of wine and coffee).

After the pictures of our dinner, you can fin my impressions about Il Quadro Delizioso.

What I liked about Il Quadro Delizioso:

  • Service was on top: I have to say usually Italian places lack on the service side, in this case it was amazing how well we were treated. Even if we arrived late and we stayed there well past closing time, we never felt forced to leave or to hurry up. Our waitress was always smiling and checking if we were fine.
  • Food was good: my pizza was great, crunchy, perfect topping, fair size. Above all, I have to say I appreciated the desserts (both, as I tried as well M.’s one). I am not very much into sweets, but in this case I would highly recommend you go for it.
  • Bonus point: if you are into 70s Italian music like me, this is going to be the soundtrack of your evening at Il Quadro Delizioso.

What I liked a bit less about Il Quadro Delizioso:

  • Nothing I really dislike, our evening was definitely pleasant. You should anyway consider the place is very informal and in a quiet area.

In conclusion: Il Quadro Delizioso is the perfect place for those evenings you don’t want to cook or you want to have a chat with friends without much structure around. The Italian food they prepared is very food (pizza and cakes on top of it) and the service is one of the best I have found in Luxembourg so far.

 

Discovering Surroundings: Atelier del Gusto, Remich, Luxembourg

So – as short break during our moving days – we head to Remich last Thursday afternoon, as it was public holiday and the day was too good to stay at home. After a short walk on the river, we decided to stop at Atelier del Gusto, the new branch of the famous Italian restaurant – shop located in Bonnevoie. We were very curious to try it, as because of the wood oven.

The location is very nice: set next to the river, big parking outside compared to other venues on the Esplanade and has a lovely, huge terrace, with a pleasant Italian atmosphere.

We started with drinks, I had a lemonade and hubby some beer, as starter we ordered a mixed platter of cold cuts and cheese to share, followed by a pizza Vagabondo for me – with Parma ham – while hubby had a “puccia” – a huge sandwich prepared with the pizza dough, plus some more water.

Bill was 62 euro in total.

Curious about my impressions? Scroll down after pictures.


Things I liked about Atelier del Gusto in Remich:

  • I loved the atmosphere: it is so pleasant to spend some relaxing time on their peaceful terrace far from the busy city centre! You just put your sunnies on and you can stay there hours…
  • The kitchen is open without stops over week-ends, so if you are late and you want to have your lunch or pizza at 4 pm, it is perfectly fine. You can even start with a drink ad decide to move for some food later.
  • Ingredients are amazing, fresh and authentic: the smoked burrata in the mixed platter was to die for and the pizza dough is another league compared to most I have had in town.

Things I liked a bit less about Atelier del Gusto in Remich:

  • As Italian myself, I would have loved to see more authentic pizzas and dishes on the menu: we have exceptional products, so why don’t use them instead of proposing all the same boring pizzas for “Italians abroad”? I hope to see pizza with eggplants or nduja or provola or speck etc.¬†next time I will come – and less “pizza for tourists”.
  • As said, the place is very relaxed, that means that service can¬† be slow for cosmopolitan standards. This is not a restaurant for a business lunches indeed, but a place to spend couple of hours for a meal without bothering about time. If you are in a hurry or you are easily fed up, this is not the place for you.

In conclusion: While the menu still miss some Italian brio, we liked our late lunch/early dinner at L’Atelier del Gusto in Remich. Their terrace is lovely, products are fresh and pizza very good. Relax and take it easy. Perfect for a Sunday-long lunch with friends or family with kids.

And if you want to visit Remich but you don’t have a car or you plan to drink some nice Italian wine during your meal, why you don’t think about booking Drink and Drive Luxembourg? They even organize mini van if you want to have a safe celebration.

Sunday Lunch: Restaurant Boccon Di Vino, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg

Hello Monday! How was your week-end, guys?
I enjoyed finally a pretty relaxing one at home, doing spring cleanings, cooking for hubby and getting serious at the gym. After Friday and Saturday at home, we got our day off on Sunday. We already arranged with some friends for having a lunch out but we haven’t yet booked anything – weather forecast was pretty bad, so we were not in a hurry to decide.
Our problems started on Sunday, when all the places we short-listed ended up being complete or privatized. After brief consultation and as the weather was improving, we decided to check other places where we could eat in the sun. Bad luck, five out of five were already fully booked at 11 am. I started to be a bit nervous, so I took the Explorator guide and, excluded gastronomic places, I started to call all the places in the list opened on Sunday lunch. We restricted our selection to French, Luxembourgish and Italian and we excluded as well places in the North of the country, as hubby, as usual, was far away to be ready on time. Long story short, we found a place after other ten calls on the list. Again, my husband won as we were heading for an Italian, Boccon Di Vino in Esch sur Alzette. We heard a lot about this restaurant and we wanted to try since long time, but always failed to find a good occasion.

After picking up our friends, in a day that was now sunny and hot, with open car windows, we got to Esch around 1 pm.
The restaurant is located in a very central area of the town, but does not have private parking and the streets around were pretty crowed, so we took not much time to create an Italian parking just very next.

The restaurant is located on two levels, but only the first one was used during the lunch service. Very bright view, even if on the street, and stylish rustic atmosphere. We were welcomed by the only waiter, who gave us the menu, pretty in a hurry, while we ordered an aperitif.

We had very much time to check the menu as from that moment on the service took very long. We discovered there were also some daily suggestions together with the usual card as they were just lying on a board next to our table Рbut they were not very well presented.

We opted for two mixed Italian starter for 2, with cold cuts, cheese, marinated vegetables, jams and honey to share between the two couples, followed by a main dish of pasta each. We asked for the list of wine that arrived together with a asparagus cappuccino with truffle, Рtasty.

We received the wine (Terre della Baronia 2013) after some times, again, very in a hurry. We were served it Рwe noted on the other guests glasses were the same whatever you were having red or white Рand the bottle was put in its ice few steps from the table.

We finally got the mixed starters (5/10). The price of the platter for 2 was 34 Euro, we ordered two, so the total amount of the serving was 68 euro. We got these big platter of cold cuts and a separate platter with two mozzarella and some pickled vegetables. Was the plat bad ? No, definitely. Was the plat deluding? Yes, indeed.
First if the platter is for two and we ordered two portions, we were anticipating having at least 4 pieces of each cold cuts. How would you presume to share if one charcuterie you have 3 pieces, one 2 and one 1? Are we expected to cut each slice in a half? Fine for the mozzarella but not for the charcuterie. Second point: most of the cold cuts were salami and mortadella¬†– the cheapest one. There was only one slice of breasaola and one of prosciutto, plus two slice of coppa. Considering the price of the platter, there could have been more balance (less choice, but one piece each, with wider range).. Lastly: if you present it as “mixed starter with cheese, cold cuts, jams and vegetables”, you cannot bring a big platter of salami and two mozzarella. Where are the cheese with the jams? Where are the marinated vegetables? Are you calling vegetables few pickled on side?

Once we finished the starter, we got to wait more than 20 minutes to see the main. We had to stand to take the wine ourselves, as the waiter was nowhere to be seen – so why not leaving the bottle just next to the table? Wouldn’t been easier?

The main were on two different levels: I had a Filei with nduja” (10/10), fresh past with hot salami from South of Italy. The portion was very big and the pasta was amazing: savoury, spicy, tasting, definitely one of the best pasta dishes I had in my life. My friends had “amatriciana” – with tomato sauce, cheek lard and pecorino cheese – and his wife fresh ravioli with mascarpone cheese, provola cheese and speck. Both of them were very happy, only the portion of ravioli was indeed very small compared to ours.
Hubby indeed chose Spaghetti alla Carbonara (2/10) and was really deluded, so much I gave him half of my dish, to avoid leaving him empty stomach. I tasted the carbonara and indeed was terrible. You could taste only the eggs, too much eggs. Some spare¬†pieces of cheek lard were there, but giving no taste at all. Even if I was still hungry, I couldn’t really finish it.

We concluded with coffee (extremely good) and we asked for the bill, that came as 95 Euro per couple (47,5 Euro each).

Find the pictures of our lunch followed by my impressions about Boccon Di Vino.

      
Things I liked about Boccon Di Vino:

  • The combination between menu and daily suggestion makes the choice pretty wide. On the menu, you have mainly classical dishes but the daily suggestions have special ingredients and blend.
  • The location is spacious and cosy, perfect for a relaxed meal without much formalities.
  • My pasta dish was really delicious.

Things I didn’t like about Boccon Di Vino:

  • Service was indecently slow and superficial. Clearly because the waiter was left alone to take care of the all restaurant, but we would have preferred a different attitude.
  • Mixed starter platter was, also in consideration of the price, very deluding, as well as my husband’s dish.
  • For being in Esch sur Alzette¬†and for what we had, I had the feeling we overpaid a bit.

In conclusion, we had a lovely Sunday out with friends, and that was the most important thing. Concerning the restaurant, probably the negative sides were so many and so different, that buried the positive sides of our lunch (my delicious pasta for example). While the place is pretty good for informal lunch with friends and family gatherings, I don’t feel at the moment I would recommend it.

*** Do you want to try Boccon Di Vino or another restaurant in Esch/Alzette and you don’t have a car or you fail to find a sober driver? I used to think this was a huge issue and I was limiting my restaurant reviews to Luxembourg city until I have discovered a fabulous service – the one Drink and Drive Luxembourg is offering.

I suppose I am not the only one who happened to say “Yes, no worries – I will be driving and I will not drink” and then get involved in the celebrations and realize I am no more able to be the one behind the wheel. What to do in this case? Call a cab (already not cheap) and leave your car behind? The best solution is to call Drink and Drive. You don’t need an advance reservation, they will come, pick your car and drive you home with that. Result? You arrive at home safe and your car will be already with you the morning after – if you are not too hangover to drive again. The cost? No more than a black cab service, plus, the more away from the city you go, the cheapest it is compared to a taxi service. Check their website for more information and plan ahead your dinner date out of town with the sunny days.

New year, new restaurant: Giallo restaurant, Luxembourg City

Yesterday it was a good example of how a very bad intro could turn into a wonderful night.

To welcome the new year in style, Anna and I had decided to try the new Truffle Bistrot in town, San Maurizio. As we wanted to be sure to have our table, we reserved before vacations so yesterday evening, after the usual drink at Café de Paris, we headed to this restaurant, that opened at the beginning of December just next Hamilius.
We got there and.. surprise! It was closed!
I was really pissed Рcan you imagine?  I clearly remember I asked twice to the lady who replied at the phone if they were opened on January 6th РI know in Italy it is vacation. They took my reservation and my telephone number Рand they did not even bother to call to advise, not the best way to start a business.
I was also pissed because, for one second, I did not find in my mind any exciting place to head at 8.30 pm without taking again the car or a cab. Then, suddenly, I recall this new Italian restaurant I passed in front on Christmas night, just off Place d’Armes, in rue du Cure.

Hungry and a bit disappointed, we arrived at the door of Giallo restaurant – what else could go wrong tonight?, we said ourselves.
Indeed – it was a fabulous dinner.
The restaurant was opened for the last 15 days – they explained us at the very end – for a kind of trial period. They will be closed from Sunday for the next two weeks for some final renovation works and will be finally open again. The main room is not huge, but the mirrors on both sides are hiding it pretty well.
They also have two tables on the lower level, next to the kitchen, more intimate and romantic.
The menu for the night proposed a choice of starters, primi piatti and main courses, well divided between fish, meal and veggie. Plus desserts.
We started with a delicious welcome from the chef (potatoes soup with toasted bread and truffle). I went for fried egg with potatoes and endive, while Anna had octopus soup with garlic bread. I then continued with pork filet with aromatic vinegar and potatoes while Anna had eggplants parmigiana. As wine we had a good Amarone Valpolicella.

Find some pictures of the place and of our dinner and, after them, my opinion of Giallo restaurant.
  




      
   

Things I loved about Giallo restaurant:

– I basically loved everything – even if I really need more than one visit to fall in love with a place, I can definitely state Giallo jumped at the top of my preferences in the city center.

– The atmosphere is sophisticated and refined, classic but not boring neither old-fashioned. A perfect bond between elegance and minimalism, with great attention to details and relaxed settings. I adore the fact you are overlooking the street but you have your privacy, appreciate how the bar is settled just informally at the entrance and was surprised by the tables just down the stairs, in a lovely romantic recess.

– The food was incredible, totally out of the scheme of the Luxembourg scene, different, deep, complex. Genuine ingredients, simple combinations, amazing presentation. I was so glad to finally see something new, something we are not used to in Luxembourg, that surprises your palate and spoils your tastes. The amuse-bouche was a gem, the fried egg tasty and the mix with the veggie resulted just perfect. The pork was right on point and we finished our dinner full and, above all, satisfied.

– As said, I loved the attention to details – including the fact, we got served a Caffarel Gianduiotto with the coffee – my real favorite Italian chocolate.

– The service, as well, was just perfect – I know I used the word perfect maybe too much, but indeed it was needed. Always on time, discreet, smiling. We got the wine, we got the timing for the dinner, we got the dishes, we got a nice small talk at the end.

Prices are competitive: starters around 15 euros, primi piatti from 16 euros, main courses from 18 to 30 euro. Great, I would add, considering you are in the very city center and that portions are fairly big. Wine list has also honest choices, between 25 and 80 euros, with only few bottles at “more than 100 euro” level.

Things I liked a bit less about Giallo restaurant:

РAs said, everything was great. If I have to find two small points: first, if you are up for a date, reserve the table at the lower level, more privacy. Our next table was empty, as the restaurant was not complete, so we were pretty happy about the accommodation, but I would have not liked, personally, eating with a stranger next elbow. It should be said, as my partner in crime noted, that the concept is kind of brasserie, therefore, based on that, spaces are fairly correct.

– The “white wines” list is currently embarrassing – only two Italian wines, both at 30 euro. I would have really appreciated if the choice was wider. There are some great Italian white wines, above all considering we are in an Italian restaurant, I hope they will stock something more¬†before¬†our next visit.

In conclusion: we were pleasantly surprised by Giallo restaurant: innovative and tasty food, perfect service and cozy location are making it a great promise on the restaurant scene in Luxembourg. I hope they will keep up the good standards they had on this our first visit. We will definitely come back.

 

Feeling home, “Al Bacio” Restaurant, Luxembourg

Last week, after coming back from a vernissage, I was in a lazy mood. I wanted to eat something yummy, but¬†I was really too tired to wait for some pizza delivery at home. Have you ever been in this mood? I have, often. So much that, each and every year, I nominate my favorite restaurant for category “tonight I don’t want to cook”. You know, the kind of restaurant you can jump in also a bit later and alone, the one you don’t feel the needs to dress up for, the one that prepare for you a special dinner at a very reasonable price.
Here we are, “Al Bacio” restaurant is definitely this place for me. I was welcomed by some warm focaccia while drinking a good glass of Imperatore wine and I was explained the daily suggestions.
One of the main feature of this restaurant is, in fact, that they don’t have a menu. The menu itself change each and every day based on Tonio’s, the chef, mood, and, above all, based on the fresh ingredients they are able to find on the market. So, nothing prepared in advance, nothing industrial, Italian products are coming directly from Italy on a weekly basis and you can spot the difference.
So much I am not a fan of Italian food abroad, so much I like coming here.
The place, as said, is informal, a bit noisy but in a pleasant way. Don’t expect red tape.
Mino, the owner, and the other waiters are smiling and they are taking their time to talk with you, explain the dishes, advise the best for the night, combine the finest wines.

I went for some roasted pork (porchetta) with soft mozzarella cheese (burrata), risotto with mushroom and Italian sausage and the best dessert they have, the iced chocolate flan (semifreddo al cioccolato).
Not satisfied, I came back with friends over the week end and among all we had mixed charcuterie platter and more Italian sausage (zampina). Everything was just delicious.

The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday for lunch with a “menu du jour” and in the evenings on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursday night, the dining service is closed and you can enjoy the traditional Al Bacio” afterwork (aperitivo) with free Italian buffet.
Hint: While it is pleasant for me coming here alone, this is also the greatest place in the city center for a dinner with friends Рgreat food and fair prices -, but the location is cozy and small, so, above all for the week-end, you better book in advance your table!
Secret Reference: While everybody probably understands what “Bacio” in Italian means (kiss), more difficult is to know that “Al Bacio” is a urban dictionary catch and stays for “special, great, perfect”. If I ask you: – How is your food? You can reply: – Al bacio (better if combined with the gesture of taking one hand’ fingers all together to the mouth). Italian level: advanced. ūüôā

(WARNING: Severe Food Porn Alert if you scroll down!)

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