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

Easter Week end At Le Clervaux, Boutique & Design Hotel, Clervaux, Luxembourg

Finally this year we decided to leave Luxembourg for Easter break.

Considering the bad weather forecast and the fact we did not want to spend all day travelling, we booked at Le Clervaux, a hotel boutique located in Clervaux, in the north of Luxembourg.

We took our train on Sunday morning – actually bus plus train, as there were some works on the road – and we got to Clervaux in around one hour and a half.

The village is lovely and the hotel is about ten minutes walking from the station.

Things we loved about our stay

– Our suite was huge. TV in the bathroom, shower and bath, king size bed, Nespresso machine, minibar, amazing wardrobe. Nothing was really missing, it was the perfect room.
– The breakfast the morning after was also outstanding – we had even champagne.
– We booked our stay because of the wellness center in the hotel and we had mostly great time. The “sauna world” has sauna, salt grotto, steam bath, relaxation area and much more. Clean and relaxing. We had also a “couple massage” for 30 minutes that was super.
– The hotel has two restaurants – a gastronomic Italian one (Da Lonati) and a steakhouse/pizzeria (Rhino). We tried the steakhouse, had some shared charcuterie as starter and cote a l’os and steak for main (#foodporn pictures are following the post). Delicious. I would not exclude to visit it again even if a bit far from the city, as it was one of the best meat I had in my life – to remind: yummy truffle mayonnaise and extremely kind service.
– There was also an elegant bar – Cabana Lounge -, that was very animated, where we get drunk after dinner – to remove all the wellness hours’ benefits 😛

The only thing we did not like very much:

– The pool area was shared with the next door hotel and was full of kids. I honestly prefer hotels without kids but I am pretty sympathetic if they are well-behaving. In this case, they were just diving in the pool, making a lot of noises and using the Jacuzzi for their games. I would say this was not the situation for kids. If you book a boutique hotel with only suites, you won’t expect to share common area with another hotel for families. We ended up not using the pool as it was really messy.

On Monday morning there was a market just next to the Castle and we spent some hours around – notwithstanding the cold.

In conclusion, it was a lovely break and if you would like to have some relax without travelling too much, it is definitely recommended – maybe off-peak season in order to avoid confusion.

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Guest Post: Patricia & Reale Restaurant in Castel di Sangro, Italy

Good Morning Folks! I am particularly happy today as it is going to be a short week for me and a super girly trip abroad will take me out of Luxembourg for some days.

I have decided to feature a blogger each and every couple of weeks and today is the turn of Patricia.
Patricia is a an incredible Brazilian architect – and an amazing mum – who has lived for years in Milan and moved to Luxembourg for love some years ago. She has an awesome inspiration page on Facebook (check it here) and you can either follow her on Instagram.

She has been recently on a trip to Italy and she visited this fascinating restaurant in the Abruzzo region.

Reale” restaurant is located in Castel di Sangro, Abruzzi region, Central Italy, in the premises of Hotel Casadonna. The restaurant was awarded in 2014 with the maximum recognition for the worldwide cuisine, the 3 Michelin Stars – something extremely rare for an eatery lost in such remote location.

Born as a typical Abruzzo restaurant today it has a more regional connotation to stand and highlights the raw materials of the territory. And the kitchen is definitely very unique and intriguing.
The settings of the restaurant are the mirror of the kitchen, the concept of the restaurant is controversial” in a positive connotation even if only by trying the dishes and visiting “live” the environment you can understand the true taste of the cuisine, you can feel the true essence of the space the architectural design and furnishing are very pure and synthetic, just to embrace the dishes that are the central feature and that color this neutral enclosure.

Below you can enjoy some pictures of our dinner and the location. Whenever you will visit this region in Italy, I hope you will book your stay at “Reale“, because it is really worth a try – and we are going there each and every time we got the chance.

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Sunday Funday: Culturando + Matese

The weather in Luxembourg this week end was not inspiring any outdoor activity – yes, I was feeling quite lazy. We had a home dinner with friends on Saturday and I experimented my Granpa’s zeppole recipe. They are kind of puffs filled with cream and sour black cherries. In Italy, they are prepared for Carnival and specially for Dad’s Day, that is on March 19th. The result was definitely fine, considering I did not have any more zeppole on Sunday morning for my breakfast 😛
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On Sunday, after the usual two hours cardio, we watched a movie and we went  to Culturando for couple of glasses. We decided to arrive a bit earlier this time so when the night started to be busy, we took our way back home – as old people always do…
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We stopped at Matese , in Bonnevoie, as my fridge at home was almost crying.. Matese, in fact, is the restaurant we are always going when I don’t want to cook. It is really close to our house, we don’t need to dress up – actually we went also there in gym wear -, it has a lot (and when I say a lot, it means five pages menu) of choices and the food is pretty nice.

Things I love about there:

– The manager and the staff are lovely. It seems to me you are going to eat to your aunt’s house.
– They always have a table for you, even at 11 o’clock on Saturday evening.
– As said, they have several dishes on the list – pasta, pizza (try the “Riardo“), salad, meat or fish main courses and most all of them are delicious. So it is the kind of place where to go if one of you wants a big meal and the other one is on diet, or if when going out you don’t have yet clear what to eat.
– Fried calamari is one of my favorite, but as we wanted to stay light after the aperitif, we opted for my second fav, the traditional Carpaccio. The portion is huge, the meat is soft as butter and it is served with salad and super piadina. I could eat all of it – well, actually I did….
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Depending on what you eat and drink, it can be really cheap or a bit pricey. We managed to stay on 22 euro each for the big carpaccio plus 2 half-liter bottles of water.

Definitely worth a try if you want a familiar environment and good Italian food. They have also a nice relatively cheap menu for Valentine’s day.
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Ah, they also brought us some yummy polenta as welcome, but my hubby could not wait I took the picture to have its own.

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Restaurant Matese
,
89 rue de Bonnevoie,
L-1260 Luxembourg Bonnevoie

The great Sunday night spot, finally: “Culturando” Italian Aperitif

I took sometimes to write this post. Not because I was not happy about my (several) experiences at Culturando – I was, indeed – but just because as Oscar Wilde used to say “When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy”. It is really like that. I like Culturando event on Sunday – Aperitivando – so much that I am scared to spread the voice it is a lovely place and find it so packed next time I could not catch my usual corner. You know how I like concluding my weeks with a couple of glasses. And I already talked about my frustration of not finding enough lively places in Luxembourg City on Sunday evening.
Culturando is now a kind of a bullet point to check each end every week, you never get bored.

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Things I love about there:
Lovely Italian wine at fair price. You can go with several different glasses, 5 euro each, or ask for the bottles list. Guys working there are extremely competent and will be able to suggest the wine going along with your mood. We went for Fiano this time and I could not be more satisfied.
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Amazing food, really. I am not the kind of person taking advantages of aperitif buffet but everything was soo delicious we had three rounds in two people. Panzerotti with mozzarella and tomato were heavenly, arancini with radicchio to die for. You have also lasagna, veggie quiche, rice cake, pizza, olives… you start saying: “I will give a try” and you will end up conveying: “I will not have dinner at home tonight”.
(graphic contents – caution while scrolling down 😛 )
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Cool music and people. The atmosphere is pleasant. If you are not looking at the snow landscape outside, you could think for a moment to be in some lovely wine bar at Colonne, in Milan, or in Trastevere, Rome. There are a lot of tables, so most of the people are seated and you don’t have to queue for drinking or eating – highly appreciated. You know, I feel pretty old and I really don’t like over packed situations. Culturando is relaxed but always well animated.
Last thing: it is a bit out of the city center chaos – just next door Utopia cinema – but easily to get. You can take bus n. 3, stop Henri VII, and you don’t even need to be bothered looking for a parking – but if you want, Glacis is less than 3 minutes walking.
Culturando is also open during the week if you want to have a glass with friends or for a cozy Italian dinner.

Culturando,
15, avenue de la Faiencerie
L-1510 Luxembourg

Aperinetwork, the Italian way of Aperif, at White House

Aperinetwork” embarked in 2014 through the initiative of three Italian guys – Federica, Alessandro and Matteo – who wanted to import the “aperitivo” into the Luxembourg nightlife culture. Some bars offered already a combination of tapas or small bites afterwork, but if you have ever been to Milan, for example, you clearly noted the difference. Moreover, Aperinetwork aims to create a less formal bound among foreign people living in Luxembourg, giving the possibility to new expats to enlarge their network and spend some quality time not bothering about work related troubles.

The Aperinetwork events took place in various locations in the past (Apotheka, Steiler, Conter..) and recently, for the last two events, they have found their home at White House by Kader.

The concept is more or less always the same: reduced price drinks and Italian food buffet, plus funny music as background.

Yesterday evening the White House was totally sold out. We luckily arrived a bit before the start of the evening – that was planned at 7.30 pm – and all the tables were already occupied. We had our drink at 50% off (Hendricks Tonic at 7 Euro instead of 14, Red Wine 4.5 Euro instead of 9) and watching the main room becoming more and more busy. We hadn’t indeed the pleasure to try the buffet: you can clearly see that free buffet is not in the Luxembourg culture as, as soon as it opened, it looked like the bread distribution in a Third World country. Calm down people, this is not your dinner, it is supposed to be an appetizer to avoid getting drunk and keep on drinking….  The concept is probably not yet clear to the most and we refused to fight to get a pizza bite. Instead, we relaxed in the smoking room on the second floor, one of the best thing at White House – that avoid you, above all during the winter season, to get a cold outside if you wish to smoke.

The evening was really pleasant: it is a good way to reconnect with people you are not seeing for long. I (mostly) stopped partying hard during the working week, but Aperinetwork is one of the event I always like to attend, as it is fresh, a bit posh and an unusual and valid alternative for few drinks afterwork.

For being updated on next events, like Aperinetwork page on Facebook:

Aperinetwork Luxembourg

Check out also White House next events and features:

White House Luxembourg
17b rue des Bains,
L-1212 Luxembourg

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My best Italian in town: Delirio Culinario, Luxembourg City

My friends I’ve been hanging off pretty long know really well that when we are arranging a dinner out and they ask for preferences, my reply, most of the time, is always: Everything but Italian!

It is not because I am not proud of my origin, but just because if you ever had Italian food in Italy, you will difficulty find it amazing when you are abroad. Most of the Italian places I’ve been around the world are hardly managed by Italians or, in the best contexts, they are trying to adapt their kitchen very much to the taste of their location instead of preserving original receipts.

This is exactly the case of most Italian restaurants I have been in Luxembourg, with one, great exception.

Delirio Culinario is located in the city center, just few steps away from the Palais, overlooking Place Guillaume. They have a pretty wide menu list, you can have meat, fish, pasta or pizza, the common denominator is that all the ingredients they use are authentic and they are prepared as our families would do in Italy – concerning mine, I would say even better 😛

We have been there recently with my husband for a Saturday night supper and we have enjoyed a lovely dinner, as usual.

We started with two glasses of Prosecco, which have been accompanied by a welcome from the chef, focaccia and truffle cheese. As starter, we took both a Carpaccio di Polpo (octopus) that was fresh and tasty (even if I always prefer to ask it without onions). To follow, my husband went for a mixed plate of fried fish, I ordered a sole with shrimps. Both dishes were lovely and you could really taste the flavor of the fish. The portions were pretty big indeed and we were not able to finish the side orders (I had some grilled vegetables and my husband a salad). During the dinner we had a exquisite Sicilian white wine, Planeta Chardonnay, and we concluded, as usual, with espresso and digestif.

Excluded the wine, that was one of the most expensive choice on the list, and the drinks, we spent less than 35 euro each for the food. Really affordable for the quality of the dinner we had. Moreover, if you are on budget, you can easily switch to other cheaper solutions – like the delicious pizza and for the fairly good house wine.

The restaurant is welcoming you even a bit later than other restaurants in the city center, and this is again another reason because we love it, and they have also delivery through livraison website.

Check it out:

Delirio Culinario
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