Introduction to Lebanese: Phenicia, Luxembourg

Among the guidelines for a Friday night partying, I have the rule of not having a proper dinner. It does not mean really skipping the eating part in favor of alcohol (I am too old for this shit!), but that definitely I cannot have a 4-courses meal before going out as otherwise I would rather fell asleep (age has its contribution also on this side).

So on a Friday night, Jenni and I decided to try Phenicia, a corner of Lebanon just off Place de Paris (here we are, once again!).

We decided not to book in advance as the place often looked empty from outside, but once inside we realized the tables on view on the main window are only a small part of those inside and the restaurant is pretty big – and it was pretty full!

The decorations are lovely – they create a nice, exotic atmosphere without being cheesy. We were welcomed at the entrance and accommodated to a table at the very back of the room, where most of the people were seating.

For that night, the restaurant offered a “all-you-can-eat” buffet or a la carte dinner. We opted for a la carte formula. I ordered an aperitif of the house (a mix between a sweet syrup and Lebanese cremant, pleasant and similar to our Kir Royal) while Jenni had only water.

While the menu offered various fixed price combinations and a great choice of main dishes, we decided to stay on the mezze (small dishes to share) in order, as said, to have a kind of light dinner.

We ordered Baba Ghanouj (grilled eggplants pure’, onions, tomato and pepper), Falafel(fried chickpeas nuggets), Jobneh (fried cheese) and Fatayer with Spinach (an oven-baked pastry stuffed with spinach and sumac). The mezze were accompanied by two portions of bread (and we ordered a third one later during the meal).

We drank half a bottle of enjoyable Lebanese Ksara.

We concluded with two digestif (one Baileys and one Cognac) and theoretically with a  Lebanese coffee that never came to our table.

After the pictures, you will find more about what I enjoyed of our dinner at Phenicia.

What I liked about Phenicia:

  • The restaurant has a great settings: the location, the decorations, the background music, everything contributes to create an amazing atmosphere, where, for the time of your meal, you forget about being simply in Luxembourg.
  • The food we had was amazing: I was particularly surprised by the falafel (I am a fan, I do them myself as well so I was impressed by their taste!) and by the spinach and sumac pastry (on the opposite, I am not a fan of this kind of pastry and this one was was indeed delicious). Everything tasted very fresh and home made.
  • The wine was also a positive discovery: we were a bit skeptical about trying a Lebanese wine, indeed it was good. Even if we ordered only half liter, it was taken with the full bottle at the table and opened there.
  • Service was a bit a hit-and-miss. For some aspects it was great. We were explained the dishes in details, we were suggested the aperitif and the wine and as well for the digestive we received some suggestions. Staff was really polite and accommodating toward our requests. At the same time, there were some moments we have been totally forgotten (like when I wanted to order some more bread *rolling eyes*) or our requests were ignored (coffee asked twice and never arrived) and bill took ages to get to our table.

What I liked a bit less about Phenicia:

  • Except the rolling coaster service, the only slightly negative point on my side was the bill. At the end we had only some vegetarian starters and half a bottle of wine and we ended up paying 90 Eur in total (45 Eur each). While the food was great and we had good time, I still feel we slightly overpaid for what we got. At the same time, the restaurant offers several fixed combination (starter plus main or tasting of starters) so you can keep you bill under control if you want to.

In conclusion: I liked our dinner at Phenicia. While the service might be improved, the ambience is great and the food was fresh and tasty. The place is perfect for a romantic date or an exotic business dinner, but not the restaurant to visit if you are on a budget. I will come back to try more dishes as those we had very definitely yummy!

 

 

Bee Famous: Tasty, Affordable and Organic Wine Available at Auchan’s

As autumn is approaching, Barefoot in Luxembourg was invited for a wine tasting at Beef-Bar at Auchan’s to have a sneak peak of the shop’s new wine season range. “Foire Aux Vins” is in fact an annual event taking place in September ( this year from September 20th to October 3rd) in several supermarkets in Luxembourg, including Auchan, where winemakers introduce new wines and also offer special deals for products already on the shelves. You can check out Auchan’s website for more information about products and discounts.

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I had a pleasure to get to know Bee Famous, an organic wine brand from South France. I have shared my impressions below.

 

White wines:
Bee Famous Organic Cévennes

  • Fresh and fruity
  • Excellent choice with spicy and Asian food

Bee Famous Organic Chardonnay

  • Very rounded, well structured, crispy
  • Goes well with grilled fish, and sushi

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Bee Famous Organic Viognier

  • Rounded, easy to drink
  • Great for appetzers and cheese

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Bee Famous Organic Sauvignon

  • crispy, quite strong after-taste of blackcurrant
  • To be paired with goat cheese salad or appetizers

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Red wines:
Bee Famous Organic Syrah

  • Fruity, spicy
  • Try it with mediterranean or oriental food, mild cheese or drink it as aperitif

Bee Famous Organic 2015 Cevennes

  • Complex, fruity, spicy, hint of pepper
  • Herbs of Provence
  • Perfect form meat dishes, especially pork and chicken

Bee Famous Organic AOP Costières de Nime Sans Sulfites

  • No sulfites; this wine is recommended to be drank within 1-2 years
  • Try with pork, paella or Mediterranean cuisine

Bee Famous Côtes du Rhône 2016

  • Round, long, well structured
  • Serve it with a selection of chacuterie or other meat dishes

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Bee Famous Côtes du Rhône Plain de Dieu

  • Plain, easy
  • Goes well with chocolate dessert, meat, lamb, pork, steaks

Bee Famous Organic Languedoc Rouge 2013

  • Elegant, silky structure
  • Great with ratatouille

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Mad About Peru’ Restaurant, Dudelange, Luxembourg

It was jut couple of months ago I was complaining with my partner in crime Kochi about the fact that in Luxembourg we were missing Peruvian cuisine spots that, in order capital cities, starting from London, have been the hype since quite long now.

It appeared that someone listened to my prayers: “Mad about Peru’” opened in Dudelange recently and we took the occasion to visit it yesterday night. I booked via their Facebook page and I got a quick confirmation reply.

We arrived in Dudelange around 8 pm: the restaurant is located in the very city center pedestrian area, but it was easy to get a parking next. The location is cozy: tall tables at the entrance and larger area with bigger tables on the back, in front of the kitchen.

We were accommodated to one of the tall table at the entrance and given the menu. We started with two Peruvian drinks – a Perulime for Kochi and a Chilcano maracuja for me that were accompanied by toasted salted seeds. For the dinner we chose: lomo bites (tequetos de lomo saltado) and banana chips with guacamole (peruanachos) to share for starters, then I went with a “Woman del Callao” ceviche – bar ceviche accompanied by fried calamari and spicy sauce – while Kochi went for a classic one.

We had a bottle of Peruvian chardonnay and concluded with two espresso and “marinated” pisco as digestif – we tried the one with raisins that was quite sweet for me and a drier one with apricots.

Find the pictures of our dinner followed by my impressions about the restaurant.

What I loved about Mad about Peru:

  • Our whole experience was one of the best I had recently in Luxembourg: the food was “OMG”, something totally different compared to what we are used in Luxembourg , mixing strong and delicate tastes, fresh products, accurate presentation. The banana chips were crispy, not oily, intense. The lomo bites home made and incredibly tasty. My ceviche for me was the best dish of the evening: the bar was amazing and the preparation outstanding.
  • The service was lovely, authentic, smiling. At the end of the night we were almost feeling at a friends’ place more than in a restaurant.
  • The price for the dinner was exceptionally fair: two aperitifs, two starters, two fish mains, one bottle of wine, two coffees and two digestifs (second one was offered) for a total bill of 84 euro. Difficult to find something better in town.

What I like a bit less about Mad about Peru:

  • Depending on your expectations, the menu list is not very extensive. In particular, except three appetizers, to me there is a shortage in starters to begin with.
  • The only “deluding” item of the dinner was the guacamole with the banana chips: it was homemade and fresh, but missing a bit of taste – and salt probably.

In conclusion: if you are fed up about having to decide every time between a French brasserie or an Italian pizza, go and visit “Mad about Peru’” for an amazing culinary journey. Whenever you are out for a romantic date or celebrating with friends, this is the perfect place: delicious food, kind service and cozy settings are making it already one of my favorite place. You have to travel to Dudelange, right, but it is definitely worth the ride and the prices are very fair.

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Lena

 

Wednesday is Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People day!

Today we have the great chance to present you Lena. I met her through her Crème de la Crème group and I have been truly taken away by her vitality and capability to talk about politics, religion and Kim Kardashian in the same forum.
But I don’t want to spoil the surprise, read her interview to discover more – and maybe be part of it!

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Hello and welcome at Barefoot in Luxembourg for a new episode of our series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, thank you for joining.

Go ahead and tell us more about yourself!

My name is Lena Baraka. I am British-Sudanese and moved from the UK to Luxembourg 3 years ago with my Luxembourgish husband who was working in London when we met.

I was seven months pregnant when we arrived and had just started my maternity leave after leaving my post as a dentist in London. Work took a backseat as I quickly became involved with mums’ clubs and various activities in Luxembourg. Brunches, Lunches and workshops took over my life and from a social aspect, it was a good thing. If you’re a mum and new to Luxembourg, you’ve definitely come to the right place.  I never got the chance to feel homesick or depressed until I received a letter from the medical governing body informing me that to be able to become registered as a dentist here, I had to speak fluent French, Luxembourgish or German! So, I cried for a whole week. I complained to my husband nonstop and to everyone who was prepared to listen. I realized soon after that I needed to make a choice. Complaining was not going to get me anywhere. So, I started with French classes and told myself that this was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I could take some time off my career to learn a new language and pursue other interests whilst taking care of my newborn.  I felt very blessed as I was in a position where I didn’t really need to work and my husband fully supported me.

Looking back, I have to admit that it wasn’t the easiest challenge. You need a lot of focus, determination and a desire to immerse yourself in the French culture, and I didn’t have that. French didn’t really come that naturally to me as all my friends conversed in English. All my husband’s Lux and French friends wanted to talk to me in English apart from the occasional one off where someone chose to humour me. It was also mainly my fault. I was very reluctant to speak as I felt my real social side and true character could never truly come across or be conveyed in a foreign language so instead, I embraced that fact that English was the preferred language of choice by all! As for my husband and I, we got so used to communicating in English despite his best efforts to try to use his French to improve mine! I was lucky to have some amazing and inspirational teachers that kept me going and kept motivating me until the end. Thank you F & C. I start my job as a general dentist in Hesperange as of next month! Come find me!

Looks like it was a very challenging journey – I have been in Luxembourg for 10 years and  I still cannot speak French at professional level, so this is really impressive to me 🙂 Now can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your Crème de la Crème project we anticipated in the introduction?

So between my duties as a new mother, a French student and a budding makeup artist, I started a new group on Facebook called Crème de la Crème. I’ve always felt blessed and thankful to have the valuable gift of friendship from some wonderful, talented and inspirational women around me.  I thought to myself one day, why not share this gift and create a group that connects these women?

As word slowly spread, the group demographic started to diversify to include women from all over the world. These strong, independent, well travelled and cultured women were more than happy to share honest tips on all walks of life. Questions came rolling in and recommendations followed. The Facebook group felt like a “trip advisor” for life and popular topics included health, beauty products, diet, travel, food, movies, arts and even branched further to offer advice on love and relationships. We waved goodbye to the dull and impersonal manner of receiving reviews online and openly welcomed this new and exciting format of delivery through ‘girl talk’! What started with 20 of my close girlfriends chatting is now host to around 4000 ladies and we are continually growing.

I am part of it, so I can really say this is amazing. So why ladies in Luxembourg should be interested in Crème de la Crème ?

Simply because it is fun! We are a support network for women worldwide, but at the same time we discuss everything and nothing is off limits. We had our first social event at the beginning of October and 30 awesome women came and showed their support and willingness to connect and socialize. It really was a huge success and I have Siobhain Engman, a fellow Crème lady who took charge of organizing the entire event to thank.

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We are currently promoting our next Christmas Ladies night which will take place at Barrels Bar in December. Feel free to come along and mingle, the more the merrier!

It is definitely on my agenda! What are then the best three things about Crème de la Crème and what do you personally enjoy most about that?

Connecting with other likeminded women

Getting on the spot advice on pretty much anything! Bye bye google!!!

Expanding your horizons and learning about different cultures.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, you already said above you have been here for 3 years. What is your most beloved place in the city?

I love the Grund. Never get bored of walking around and taking in the views.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Too many to mention. Batucada, Hitch because who doesn’t love a good burger, Sobogusto, Toit pour toi.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

Not much of a night-life party person anymore! I like The Tube bar though for a piece of England with me.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

I like the simplicity of life here. Granted having a husband from Luxembourg has been really useful especially when dealing with administrational matters, receiving official letters, bills (even in English I pretend not to understand now lol). Schools are great, it is safe, perfect for families, you have parks everywhere, you are well connected to some of the best European capitals and cities, you arrive everywhere in 5 minutes. It also has a great artistic scene, theatre, festivals, concerts but you have to stay informed. Events don’t come jumping right at you but if you look, you find. The fact that it is a small country as well is a huge advantage for entrepreneurs and new business ventures. The competition is not as stiff so you have more room to shine and stand out.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

I miss Starbucks and Nando’s! I would change nothing.

I also definitely would love to have Nando’s in Luxembourg! What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

Antwerp! But you have to come back with a ring! 🙂

And lastly, to conclude, what is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg? 

Classic.

Meet Lena and the other Crème de la Crème ladies (including me!) in the Crème de la Crème Facebook group. I can ensure this is addictive! 

Lunch time at La P’tite Maison

When I arrived in Luxembourg, 10 years ago, the Theatre de l’Opera used to be one of my favorite restaurant and I link to it some of the most memorable moments of my first period in the Gran Duchy. After several years, and several different management’and names’ change, I came back to this stylish and cozy house in the Rollingerground that now takes inspiration by its location and it is called La P’tite Maison.

I heard already great things about it and wanted to try it since long time. We took the occasion for a lunch in town with Patricia. I got there around 12.30 pm and was taken to my table in the small side room. The décor is still sophisticated but classic. I love the unrefined parquet and the wooden ceiling. Tables are not wide, but still you don’t feel suffocated.

I waited for Patricia in front of a glass of cremant and, when she arrived, we went for a pissaladière Nicoise, a tasty tiny focaccia with onions and olives, as starter, followed by a cod with cherry tomato and olives for me and a beef filet with pepper for her. I paired my meal with a Chardonnay that was one of the best wine at the glass I honestly had recently.

What I liked about La P’tit Maison:

  • Place is very cozy, still one of my favorite in town for location and ambiance, either to meet your friends, either for a romantic break. I can definitely say this corner is very different from whatever restaurant in the city and decors are cared in details.
  • Food was still classic but not boring. Finally a place where the available choices for a business lunch are taken aside from the “standards” and the quality and taste of food came first – before the odd ingredients and the alternative presentation. Well done.
  • Service was definitely on point. Present but not stressful, I was offered a refill of my glass when Patricia joined – some other places would have asked: do you want another glass, Miss? And then we were given our time to lunch and chat, no rush.

Things I liked a bit less about La P’tit Maison:

  • I love strong tastes, but my fish dish was definitely too much on the garlic side, really. Happy I did not have any meeting or date in the afternoon 🙂
  • Our room, in a grey day, was very much dark. When we moved back to the entrance it seemed I just waked up. At lunch time and going toward the cold season, I appreciate a brighter atmosphere. It should be definitely better in the evening.
  • This is not a cheap place. While I did not feel we overpaid for what we had – aperitif, glass of wine, starter and main on the daily menu and coffee for a bit more than 50 euro each, I would include a visit for dinner under the high-end category.

In conclusion: The location of La P’tite Maison is one of my favorite in town, preserve the intimate aura of the original “small house”, evolving on a culinary journey through strong but classic tastes. I would definitely recommend it for a special occasion as a lovely and delicious alternative to the classic gastronomic places in the city.

A new Italian wine bar in town: 14 Degrés and more, Luxembourg city

Touching down in Luxembourg just for one night, I organized an after-work drink – that soon became a big night out  – with my girlfriends. Fancying something informal but refined and very deluded by the last place of this kind we tried recently, we booked a table at 14 Degrés and more, a new eatery and wine bar that has recently opened in the city centre, just in front of Le Royal Hotel.

The concept of the place is really easy going: they serve a daily menu for lunch, they have Italian products to purchase or you can simply sit down, have a glass of wine and some nibbles.

The place is tiny inside, but well decorated and impressive in the details. The outdoor table are overlooking a busy boulevard Royal, but after a while you really don’t care. The terrace is wide and is perfect if you want just to relax.

We got there around 6 pm and welcome by the owner. Started with a glass of bubbles while waiting for the squad to be completed and went then for a bottle of Fiano followed by a Primitivo one.

We were offered some snacks – vegerables, garlic crème cheese and olives – and we then ordered a mixed platter of charcuterie and cheese. With the red bottle we had as well some more cheese.

Some quick pictures followed by my usual impression.

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What I liked about 14 Degrés and more:

  • Amazing level of service: even if the place is very informal, the owner was checking on us to see if everything was going fine and was available to suggest us wines and give indications about the food.
  • Food and wine are simple but good, wines served at the right temperature and platters prepared with care.
  • The location is very relaxing and perfect for end of summer gatherings.

What I liked a bit less about 14 Degrés and more:

  • The space inside is not ready for the cold Luxembourg winter and will not yet be able to welcome many people. Anyway we talked with the owner and he confirmed he has already plans for the forthcoming months, including a covered terrace.

In conclusion: 14 Degrés and more offers Italian products for lunch and after-work. For me, it was the perfect place to share a bottle (or more!) of wine with my friends and I really looking forward to come back to try other dishes.

 

The Chef’s touch: Lea Linster, Frisange, Luxembourg

Last month, to celebrate my partner in crime Kochi’s birthday, we decided to spoil ourselves with a starred choice, the one I was craving since my arrival in Luxembourg, Lea Linster in Frisange.

I heard several different opinions about this restaurant and I was very curious to try it – I am generally not put down my negative opinions, nor pushed by great ones, I just prefer to have my  personal.

I got in contact with the restaurant via mail couple of weeks before and I got a quick reply in English – not to be taken as granted in most of  restaurants in Luxembourg. I specified the reservation was for a birthday celebration and we would have loved to have a nice table.

Moving forward to the day, we got to the restaurant at 7.30 pm – there was a private parking just in front. The restaurant was almost complete and we were welcomed at our table, just next to the window, overlooking the lovely garden.

We opted for the Bocuse D’Or tasting menu, a four courses journey through the tastes that honoured Lea Linster of the famous prize, with wine pairings.. During the wait, we were proposed an aperitif, I went – business as usual – for rose’ champagne, while Kochi went for a blanc de blanc.

Together with the aperitif we received some crunchy focaccia bread with herbs, followed by a bread bruschetta with olives tapenade and bresaola (tasty) and a poached quail egg (plain).

Our dinner properly started with a goat cheese mousse and gazpacho as welcome, followed by lobster and tomato starter, a classic melody, not very surprising in the medley but technically perfectly executed

At this time Lea Linster made her appearance in the room, spending some minutes for each and every table and taking pictures with the guests. We supposed it was a short” one woman show” to give an appeal to the visit, indeed from that moment on Lea would not leave the stage, taking not the leading role, but participating, with the brigade, to the simplest tasks of the service.

After a quick relaxing break in the breath-taking garden, we moved ahead with grilled fish and crusty peppers crisp. This is the point at which clearly the dinner had its turnaround, moving from just a straight-forward classic performance to a surprising and amazing celebration of tastes.

My main course was lamb, with potatoes crust, while Kochi had duck, with blackberries. Both dishes were perfectly balances, apparently simple, but built on delicate equilibriums, prodigious in their single components and just perfect together. We smiled.

Cheese trolley, followed by the pre-dessert, a crème brule accompanied by some sweet treats. The conclusion was a strawberry meringue dessert – the most delicious pastry ever tried – and I am not a dessert girl, you know it.

We moved on the terrace again for the coffee and digestive and we were joined at this time by Lea again, who took a small surprise for Kochi, her birthday cake.

While everybody was leaving, we stayed another hour with the chef, pleasantly talking, as we have been friends for ages. It was lovely to discover her background and heard some anecdotes of her life. We left past 1 o’clock, when the restaurant was already closed, with a personalized signed book as memory. It was an unforgettable night.

Walk through our dinner in pictures and discover our final feelings.

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What I liked about Lea Linster:

  • The location: although passing by I never had the impression of it to be a fairy tales place, indeed the interiors are minimal and warm and the garden, oh my gosh, the garden, a spectacular view and the most cosy settings – why did I not get married here?
  • The food: while the premises were somehow disappointing – the bread focaccia and the aperitif accompaniments were nothing “wow” – the menu slowly but decisively moved to a triumph of aroma architectures. Classic basis, someone would say, but still incredible and rare.
  • The chef’s touch: this is the real competitive value of Lea Linster. I visited few starred restaurants in my short blogger career and in most you have the pleasure, sometimes, to meet the chef. In some exceptional circumstances, we were invited to visit the kitchen (at Cracco, in Milan). But never ever we have been served all night long by the chef herself, like in this case, refilling the water, taking the empty dishes, checking on us during the night. Not only: Lea is talking amiably with the clients – all of them, without differences – like are old friends. It is not the appearance – you are leaving at the cash counter some good money, so we smile and thank you -. No, here it is completely different. You feel this is the restaurant of Lea Linster, not only in the name, but because she is here, she is interested in you, in your feelings, she wants to know everything out of the kitchen and in the room is fine. It would have been probably just a very good dinner without this touch, indeed it ended up being outstanding.

What I did not like about Lea Linster:

  • Considering the level of the restaurant and the exceptional dinner we had, only one thing was not on the point: the wine service. We ordered the champagne aperitif (an astonishing 26 euro per glass):  the sommelier came with both bottles, served Kochi’s white, then suddenly left, went to refill wine to couple of other tables and after 5 good minutes realized and came back to fill my pink glass. The timing of following wines were equally wrong: the red arrived when our main course was almost at the end. Moreover, especially for white wine, the quality of the wine pairing was  not in line with the one of the dinner. As said, everything else was just perfect.

In conclusion: to be reserved for a special occasion, a romantic rendez-vous, a family gathering or someone you want to spoil, Lea Linster might be a “classic” Michelin starred restaurant, but does not fail to impress, above all for the unforgettable touch of the Chef. We had a remarkable food and personal experience, to be kept in our memories until next visit.

 

Business Lunch at Amélys Restaurant, Le Royal Hotel, Luxembourg city

How blissful is to spend a lunch break in town during summer time? Since my office moved out of the city centre, I more and more appreciate this pleasure.

Last week, together with Patricia, we decided for a farewell in style before each other holidays, booking at the renewed Le Royal Hotel restaurant, Amélys. Since the great and advertised restoration that took place during the year, I was really curious to visit the new restaurant and, above all, to see their  new settings. We used to stop off at Le Royal in the past, for business meetings or after-work, but I was always a bit sceptic, due to its old fashion set-ups.

Indeed, when we entered the hall, it was extremely refreshing: seeing how the hotel has now a brand new imprinting. .The luxury signature that has always impregnated its wall stays, but has been met now by a trendy influence and a cool design – something that will not be past next year, but mix and shake, in the perfect combination, classical opulence and contemporary fashion.

We headed to the restaurant Amélys, that is now pleasantly bright. We were welcomed with a radiant smile and accommodated on the terrace – we learned in Luxembourg that when the sun shines, you have to take advantage of it!

We were handle the daily menu and the “a la carte” one and explained we could choose between the weekly proposal – in case you are in a hurry, they are available to prepare and serve you business lunch in one hour – or the classic menu. We decided to go with the suggestions and we started with a glass of Luxembourgish white wine, served at the table from the bottle.

The menu consists in a buffet of vegetarian (and fish) starter, one main dish and a dessert. You can choose only a main or a combination of the three.

From the starters buffet, I had an egg pot, a smoked fish gluten-free roll and an avocado and shrimps cocktail. Patricia had a gazpacho and a feta salad. We could (and wanted!) to take more – you can refill your dish how many times you want basically – but while standing at the buffet, we saw a lovely dessert passing by, so we decided to keep some space till the end of the lunch!

I continued then with the meat dish, an amazing beef steak prepared with artichokes and olives, while Patricia had the cod filet. I accompany my dish with a light red wine..

Finally, we had our dessert: a chocolate macaroon with ice-cream and a fruity cake and sorbet for Patricia. An espresso was the perfect conclusion of our lunch.

Find some pictures of our lunch followed by my usual impressions.

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What I loved about Amélys restaurant:

  • The food was superb: even classic choices like shrimp cocktails or the beef steak are prepared in a refined way, that makes them never boring. Portions are more than fair and the presentation is lovely.
  • The starters buffet is a very alternative concept: I was at the beginning a bit questioner, as I am not a fan of buffet. Indeed – you could have already noted it from the pictures – the Amélys idea of buffet is very far from everything you might have seen so far in Luxembourg: the stands are clean and refrigerate, the food choice is wide and has a great attention to dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options).
  • Service is a real five stars item here: from the welcome, to the wine, to the dishes explanations, everything is cared in details. As I was still finished my red wine, they proposed to wait to bring my dessert and when the sun went missing, they turned on the heating on the terrace only for us. All small attentions that are highly appreciated.
  • The price is more than reasonable for the service you get and for the quality of the food and you have several options, including a la carte one, for different budget.

What I liked a bit less about Amélys restaurant:

  • Our lunch was indeed perfect: we really enjoyed every single minutes. There would be nothing actually I will change , and I shared the same feeling with Patricia. I am really looking forward to visit Amélys again for dinner and for their Sunday brunch.

In conclusion: We had the perfect lunch time at Amélys restaurant: the new settings of Le Royal Hotel, refined environment, tasty and eclectic kitchen, enjoyable service. I definitely recommend it for business lunches and gathering with friends,

Summer lunch at Beet, Luxembourg city

Finally, after having postponed the meeting several times, I managed to meet Sunny over lunch in town and to try the (now not so) new vegetarian restaurant Beet. The restaurant is located on the place Guillaume, just next the Tourism Office, has a quite large terrace – that was empty due to the cold weather – and two main rooms inside.

Sunny booked a table for 1.15 pm and we were assigned one in the back room – the restaurant was really packed but the service was on point for a quick lunch.

The menu has several options – only vegan and vegetarian – mainly divided between burgers and falafel, in different combinations. I went for a vegetarian patty with eggplants – accompanied by fries and salad – and a thai infusion – warm water with lemongrass and ginger. Sunny had a crispy burger and an home made apple juice.

After the pictures of our lunch you will find my usual impressions.

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Things I loved about Beet:

  • My burger was very tasty as well as the fries. You can choose an homemade sauce to accompany them and I had the chilli one. OMG – it was to die for! If your idea about vegetarian food is still stuck to bland raw vegetables, here you will definitely change your mind. I have seen also nice dessert going around – a pity I was too full to try one.
  • Drink selection is also good, wide and insolite. My infusion – even if a bit difficult to handle – was perfect for my lunch.
  • The ambience is fresh and minimal, same than the service. I would have loved to be on the terrace, a shame about the weather.

Things I liked a bit less about Beet:

  • As general impression, I found it a bit on the pricey side – 14 euro per the burger and 4 euro for a water infusion. I anyway perfectly see this could be mainly due to the very central area and prices would be different if the location was different.
  • Similarly, for my personal tastes, I find the place perfect for a lunch, but it definitely miss some atmosphere for a dinner.

In conclusion: Beet was a very nice discover. I will definitely come back again to try other burgers on the menu and the falafel dishes. With its minimal style and fast service, I find it perfect for a girly lunch in town.

 

Sunday for Pizza: Pulcinella, Mamer, Luxembourg


On Sunday, after having spent most of the day at home recovering from some great party, we decided to keep the kitchen shut down and have a pizza outdoor.
As part of the discover of the restaurants around Luxembourg city, we decided to head to Mamer to Pulcinella. We booked a table at 8 pm for the terrace.
The restaurant Pulcinella is less than 15 minutes driving from Luxembourg city – on Sunday, at that time, motorway was very calm. You have to park in the streets and we actually found a spot only few minutes from the restaurant. We were accompanied to our table and given the menu. The terrace was quite full and in less than half hour it became totally packed  – we did well booking in advance.

We had some water and diet coke and after a while ordered our pizzas – I went for a Carrettiera – with spicy salami, cherry tomatoes and arugula – while hubby when for a Capricciosa and a glass of Primitivo wine.

Hereafter you will find the pictures and my impressions.

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Things I liked about Pulcinella restaurant:

  • Pizza was good and prepared with fine Italian ingredients. I enjoyed as well the chilli oil that was left on the table.
  • Service was simple but effective. Even if we had only two pizzas – and hubby a small dessert at the end – the dinner was very relaxed – arrived at 8 pm, we left at 11 pm.
  • Bill was extremely fair: 2 pizzas, 2 water, 1 coke, some wine for hubby and a dessert were in total 54 euro. With that price, in some places in the city you barely have 2 pizzas.

Things I liked a bit less about Pulcinella restaurant:

  • The terrace is on the main street, therefore can be somehow noisy and this I have to say was the only negative point.
  • Then to go the extra mile, it would have been really nice to receive some small amuse-bouche (even some bruschetta with garlic and oil, nothing too sophisticated) in the quite long wait for the pizza.

In conclusion: Even if without a special wow factor, Pulcinella was the perfect place for a relaxed Sunday authentic Italian pizza. Very competitive prices and a kind service, I would definitely recommend it for a pizza with friends.

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