A luxurious evolution: Le Chatelet, Luxembourg City

As you might have noticed if you follow the blog, we tend not to review a place more than once in a couple of years – even if, when the feedback is good, I visit it again.
We recently did an exception for Le Chatelet, the refined restaurant located in Boulevard de La Petrusse, that welcome us last time when was still part of a famous Luxembourg brand.

The restaurant has been acquired by Jean-Baptiste and Aleksandra, this refreshing couple who decided to leave their previous professional life behind and jump in a new adventure. They gave their chef “carte blanche” with the idea of moving the restaurant concept from a steak-house (remember, also Barefoot in Luxembourg was there for meat) to an innovative bistronomic brasserie.

The step to get to this level was achieved as well with some noticeable improvements to the appearance of the venue: the tables on the main road have been removed, there have been some major reviews in the internal settings and at the wine bar, but it is on the terrace that the main changes have been operated. The cheap coverage has been removed in favor of a more open and green terrace, a Parisian corner in the heart of the station area.

In regards to the cuisine, forget about bouche a la reine and toast au champignon, the card is surprisingly creative and have limited choices, but for all the tastes – it must be said that the evening menu changes every two weeks and some seasonal suggestions are proposed on spot. The a la carte menu change with seasons as well.

We had ourselves a tasting menu with wine paring.

The amuse-bouche was the prelude of an exceptional dinner: an exquisite tartare of carabineros prawns accompanied by tomato and mozzarella foam. A symphony of taste in only couple of spoons, the freshness, almost kinky taste of the prawns dancing with the comforting, bold intermezzo of the mozzarella and closed by the acid notes of the tomato.

We were already gobsmashed.

The first starter was an unpredictable combination with old-fashion reminiscences  and exotic notes: risotto with celery, lobster in two consistencies, homardine sauce and coconut milk. The intriguing part of the dish was indeed the mixture between classic tastes (lobster) with creative elements (the celery risotto was unexpectedly to die for, the coconut milk was taking you to a Bangkok food stall and back).

Then it came the foie gras ice cream, a dish that would have definitely not disfigured on a Michelin starred restaurant table. Tasty but not sickly sweet, accompanied by a crumble of hazelnuts and spices, it managed to wrap the palate without tiring it.

As main course, we had ray with semi-salted butter, young carrots with kaffir lime, emulsion of shellfish and fried capers. Again, a mishmash of a classic dish with brush strokes of originality. To me, this was as well the best combination between a dish and its wine, as the salty note of the sauce and the capers perfectly mingled with the sweet delicacy of a local Riesling.

Finally, the meat dish: lamb rumsteak with ratatouille cake, tapenade and potatoes. An astonishing presentation for a pretty vintage closure of the meal with a delicious drive.

Together with the coffee, we got our dessert, last dish of the menu: apricots, cacao crumble, coconut and vanilla ice cream, apparently a simple blending, indeed a very elaborate twist of consistencies, tastes and aromas.

Pictures of our dinner with the relevant wine pairing, followed, as usual, by my overall impression on the restaurant.

What I loved about Le Chatelet:

  • As general consideration, I have to say I was positively surprised by the new restaurant imprint, innovative but not in an aggressive or exaggerate way – as well at pricing level. Our tasting menu was fantastic, but the “a la carte” choices include some very impressive numbers as well – the fried creamy egg in the starters for example or the Carnaroli risotto with truffle and pata negra.
  • The wine selection is amazing – not in the sense of general commercial wines or just big names, but of a very attentive selection and experience. For example, with the lamb we had a Spanish red wine. We were skeptic, but it was a great wine, intense and powerful.
  • The timing of the dinner was perfect: generally with the tasting menu you often risk to have dishes coming in too quickly and to fill up immediately. Or – vice versa – to wait too much between courses and get bored. In this case, nothing could have been done better.
  • The service was great: spontaneous and attentive. A special mention to the lady who was introducing the wine, she was really showing a great passion and explaining the pairings in a detailed way, but easy to understand.

What I liked a bit less about Le Chatelet:

  • We had fabulous time and our dinner could have not been better. If I want to be picky and find one item to change, it would be the combination between the lobster dish and its wine, a Chardonnay with significant citrus notes. The dish to me was on a sweet side, as well was the wine. While my partner in crime observed a drier wine would have been better, on my side I would have kept the wine and added a bit of chili or cayenne pepper to the dish. De gustibus.

In conclusion: The visit to the new Le Chatelet overcame our expectations. We found a renewed brasserie with a strong gastronimique accents. Perfect if you are bored of the “usual” standards and expect something “more” from your dinner, without ending up in the pretentious. Strongly recommended for a date, a dinner with friends or a business meeting.

And if you wish to enjoy the sun informally, a tapas menu is also available.

Nemo’s, Kirchberg, Luxembourg City

After long time, last week was finally the time to go to the movies again. I had a girls night with a friend and we decided to go to watch the new “50 shades”. I was a bit skeptical as I was very deluded by the first one of the series but I have to say this one, to me, was definitely better. Not an intellectual movie, for sure, but at least a better plot and some very romantic bits (yes, I cried).

After the movie, we decided to stop at Utopolis for dinner and we headed to Nemo’s, a small Japanese restaurant. It was full being a Saturday night and we did not reserve ahead, but they were anyway able to find us a small table. I ordered once from them online and the sushi was not very good – but it was already couple of years ago, so I wanted to give them another try.

The service was informal and pretty fast, we went for a beer and a glass of wine and ordered a Sushi Sashimi Combo. The platter was quite good for sharing – I had a huge box of pop-corn during the movie – for more consistent appetites it would definitely be better order the bigger combinations

Couple of pictures of our dinner and my considerations about the night.

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What I liked about Nemo’s:

– It was a very good after-movie solution: fast and smiling service, nice food combinations, comfortable location.
– Our sushi sashimi combo was a good portion to share, the fish was fresh and well prepared and the variety was impressive for such small platter.
– The price was more than fair (less than 30 euro each for two drinks, the sushi platter, coffee and sake).

What I liked a bit less about Nemo’s:

– Indeed, being in the middle of the Utopolis and with clear windows, the location is definitely not fashion and a bit chaotic. I would not consider to visit it on purposes, but this is indeed the best after-movie solution for me.

In conclusion: Sushi at Nemo’s was pretty good. If you are around Kirchberg or at the movies and you want to have some nice Japanese food, this is definitely a recommended informal place for me.

 

Dinner at La Briscola, Luxembourg City

Recently my blog had a very unusual turn from my beloved exotic places to Italian ones. As discussed in some previous post, being Italian, it is very difficult to find a place “as in Italy”, as most of the restaurants in town seem to have adapted their tastes to the local ones – having overcooked spaghetti as side dish, mixing heavy cream in several pasta sauces, adding some weird toppings, like ground meet, to pizza.

So, as it was for Indian food, I put in place a research off the beaten tracks in Luxembourg city and about new places, and I came across this intimate corner, opened a bit more than one month ago, La Briscola.

La Briscola was born from the love for authentic raw materials, exceptional wines and regional dishes of four young Italian men, already in Luxembourg with different backgrounds. They put into La Briscola their competencies at various level and the result is a surprising “new kind” of place. I said new kind because I have seen something similar only in Italy – specifically, in Milan. La Briscola started as a restaurant – they offer lunch set menu and a la carte dinner – but it is a meeting point as well after-work, for the “aperitivo”, and after-dinner, mainly over the week-end.

At the beginning I was a bit scared by the location, that, let’s be honest, is not one of the best in town, hidden in a small street off the train station. This – traditionally – is not an area for professional people and expats to go out during the night, but things are definitely starting to change in the last years, with more and more “nice” restaurants and bars taking the place of strip-bars and junkie spots.

Once you enter the door, anyway, you totally forget where you are. La Briscola is probably the perfect example of a place who came out with the “wow” effect, even without an awards winning architect and million of euros spent in lighting and materials (the reference is not a coincidence, indeed).
At the entrance, a cozy area for the after-work, with old barrels, candles, high chairs. The “parquet” and some of the wall decorations are obtained from the restoration of wine boxes. The bar counter occupies the central part of the venue, while, after that, the main dining room opens on the back, with an impressive wine shelf, wooden tables well distanced and a lovely mezzanine, perfect for a romantic date.

I started my evening in the entrance room, on the barrels, with an amiable glass (or maybe two..) of Pinot Noir, that was accompanied by bruschetta prepared with sun-dried tomatoes.

We moved afterwards in the main room – that was quite busy for being a Monday evening: I went for a Smoked Eggplants Flan, with Burrata cheese mousse and Lard d’Arnad as starter, while my friend had Cream of Leeks, Red Potatoes and Crispy Bacon.

As for presentation, as for taste, both dishes were delicious. The combination of flavors of my flan was impressive: it mixed perfectly the smoked note of the aubergines, with the sweetness of the cheese and the roundness of the cold cut. The balance was impeccable as well under the quantity point of view.
The soup was similarly enjoyable: a bit thick, but not through artificial additions nor useless cream, with the bacon compensating perfectly leeks sugary taste, in a pungent final crunch.

In the middle we were offered some yummy Truffle cheese to taste.

As for main, I chose the Paccheri with Duck Sauce and Quince: the pasta was “al dente”, as I love it, the duck sauce intense but mitigated by the apples – that you can barely feel at the end – and with a persistent, amazing perfume of rosemary that pervaded the dish. The other main we ordered was the Rabbit ‘alla Cacciatora’: I supposed I might have not been honest, as rabbit is one of the best dishes my grandmother prepares, indeed this was one was one of the closest in taste I ever tried. It was soft, savory, intensive. A dish I would definitely take myself next time at La Briscola.

We accompanied our dinner with a Vertigo – Felluga and concluded, after an amazing Millefoglie to share, with a glass (or maybe two…) of Grappa Barricata Le Diciotto Lune.

The final bill read 97 Eur, rounded to 80 Eur. Incredibly fair for what we have had.

After the pictures of my dinner, find, as usual, my conclusive impressions.

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What I loved about La Briscola:

  • The Location: substantially different from the usual “Italian style” restaurants in town, intimate, cozy, full of small details cared in the particular, in the middle between a posh wine bar and an informal regional restaurant.
  • The Food: the selection of raw materials and the composition of the menu is impressive. This is the kind of place where you would like to try everything that is on the carte. Portions are fair, presentation accurate and tastes unforgettable.
  • The Service: being a Monday evening the entire restaurant was under one person, who anyway served all the tables precisely, taking his time to explain dishes and wines and to talk with clients. Well done.

What I liked a bit less about La Briscola:

  • As clearly emerged from the review, I loved the place and I cannot wait to come back. If I have to find something to improve, it will definitely be the restroom area. Nothing wrong with it, but considering how well the restaurant and bar parts are set, I would have definitely expected some more care in the details.

In conclusion: La Briscola for me was one of the greatest discovery so far in 2017 and stepped already on the top of my favorite Italian restaurants in Luxembourg – together with Giallo -. The place is perfect for an informal dinner with friends, for a business talk or for a romantic date – book the mezzanine, in this case! Bonus point: you can just stop by for a quick glass of wine after-work and a shared charcuterie platter.

 

 

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.

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.

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 🙂

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.

 

Cineast presents Estalgia Party: the Life in the Eastern Block during the Socialist Times

CinEast is an annual film festival dedicated to present different kind of movies from Eastern and Central European countries.
The festival takes place in autumn and the program includes not only screenings but also a variety of different concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events promoting the life and traditions of the Eastern and Central Europe.

One of the events I participated in was called Estalgia party, which main idea behind was to combine a film screening with music, food and a quiz about the Eastern European history. The organizers had reserved Rotondes in Bonnevoie and the venue was already quite crowded when I came to pick up my bracelet. The cost of the event bracelet was 15 EUR at the door and besides the event program, it included some free shots of liquor and some typical Eastern European food.

I liked the theme of the party and how the staff was also dressed up accordingly. Similarly,  food could be collected with food stamps and the menu was adapted to project the poverty of socialist times. The quiz was a nice idea but unfortunately not everyone could take part of it so easily and the location and table arrangements made a bit difficult to interact with people. I would have liked the quiz to  take less time and have more time to be dedicated to the short films and the actual party with music – maybe an improvement point for next time!

Indeed, overall the atmosphere was really nice and it was easy to mingle around and talk to people. Most visitors that I talked to were either from Eastern/Central Europe or they had lived there for a period of time. A few had come due to pure interest towards movies. Generally my feedback for the event was positive and I was glad that the festival was not only about films but also had the cultural aspect very well integrated. Looking forward to next year Cineast already!

 

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! 

What to do – A girls night out in Luxembourg

My favorite topic, today! Yeah!

So, where do you spend a girls only night in Luxembourg?

A posh night out

Do you know? Dressing up, high-heels, hours on the phone to check each others’ outfit. Whenever you are in your 20s or in your 40s, I am sure, you can relate and you like having a “Sex and the City” time with your girlfriends each and every time.

My favorite places in the city for a high-end girls night out are:

Where to start the night:

  • Le Sud: one of the best terrace in Luxembourg. Amazing service, great choice of drinks, free finger food and complementary tapas platters. If you want to reserve a dinner at the restaurant for a romantic night with your man, nothing forbid you to visit the bar with your BFFs.

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  • Le Royal Piano Bar: since the renovation, finally Le Royal has a modern and trendy attire, ready to welcome your Loubi and enchant you with sweet and sour tastes. Among a wide selection of wines, they offer as well cocktails and various sweet and salted platters to accompany your aperitif.

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Where to have dinner:

  • Brasserie Mansfeld: formal, but in a cool way, the best things about Mansfeld are the refined kitchen, the sophisticated menu choices and the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Enjoy the terrace during the warm evening and go for an oyster platter or the Chateaubriand to share when in doubt.

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  • La Boqueria: everything says luxury in this modern and eclectic Spanish restaurant in Kirchberg, but the greatest thing is that the food is as well as delicious. Whenever you decide to dine at the Tapas stage upstairs or at the restaurant (highly recommended), they will be able to delight your palate with intense suggestions (don’t miss the crema catalana to conclude your meal!).

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Where to end up the night:

  • Octans: a posh gem hidden in the Old Town street, Octans welcome you in a jazzy and luxury dark atmosphere. The perfect place to enjoy a well-prepared cocktail: you can go classic or ask for a suggestion. The barmen will definitely be able to surprise you and your girlfriends with amazing preparations. Check out their Facebook page to get more info: from time to time they organize special evenings with dress-up code or live music that are a perfect occasion for a night out with girls!

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  • Boos Beach Club: another old good favorite in Luxembourg that changed completely its style – for better! – after the recent renovation. A Los Angeles resembling decor, lights, stylish barmen and barmaids and a great level of service, the Boos is no more a place for kids. Reserve a table in the VIP area to enjoy the last part of the night as a princess together with your girlfriends. Amazing music and good-looking guests 🙂

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Mid-Budget

Where to start the night:

  • Dipso the wine republic: the only negative point about Dipso is that you might end up queuing to get a table during pick hours. Everything else, it makes it just one of the best places in town for after-work hours. Cool atmosphere, kind service, wide choice of wines, delicious food platters to share and a very fair bill to conclude. Perfect for absorbing chats with your girlfriends – and if you are single, watch out, great place as well for men spotting 😛

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  • Café-Torino: recently opened in the “quiet” area of the city center, just few steps from LV boutique, Cafe’ Torino has already jumped in my personal preferences for happy hour. The reasons? An outstanding service, the delicious free platter for the aperitif and the great choice of Italian wines and cocktails prepared by Elio. Take advantages of the sunny days to seat on the terrace.

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Where to have dinner:

  • Beim Siggy: the amazing view should be alone a reason to visit Beim Siggy. But, next to that, you have a tasty and various brasserie French cuisine, with Luxembourgish influences, a refreshing service and a wine list among the best in town for quality/price.

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  • Mamacita: the greatest place in town to spice up your night, Mamacita is just perfect if you want to have some good food to accompany your tequila shots. For a loud night with your girl squads, this is indeed a very recommended place and you are just close to the Luxembourg movida.

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Where to end up your night
:

  • Gotenmy long-time favorite bar in Luxembourg, it is a place not to miss in whatsoever celebration in town. Strategically located in the middle of “where everything happens” in Luxembourg, offer you a smiling service, heated benches on the outdoor terrace and the best Gin selection in Luxembourg. Get ready for a people watching 🙂

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  • Café’ Des Capucinslocated in a cozy courtyard in the very city centre, Cafe’ Des Capucins offers you a cosmopolitan background to enjoy your evening with the girls out of the chaos of the Old Town. A lovely heated terrace, a modern interior design, a great choice of cocktails and gins and nice people around. Watch our their FB page for events, while the atmosphere could be quite calm some days, on Wednesday and Friday night, the evenings are inflamed by cool DJs and you can let your hair down and dance.

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On a Budget/ Informal

Where to start the night:

  • Paname: with a very fresh and young ambiance and glasses of wine starting from 4.5 euro, the new Paname bar, in the station area, is a lovely place to get into the night. Professionals just out of works are mixed with local people. The atmosphere can be busy, but the amazing cocktails are worth a try – and in the confusion, it is definitely easier getting to know new people.

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  • Barrels: the elder brother of the Hitch proposes a classier atmosphere, an older guest list, a reasonable and wide choice of wines and platters to share with your girlfriends. A fair alternative if you dont’ want to have a proper dinner or if you want to nibble something and have a chat before going out, just few steps from the city centre and with the Glacis in front where you can park your car easily.

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Where to have dinner

  • I Quattro Mori: a bit out of the usual “going out area”, in the Hollerich neighborhood, I Quattro Mori is definitely one of the best Italian restaurant in town for Italian people. The food offer is various: from tasty pizza to amazing fish courses prepared in pure Sardinia style. The location is tiny, minimal and very cozy, perfect to share a bottle of Vermentino with your girlfriends before going out.

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  • Bosso: if you want to be in a party atmosphere already at dinner time, there is no better place than Bosso, in the fairy tale settings of Grund. The place is very warm and characteristic, the service smiling and informal and the cuisine offers several different alternatives, including vegetarian. Prices, above all, are among the fairest in town, for the quality of what you get and over the week-end you might want to stop after eating for a couple of shots as well. Lastly, during the warm season, enjoy its lovely terrace.

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Where to end up your night:

  • Rotondes: The Rotondes is the first reason because I miss living in Bonnevoie. It was so nice stepping out from my flat and getting there in less than 2 minutes! Still – if you are looking for an informal place where to have a chat or some dance moves with your besties I would definitely recommend not to miss it. Casual, with a great service and a terrace that is worth alone the visit, Rotondes is my favorite place for a low key date. And they have so  many events in the calendar – check our their FB page to learn about DJ sets and live music nights. Bonus point: the photo-booth at the entrance where to take some paper memories of your girls night out.

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  • Rocas: if you don’t want to dress up for your night out and you don’t care about fancy cocktail glasses, but just about good music and enjoying your time, Rocas is the place to be. Two floors with different music over week-ends and special events during the week, including quiz night and live session, small prices and a very informal atmosphere.

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What are your favorite places for a girls night out in Luxembourg? Add yours in the comment!

 

 

Family Sunday lunch at Le Sud, Luxembourg city

Thanks to the Monday off for public holiday, my parents, my sister and my brother-in-law came to visit us for a short break. Except for the weather, that has been truly cold and grey, they have been some funny and intense days.

As soon as my parents confirmed their visit, I booked our Sunday lunch at my favourite place in the City, Le Sud in Clausen. If you are following my blog, you know I am not very easy in “the best” judgement. I tend to be very prudent – in one sense or in the other. Anyway – if people ask me what is my preferred place in the city, among those I have tried, I would definitely say Le Sud – for a combination of unique factors. I love their sophisticated French cuisine – nothing too extravagant, but these classic numbers with a unique style. I love their service – if you are a regular or a new comers you are always welcome with a smile. I love the settings of the restaurant – again, this French style combined with the featuring of the old beer factory in Clausen. Bonus point: the terrace and the bar upstairs, where you can have your aperitif or after-work drinks to launch or conclude your night.

Last Sunday, we got to the restaurant around 12.30 and were welcomed at the wardrobe on the ground floor. We moved upstairs and we were assigned a lovely table near the windows – from one of them you can clearly see the Cathedral top. A copy of the menu, without the prices as for my request, was placed on the table. On Sunday you have a fixed menu option, with one amuse-bouche, one starter, a choice between two mains, cheese selection and dessert.

We had a pleasant glass of cremant to start, followed by a creamy egg with truffle bread and then by a salmon tartare. As main I went for the tuna fish – while most of my family decided for the lamb -, cheese trolley and a delicious chocolate macaron with pear sorbet. We accompanied the lunch with a bottle of Saint-Aubin, the boys had as well a glass of red with the meat, and finally another glass of red with the cheese. We went upstairs for our coffee that was served with a lovely selection of sweets.

Scroll after the picture for my impressions.




Things I loved about Le Sud:

  • This was my first time at Le Sud for lunch and I was not deluded. The ambience is relaxed but animated and you don’t feel the urge to dress up like in the evening. On the other side, the service and the kitchen are at the same level: outstanding.
  • Food is just perfect to me: you must like the tasty atmosphere of French cuisine, truffle, cheese… If you are looking for a light hipster option, Le Sud is not for your. It is very baroque in all its details and this is one of the reasons because I love it.
  • We have been guided through our lunch menu in the details. My sister asked for having her tuna fish well-done as she doesn’t like it raw and she has been proposed an alternative. We were given perfect timing in-betweens dishes and wines suggestions have been great.
  • The menu itself is a “simple” 54 euro for Sunday lunch – considering we have spent the same amount in lower level packed touristic places in the city centre where only regulars are treated well and for the same price you get one starter and one overcooked main. Definitely to me a perfect combination quality price.

Things I did not like about Le Sud:

  • I definitely don’t like I cannot afford going there each and every Sunday and each and every week end, as I would love to 🙂 Seriously, it is really hard for me to find a negative point – there are no. I would like people to visit their terrace bar more – you are not obliged to stay for the meal and the price is not different from other poshy bars in the city centre – plus a better service. It would be nice to see it a bit more crowded.

To conclude: while for dinner I reserve Le Sud for a date night or a special celebration, on Sunday lunch it is perfect for family gathering and sophisticated friends’ meal. Quality is exceptional, service amazing and you are in one of the most amazing restaurant rooms in the city centre. Totally worth the price.