Tailors Concept Restaurant, Luxembourg City

Here we go! I am closing my busy season at work and coming back at full-time blogging with probably the least expected review yet. If you are following the Facebook page of the blog you are aware of the background – and, if not, you can find the post somewhere there.

You know, I never stop at the first bad experience – I have at least a dozen before I can feel satisfied. This happens with restaurants – and with men, definitely. How bad someone can be, I should have at least couple of sips of it, I am not happy otherwise. I am the queen of disappointments and the favorite target of my friends “I told you”.

With the “no same day reservation” in my mind, I decided to book quite in advance at Tailors Concept for dinner. Look guys, just to be transparent: this review refers fully to my restaurant experience. My repulsion for the idea about having to reserve in advance for drinks is still pretty strong – even if I am not ruling out the possibility that I will try also the Speakeasy at some point in the future.

Now. We got at the restaurant around 7ish. It is located in the prime heart of Limpertsberg, this sepia tones, residential landscape, in a quiet, still postcard. You walk the door of a suits shop, tailor-made, where you can just have a glimpse of people, seated. If you didn’t know this was a restaurant, you would have expected them to be business men discussing on the couch of the shop, while waiting to have their measurements taken.

The restaurant area is dominated by a huge wooden counter and the atmosphere is extremely old fashion – I love it. I am feeling like getting into a movie, where suddenly I am not wearing my Isabel Marant dress anymore, but a midi, wide skirt and a fascinator and my boss is changing into a charming man with moustache (no, not the one you are thinking of, thanks).

We are taken to our table and ordered an aperitif – went for bubbles, as we were celebrating the closing of the season. Shortly after, we were given the menu, that is pretty wide and offers a dish for almost every taste – raw fish, including oysters, pasta, an astonishing selection of meat -.

As I normally do when I visit for the first time a restaurant with so much on the plate – not just metaphorically – I went for the tasting menu. There are two versions, a shorter one – mainly meat based – and a longer one – mainly fish based. This solution to me is an excellent one for couple of reasons: you have the possibility to try more than two dishes (starter and main) and it is also great if you are in-between some choices. Also, in the tasting menu, you normally have smaller portions, that it is also positive if you end up not liking something – so you don’t have a full dish to finish in front of you. And, lastly, I would expect that tasting menu to be a “best of”, so the greatest expression of the chef, perfect to understand – or at least try to – its philosophy.

We had a first welcome from the chef composed by a cheese gauffre, panzanella and foie gras. Cappuccino of cod and Croissant. King Crab Salad. Cappellacci with Prawns. Risotto with Prawns, Cacio e Pepe, Lime. Cod with tomato, olives, capers, garlic. Mini-pastries with ricotta & red berry and cannoli with Marsala. A sweet bread to share with vanilla butter, bitter orange jam and zabaione cream.

We closed with two espresso – accompanied by some more sweets (salted chocolate and chocolate truffle).

Total bill read 296 Euro, of which 85 each were for the menu, 64 Euro for a bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse we had over dinner, 20 euro for two bottles of water and 16 eur/19 eur for the champagne glasses.

Pictures of my dinner at Tailors Concept, followed by my impressions – there’s always a pause when the jury goes out to consider its verdict*.

(I apologies for the quality of the pictures, that it is even worst than my usual shitty ones, but unfortunately the restaurant has very dark lights and being with my boss I could not stretch around having her to wait and giving out my second life as a blogger..).


*This is only a quotation from the favorite scene of my favorite movie. If you comment and get it, I will give away couple of invitations for Luxembourg Nightlife Awards night – just as I don’t like the boring “post and re-post” giveaway and I am not your usual blogger 🙂 Competition is open till end of September 2019.

What I loved about Tailors Concept:

  • I loved the atmosphere. As said, you feel like you are getting into a costume drama and you expect Colin Firth to walk by at any second with a walking stick and a top hat. I loved the idea of the restaurant hidden behind a shop – even if in Luxembourg secrets are easily out – and I loved the interior design of the place – reminding me easily the great times in the blue Bob Bob Ricard booths, in a modern, restored Orient Express.
  • Food was lit. I am being honest saying that my expectations were not set high, as some of my best friends did not have great experiences there. But, jez, happy for once we had different opinions in food and not only in men. I was flabbergasted. Some dishes were definitely better than the other – I loved the cappellacci, on the other side the crab was fine but not memorable. But what surprised me most was the bravery about some mix and matches, as some dishes – the risotto and the cod cappuccino for example – were so over the edge to almost digress into arrogance. Well, that limit has been well touched but never crossed over. Like taken out the courage to stick out almost to the limit of the ravine to admire the best of the gorge. I think we had the best in those dishes, and the combination between the cheese, the lime and the prawns in the risotto was almost divine – and strong, you have to consider that.
  • Service was definitely fine. Actually I did not want to include this point, but I received couple of messages from followers pointing out that the service there for them was superficial and rude. I did not experience that. Actually the service was on point, on the casual side – that is definitely my favorite option, between a posh service and an “Italian” style one – well, you know what I mean… Moreover, I have to add, that both our credit cards got declined – this will request another post, so stay tuned – and they were so nice to prepare us an invoice to pay the day after. So – really, nothing to complain.

What I liked a bit less about Tailors Concept:

  • The place is not cheap definitely and it is not the kind of place you just walk by when you don’t want to cook – and you cannot, as you have to reserve in advance 😛
    Still, the price for our menu of 5 courses plus several bites was definitely appropriate and I did not feel at all that I overpaid – well, actually I felt the price of the menu was a steal compared to what we had. A la carte, it might be a slightly different discussion, but still I would personally prefer paying the prime for eating here than giving away 25 Euro for eating a pizza – good and everything, but still pizza – few blocks down.
  • Having confirmed that for me the price is not an issue at Tailors as you get what you pay for, I would say that for me the downsides were only two: first one is the recurring one of my reviews – tables being so f*ck*ng close. We were definitely lucky yesterday as the restaurant was not packed, so the table next to us was empty. I was also with my boss, so I did not care if the people next to me would have listened to our debt restricting plan for Ireland or for my next Turkish trip. Still, it would have been less pleasant if I was out on a date – also because most of my recent dates ended up in a fight LOL – so not pleasant for our neighbors. As said, this is a recurring issue in Luxembourg, so nothing new here.
  • Lastly, I really would have expected a better wine card. I know that the place is famous for cocktails, but I would have really liked to have a wider choice, in line with the amazing food we had. As wine is important part of my preference for a restaurant or the other, I would say this might be the only blocking point for me to come back soon.

In conclusion, as I felt this review took ages to be over and I digressed quite a bit, I loved the food at Tailors Concept and I loved the place. Food is sophisticated and, for some side, subversive. It is the perfect place for a business dinner and if you feel like splurging for a special occasion. Atmosphere is lovely and service informal.

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Les Jardins D’Anais, Clausen, Luxembourg

Some days ago I was about to publish this article related to Les Jardins D’Anais – it was pending from the end of the summer and it was finally ready to go. As indeed I have already planned and booked to come back there next week, I decided still to keep it on hold and to go ahead with other reviews, to add some more pictures and a more detailed description. In the meanwhile, the restaurant has been awarded with its first Michelin star, so I changed the plan and decided it was a good moment to talk about my experience there.

Over summer, I was lacking inspiration for places for taking visitors when, suddenly, the opening of Les Jardins D’Anais came to rescue me – thanks Marco for the suggestion!

The place is not totally new: the location, in fact, is the same than the old Les Jardins du President and, then, Maho, just a short walk from Rives de Clausen.

I used to love its first version, as it reminds me of my arrival in Luxembourg. One of the first company I worked for used to organize very swanky Christmas parties and, at some point, in my earliest years in Luxembourg, one was at Le Jardins du President. I was quite young at the time and so was the silly boy I was dating, who was totally unused to a corporate environment and its rules. So after (more than) couple of drinks – as the open bar was an unexpected experience for him – he was jumping in the middle of the main restaurant room like I would probably do only at 7 am in front of Marco Carola. My colleagues slowly started to leave, including this very old guy who was the companion of one lady in my team. We were seated next to each other over dinner, so my boyfriend retained it was appropriate to say them farewell properly. Boyfriend complained they were “already” leaving and when the guy mentioned the fact he was not young like him, boyfriend replied “tell me the truth, now she (his wife) is tipsy so at least you will have  good f*ck at home tonight”. Wonder they did not catch his Italian humor. I just wanted to disappeared and dragged him to the taxi line without even say bye to the others.

It seems ages passed since that moment. After the period of Maho, that was not my favorite, the location has come back to Le Jardins d’Anais with some significant interior design changes and a more sophisticated, light allure.

I took our lawyer visiting from the US there right at the end of summer, as said – those pretty warm weeks we had and a place with a lovely garden seems to be a perfect bond.

We dined in the veranda – that was a great compromise to enjoy the weather without the night peak in temperatures – and we chose our dishes a la carte – even if the restaurant proposes couple of very nice set-up menus.

I went for the egg and caviar as starter followed by turbot. As it was a business dinner, I did not take pictures of my guest meal, but she had beef filet as main course and, trust me, it looked very tasty.

Pictures of the dinner (mine), followed by my impressions about Les Jardins D’Anais.

 

What I loved about Les Jardins D’Anais:

  • The place is perfect: the structural changes that has been done made it really bright and peaceful – I remember at Maho I had issue to understand what was in my dish as it was too dark. At Les Jardins D’Anais you will not have this issue. The tract I appreciated most is that the ambience is so reserved and quiet you will feel kilometers aways from the noisy of Rives de Clausen. It is a fairy tales’ heaven in the middle of the city.
  • Food was just wow. I am not in the position nor I have the knowledge to say more than what the Guide Michelin has already said, but I appreciated in particular the complex composition of dishes, all made by different textures, perfectly combined. I also liked very much that tastes were really light, perfectly balanced, soft.
  • Service is in line with the ambience and cannot be differently. We felt pampered the all night since the first step into the restaurant – just to mention one small detail: I went out to have a phone call in-between courses and the waiter accommodated me at a table in the garden and went even inside to take my glass of wine.
  • Lastly, they have an amazing wine list – that to me is a quite important detail -. We had a remarkable Barolo and my guest was amazed by the whole dinner experience.

Nothing to note on the downsides, our dinner was to remember. Still, I was happy it was a business dinner as with 4 glasses of Champagne, 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 bottle of Barolo, 2 coffee, we hit almost the 400 Eur bill – said that, the Barolo was also the pricey part.

In conclusion: I am very glad Les Jardins D’Anais was awarded with its first Michelin star. My experience there was delightful and I look forward to come back next week. The place is very calm, bright and heavenly, even if just in the middle of the city. The food proposal, ca va sans dire, is amazing and it is perfect for a business dinner, a romantic date or a special celebration. During summer, the garden is definitely an unbeatable asset.

 

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.