L’Assiette Champenoise, Reims. An unforgettable experience.

During our Duke’s break in the Champagne region (detailed post to follow), we decided to spoil ourselves and finally visiting a 3-stars Michelin restaurant. I was also able to convince hubby to join, as he is definitely not a fan of the gastronomic cuisine, but he will be after that.

L’Assiette Champenoise is located just outside Reims, in a wonderful park, in the same complex of the hotel. We had a drink in the patio before starting the dinner and the modernity of the details was there perfectly combined with the style of the villa. I loved the lamps in the garden and the chairs were so comfortable you don’t want to leave.

Everything was perfect. We started with a glass of champagne accompanied by some cheese cakes and moving inside for dinner, in a lovely table in the middle of the room with the garden behind us, we went for the surprise tasting menu with champagne accord.

Nothing really to describe: it is impossible to explain the taste of certain dishes if you haven’t tried them. The combination of tastes was awesome, a plat could look like “simple” but then exploding in your mouth in a rainbow of aromas. Amazing. I loved the lobster, the celery mousse with caviar, the tempura artichoke.

Service was outstanding as well. Glasses were never empty, menu explained in details in English (for me) and French (for hubby), we had the time to enjoy this special moment till the very end, while having a cognac in the garden with a cover for the fresh breeze.

The chef came to our table to welcome us and at the end to check that everything was fine. We left with our printed personalized menu and a bag of fresh bread. Nothing more you could really be asked to a restaurant experience. I hope we could have dinner like this one more often, really.

Some pictures of our dinner follow.
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Birthday Dinner at Le Bouquet Garni, Luxembourg

Uff! Even if I pretend to be young, I needed some days to recover from the last birthday week end – after three days of partying I still feel a bit blurred.

On Friday night, that was actually the day of my birthday, my husband booked a table at Le Bouquet Garni. Even if I love French restaurants, we never had a chance to visit this one during our pretty long stay in Luxembourg.

The restaurant is located in the area called “Ilot Gastronomique“, in the Old Town, just behind the Grand Duke Palace. It has preserved traditional settings of the area – stone walls, timbers on view, old furniture. We were welcome in a small entrance and accompanied to our table. The restaurant has different rooms on the two floors and our table was indeed on the first one – just next to the window overlooking the back of the Palais. My husband loved the fireplace, the table was quite big for two persons and the distance with other guests more than appropriate.

There are two menu choices: a menu for 40 euro (starter, main, dessert), with brasserie imprint, and a more gastronomic one for 72 euro (again, starter, main, dessert). Both have several choices between fish and meat, plus there is the possibility to upgrade the second menu to four dishes for 85 euro.

We had a glass of champagne rose’ as aperitif – on the table there were olives and nuts to enjoy – and we went for the “Menu Selection”: cauliflower welcome from the chef, lobster as starter, sole a la “bonne femme” (with mussels and shrimps) as main and moelleux au chocolat as dessert. We accompanied the dinner with a bottle of Chablis Gran Cru.
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 photo 9ca588c8-ba0a-4838-aadb-69691aad4282_zpsqhvumuel.jpgThings I loved about the night:
– The sole and the chocolate cake were just perfect. Amazing combination of tastes, fair portions, great raw materials quality. The sole was accompanied by potatoes mousse that was just delicious, while the dessert was also composed by a yummy fruit sorbet. I am still dreaming about both.
– The service and the settings were great: I really appreciate some distance between tables, the timing of the dinner was almost great, we did not wait too much but it was not even too fast. The bottle of wine was next our table but we were always served by the waiter and our glasses were never empty.
– The two menu choices are perfect if you are coming for a dinner with friends – and therefore don’t want to splash the cash – or for a special occasion – like we did. All the dishes were appealing and the portions look correct for the price.
– The location is really romantic and perfect for a tete-a-tete.

Things I did not really love about the night:
– Overpriced aperitif (and drinks). As said, we ordered a glass of champagne rose’. I have been to the most expensive restaurants in Luxembourg and normally the maximum we paid was 18 euros (with an average of 13/15 euro). The champagne was billed 26 euro per glass – 52 euro for two glasses (!!!!). As it was a blind choice – the waiter asked us if we wanted an aperitif, so we did not have any list in front of us – I really think it was too much. Skip the aperitif if you don’t want bad surprises. Drinks had a pretty high recharge as well – 9 euro for the water, 4 euro each for espresso but in line with other similar restaurants, French wines starting from 40 euro and upgrading very fast. No Italian white wines below 100 euros. What is the sense then of having a 40 euro menu if you are going to spend the double for water, coffee and wine?
– The lobster of the starter was great, but was accompanied by a light sauce that was made only of vinegar. We were provided a spoon and when I tasted the bisque I was almost disgusted. The lobster alone indeed was very good.
– Service a bit worst at the end of the dinner, when the dessert was taken to the table we were still finishing our last glass of wine. We had a very dry wine, so I would have loved to take a sweet glass with the cake. In this way we ended up not finishing our wine and not ordering anything else. We had also to ask the waiter to wait couple of minutes to serve the coffee as he seemed a bit under pressure for made us leaving – it was not even 11 pm, so not so late and we were not the last table.

In conclusion: we had a lovely dinner. We will come back for sure, maybe to try the brasserie menu, as the settings are perfect for a romantic dinner, but please remember total price is escalating fast with the drinks – so still recommended for a special occasion and not for a “I don’t want to cook” night 😛

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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