New Year, Julio Cevicheria, Luxembourg

Well, let’s see how to start: first of all, happy new year! 2017 has been a great one for our blog – we have now a second editor, Jenni, who is helping me out with the events and interviews. We held our first blog party. We were part of the jury of Luxembourg Night Life Awards, we are writing for Easy-jet magazine and much more. Unfortunately, under the personal point of view, it was a pretty tough year for me and I realize the frequency of the posts were influenced by the ups and downs of my life. I hope 2018 will be a even better year for the blog but that we will be as well able to entertain you with more frequent updates!

So, before the end of the year, I moved in with bf and in my favorite area of the city – Place de Paris. You could have seen it coming 🙂 I happily realized there are more and more places opening in the neighborhood and the first one I tried was the brand new Julio Cevicheria. I was complaining with some friends already some months ago about the fact that an exotic and innovative cuisine that is the hype abroad did not yet have much space in the Luxembourg scenario. So, here we go, finally a new Peruvian restaurant in the city!

Since it opens, I have been to Julio Cevicheria three or four times, mainly for drinks, so I can tell you a bit more about my experience.

The place has a very low profile introduction on the street: just a steep staircase on the end part of Avenue de la Liberte toward the station. Downstairs, it is basically another story. A first main room with tall tables and armchairs separated by the bar on side and the dining room. Bright colors, naked tables, pictures on the walls. A separated VIP room – for private dining and parties – at the very end and, surprise, a lovely terrace on the back. The place is huge!

We actually went there just for a quick after-work but we decided then to eat as well something. We ordered Pisco Sour, the house cocktail, and I loved it (in fact I had four, LOL). We chose then Loaded potato with Beef, Nachos Peruanos, Fish and Octopus Chicharrones Tapa and Tapa Iberica (Ham & Cheese).

Everything was exceptionally good: I loved in particular the chicharrones with octopus, it was my favorite finger food of the night!

Some pictures of our informal dinner at Julio Cevicheria followed by my general impressions.


What I loved about Julio Cevicheria:

  • The place is amazing and it is already one of my new favorite. I adore the cocktails – last night I ordered as well a Mojito Passion Fruit and it is full of flavors! Pisco Sour is also perfect to combine with the finger food, that might be a bit greasy somehow.
  • The food is yummy: large choice, from finger food to salads, from vegetarian to fish, and several of the dishes have different size possible (for example for chicharrones you have tapas size, starter size and dish to share size). I particularly appreciate this formula as not always you might want to have a full dinner. As said before, the chicharrones with Octopus were my favorite bites so far, but I look forward to have also main courses that looked very tasty.
  • The service is great: Julio Cevicheria is just a place where you enter and you feel home and you are greeted, first or 10th visit, as you are one of the family. A plaudit to the great team, from the barman who are checking if you are fine with the taste of your drink during the night, to the lovely lady who is taking care of your dinner and introduced us to the Peruvian food.

What I liked a bit less about Julio Cevicheria:

  • I liked everything, without exceptions. If you want to be picky, the service is Mediterranean style, so at dinner time not the place if you are in a rush. Also, during the two times I have been there for dinner, some items on the menu were not available – but in fact it is because all ingredients are fresh and very requested items might get sold out over week-end.

To sum up: I have a new favorite place in town and it is Julio Cevicheria. It is the perfect location for a drink and some finger food or as well for a Peruvian dinner. The location is lovely and the service is one of the best I’ve ever had in town. It is strongly recommended for business outing, family celebrations and date nights.

 

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.

L’Entracte, Strassen, Luxembourg

On Monday night we visited to the newly-opened Christmas market at the Grund. The space is really limited compared to the one in the very city center, half a dozen stands, but the atmosphere is really cozy, calmer and more relaxed. I really like the Christmas Market in town, but during pick-hours it might be a bit frustrating having a walk around 🙂

After couple of hot wines, we wanted to have some typical food but the temperature was definitely not helping, being still with office clothes, so we decided to change the plans and move to a warmer place. We fancied some cheese dish similar to the ones you can have at the market, but apparently on Monday night it was pretty difficult to find a place open (Edelweiss in Bridel and the Swiss Chalet at Sobogusto are closed).

At the end we decided to try L’Entracte restaurant in Strassen. I was at the one in the city center couple of years ago and it was an horrible experience, the ugliest tourist trap I’ve found myself in in ages.

The restaurant in Strassen is located on the main Route D’Arlon, just a block before Belle Etoile mall. The decorations are informal but cozy and the atmosphere at the entrance was nice.

After a brief wait, we were allocated on a nice table on the back room – the restaurant at 9 pm was almost empty, only a big table in our same room – and handled the menu.

We went straight to the traditional raclette and a bottle of Montepulciano, that unfortunately was not available, so we moved to a South-West French wine.

Some pictures of our dinner and my personal impressions.

What I liked about L’Entracte:

  • The raclette was OMG: cheese was super nice, melting perfectly and the sides were pretty good as well – we had potatoes, mixed cold cuts, salad and bread – and well presented. The quantity is fair and the quality of the food was definitely premium.
  • The menu offers several appealing choices, including cheese fondue (also with mushrooms), mixed raclette, pierrade and a good choice of meat dishes.
  • Except for the quite long wait at the entrance, the service was nice. Our waitress came to check on us couple of times to see if we were fine and we were left finishing our dinner even if we were the last clients and it was closing time. As we had only raclette,coffee and wine, we were offered on the bill a bottle of water we took.

What I liked less about L’Entracte:

  • As said, the food was good and the portion fair, but still I had the impression we slightly overpaid our dish. The traditional raclette was 29 euro per person (and you can order for a minimum of 2) as well as the fondue, couple of euro more than most of other places in Luxembourg, located in fancier settings. On the wine list as well, cheapest wines were starting around 30 euro and there was no “house wine” option. Having a full dinner, with starter or dessert, a more decent wine compared to the one we took and some further drinks, will bring the bill to an amount not very aligned to the kind of location.

In conclusion: Our raclette dinner at L’Entracte in Strassen was a bit pricey but nice. I will definitely come back to try as well as the fondue, as the cheese was delicious and the service lovely. As the restaurant is quite big and informal, I would definitely recommend it for friends gathering and office dinners.