Great tapas on a budget: El Companero, Luxembourg

El Companero was one of the first place I visited when I arrived in Luxembourg. The restaurant at that time was still located near rue du Cure and having dining and dancing space in the same, large room. I have so many confusing memories related to those nights and actually I was not a fan when they moved in the Ilot Gastronomique, as I think the kind of restaurant El Companero is was not and will not be the same of others in that part of the city.

But I am still visiting the place and I also partied there my birthday some years ago. Actually I consider it an nice place, where you want to go for a quick and easygoing dinner and if you don’t want to splurge for the classic three-courses Luxembourgish menu. You can either have food at the restaurant on the first floor or on the cocktail bar basement – definitely the best if you are coming too early or too late.
My personal recommendations: Go Tapas and Caipirina (or Sangria) like a pro 🙂

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The tapas mixed platter is hugeeeee. The quality is fair enough (nothing haute cuisine) but will fill you up before a night out. Tropical cocktails (if you plan not to drink too much) and Sangria (if you share a pitcher with your companions) are the right drink choices and the best in the area. If you wish to upgrade your dinner, add a mixed Jamon and Queso (ham and cheese) platter.

Note also that if you are vegetarian or vegan, they have numerous choices for your appetite –  not extremely healthy, as most of the food is deep fried, but still.
Personally, I am not a fan of the main courses here – above all if you want to cut your bill – but they could be an option for some.

I also tend to recommend El Companero if you are a large group and want to have fun, as the atmosphere is definitely not formal and you can just move downstairs for a dance after dinner!

 

House 17 Dinner & The Yacht Week Launch Party

I had the perfect Saturday: early clock, work-out, some shopping (got some sky-high heels from Nando Muzi that I cannot stop contemplating 😛 ), hairdresser appointment.

Saturday night was also great: we got the invitation for the Yacht Week Launch Party. The party took place at House 17 and, considering it was one of the last week-end the club was open for non-members, we decided to book a table at the restaurant to have a final try before requesting the membership.

Our reservation was at 9.00 pm but our guests were a bit late, so we decided to start with couple of drinks.

I had the salmon starter and the sole as main course, Patricia same starter than me and half-cooked tuna fish with kiwi sauce, her husband poached egg with ham and Angus beef, hubby egg as well with beef steak. The dishes were anticipated by a small welcome from the chef.
We girls went for a bottle of Chablis while lads stayed with red and we concluded with coffee before going up for the party.

Curious about after dinner impressions? Scroll down after the pictures.  photo 82089eaa-40cc-47d2-b3d4-8a667c4aecaf_zpskzlqlhfc.jpg  photo e1d99723-7cbb-42be-865a-02f5353e00ba_zpswd7pvb4c.jpg  photo e6f9d7f3-ce66-4618-8692-ca36e0e6e71c_zpsdbjshj7h.jpg  photo d4a4ceed-368a-494f-be00-9c18b5806d2b_zpsfebjerer.jpg  photo b6508f48-2088-49fe-9afb-7036e4a895cb_zps5igldotj.jpg  photo 44cc0ec9-949b-47e3-b7ac-3f478bc12b53_zpsidmifsb2.jpg photo 858ac8dc-bf26-4c41-99f2-27d5e1ef80d2_zpsrtyavocj.jpg Things I loved about the restaurant:

– The atmosphere is just perfect. I think this one of the first place in Luxembourg where I found a kind of ambient that perfectly suits a Saturday night fresh dinner. You know what I mean? Something that you would find in a big city abroad, not too old-fashioned like most of the fancy restaurants in Luxembourg, formal but not trapped in a plaster cast. Relaxed lights, great table settings, sweet background music, correct distance between tables. Just lovely.
– Dishes were extremely good. The combination of my salmon starter was great – I even appreciated the beetroot jelly – even if I would have preferred the salmon sliced a bit thinner. The sole was also delicious. Perfect cooking, portions were really fine as, after two dishes, I was feeling really full for taking a dessert.
– Cocktails are to die for. Hubby had a mojito – and he is not normally a fan – and said it was great.

Thing I loved a little bit less about the restaurant:

– I asked for an aperitif suggestion and I was told: wine, champagne, usual cocktails… As cocktails are such great here, I would have expected they had a house cocktail to suggest. I stayed with my usual Hendricks.
– Amuse-bouche was yummy – but was prepared with meat. As two of us at the table ordered only fish for the entire dinner, it would have been great to differentiate also the welcome.
– I ordered oysters as initial starter – as during the aperitif I was seeing these huge dishes passing by and I was dreaming of them – and, after a while, I was told they were over. Same thing for the wine choice, we ordered a Saint-Aubin as white one and the waiter came back saying they don’t have it anymore. Sad. Better advise the client before he/she is going for the wrong choice and would be deluded.
– As general feeling, service was a bit inattentive: we had to ask for the bread, my first single glass of wine arrived kind of 5 minutes later of those of others at the table, before the coffee nobody was monitoring the room so I had to get up to ask for the bill as we wanted to move up soon.
It was nothing too bad honestly – our dinner was great and we will definitely come back soon, but as the bill is not inexpensive maybe some small improvements would be highly appreciated.

As said, after the dinner we moved to the third floor bar for the Yacht Week party. It was crowded, great atmosphere as well, we met friends and we had a blast. It was long time we were not spending such great Saturday evening – and for sure it was clear when we woke up hangover on Sunday morning 🙂  photo 4d647b54-50fb-4bd9-8480-78a3c3ce6af3_zpsasqkmsww.jpg

Saturday night: Brasserie Mansfeld in Clausen & Melusina

We had (finally) a busy Saturday schedule last week end and I woke up early for my work out at the gym before relaxing a bit and getting ready.

We passed by Melusina, where everything was set for Januar party, hosted by Un Monde Merveilleux, in collaboration with Janette,  Rosport and Luxuriant. The idea was super cool: fashion shows, exhibitions, artistic performances. Unluckily, our timing was totally wrong as we arrived before the start of the shows and the only thing we could do was admiring the cool white-inspired settings and having a couple of drinks.
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Lately, we booked at Brasserie Mansfeld. The restaurant used to be one of my favorite when I arrived in Luxembourg, the one where we were always going for special celebrations. The closure, couple of years ago, came for us out of the blue and we were really glad when they open again, just few months ago.

There have been some restructuring works that preserved the original building structure but changed a bit the space settings, in a positive way. Now there is only one main dining room – upstairs – and the downstairs space is transformed in a soft lighted lounge, in a similar style – if you have been there in the past, you probably remember that the room at the entrance was more baroque while the upstairs one had a very modern style, so the mood of your night was basically depending on which room you had been placed to.

We were welcome by the new owner, Mr. Zang, and accompanied to our table, isolated on the balcony. The menu has some new inspirations, like the dining formula at set price, 40 euro for starter and main, 49 for including also the dessert. The “Mansfeld classic” dishes for two – Chateaubriand, Sole, Cote de Boeuf, just to mention some, are still on the list and they added some nice platters to share.

Before starting we received a welcome from the chef, a savory amuse bouche composed of salmon mousse.

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We went for an Italian dish to share, a delicious platter that combined charcuterie, grilled vegetables and paned mozzarella, and that was super yummy together with the lovely home-made bread, and we continued with the Chateaubriand. We took 2 portions for 500 gr each (you can either choose the 700 gr), they were presented already on the plat together with exquisite Bernese sauce and potatoes. The only thing that deluded us a bit was the fact that, in the past, the Chateaubriand was always taken to the table as a full piece and cut in front of the clients. Receiving the meat already portioned ruined a bit the nice side of the dish – so it looks not so much different than ordering a tagliata or a filet de bouef. On the other side, the meat was soft as butter, perfect together with its sauce, and tasted heavenly, so there was not much to complain about with mouth full 🙂

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Boys drunk a bottle of French red wine and I took for myself two glasses of lovely Sancerre. The wine list is reasonably wide and has a very good choice of wine glasses at a legitimate price – this is totally uncommon for restaurant at this level in my experience, as either they have combinations of wine for the full meal or they apply extreme recharges to the single glass. Thanks God, this was not the case and I could enjoy my wine without bothering my guests with my disputable choices 😛

The restaurant was pretty busy but the service was fairly correct and the owner came couple of times to our table to check that everything was going well – appreciated.

We concluded with espresso, accompanied by biscuits and home-made chocolate – just perfect.

The price was definitely fair: 254 euro in total for a big starter to share, two Chateaubriand for 500 gr, a bottle of red wine, two glasses of white, two bottles of waters and four espressos.

Mansfeld confirm its historical fashion, in a renewed environment and for a great quality/price. We will definitely come back to check also the new dishes on the menu.

Brasserie Mansfeld
3, rue de la Tour Jacob,
L-1831 Luxembourg