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

Saint Valentine: what to do in Luxembourg?

Organizing a dinner out for Saint Valentine is not as easy as you might think. My funniest adventure happened to be last year: it was our last Saint Valentine as engaged so we wanted to celebrate with something special, but at the same time I did not want to spend my afternoon cooking – and ending up being so tired after the dinner to fall asleep on the couch, not very sexy – or splurge too much money that we needed indeed for our (double) wedding celebration.

Therefore my husband agreed that we could go out, provided that the dinner would be organized in a special place, but a cheap one.
I will work it out, no worries!”. I had a chat with some of my girlfriends and one of them ended up suggesting this place. I am not entering into details, but apparently it was a cozy place, a bit out of the city, with great ethnic food and nice atmosphere.
I verified the menu online and it appeared to be an intimate location – from the standard press pictures – and the menu was nice and extremely cheap (surprisingly cheap I would say….). They did not have any special arrangements for Valentine’s, but knowing hubby’s preferences I supposed it was even better. I also remember I called to book a table (they are still laughing I think).

Extremely glad of my organizing skills, I told my husband I reserved this nice place and we were not going to spend a lot of money as usual. He seemed to be pretty happy, but it was too good to last.
That night, the 14th, we dressed up a bit but not too much – as the place looked quite casual from the official pictures. I wore a pair of skinny jeans and my highest heels. We took a cab, as it was quite far and we supposed we were going to save that money from the dinner bill. The taxi from our place cost 28 euro and it stopped in front of this indecent kebab house. My hubby looked at me really scared: are you sure this is THE place?
The address was correct. I was confused. Some details of the interior looked similar to the official pictures but the reality was sad: two suspicious people were seated at the only occupied table drinking a beer. We entered the only room and everything was so smelly I was about to vomit. Playing a bit dumb, we asked for a bottle of water to the counter girl – she could have been from the last Pulp Fiction scene eventually – and we went out silently deciding what to do.
My hubby’s mood moved from scared to angry. It was a rather freezing night, we had dressy clothes and we were in the middle of nowhere at 9 pm of Valentine’s – I was about to cry.
I started to call couple of restaurants in town but all of them were fully booked. At the end we managed to find a place in the city center, in a definitely not cheap restaurant, but was our only choice if we did not want to come back home and order a pizza. We spent further 30 euro of taxi back to the city and 200 euro for the dinner. Definitely not the celebration we could have imagined but still one of the most amusing 🙂 That night it was terrifying for a bit, but now we are telling the story almost enjoying it 😛

Said that, here you will find some proposals available in Luxembourg on 14th night. It does not want to be a comprehensive list, but an overview of those that looks like the best menus in some suggestive locations.

If you like new places: CatClub has recently changed its name to “Le Dix-Huit“. They propose a classic menu, 5 courses (fish + meat) for 56 euro. It will be a great occasion if you want to discover the new settings and spend a night out of the city center chaos. Moreover with ginger, homard , chocolate and passion fruit on the list, we are sure it will be a passionate dinner.
Le Dix-Huit, 18 rue de l’Aciérie – L-1112 Hollerich Luxembourg
See the menu here.

If you like contrasts and you want to surprise your partner with an innovative menu in a great classic location: “Brasserie Mansfeld” suggests a delicious menu (fish + meat) with contemporary combinations. Scallops with bacon and Jerusalem artichoke, chicken “cuit en basse temperature” with truffles, Tahitian vanilla cheesecake… The price is 69 Euro. Brasserie Mansfeld, 3 rue de la Tour Jacob – L-1831 Clausen Luxembourg
See the complete menu here.

If you like to be spoiled: “Le Fin Gourmand” offers you and your partner a lovely trip though great tastes. From truffles trilogy to Coeur de skrei with vanilla oil trough the main choice (meat or fish?) to the heavenly dessert combination – Mille feuilles, Ganache au chocolat, Sorbet and Crème Brule – that alone is worth the  visit. The price is 72 Euro per person.
Le Fin Gourmand, 2 route d’Esch, L-1470 Luxembourg
See the complete menu here

If you want to splurge: “Le Sud” is the perfect location for a special Valentine’s evening. Fairy tales atmosphere and romantic décor, plus a 7-courses menu that will be a triumph of flavors. You start with a Rossini aperitif, then each and every course – great “Le Sud” classics and new dishes – is accompanied by a wine choice, with a final coupe of Champagne rose’ – what do you want more? The price, included of wine and champagne combination, is 175 Euro per person.
Le Sud, 8 Rives de Clausen, L-2165 Luxembourg
See the complete menu here

If you want to leave Luxembourg City for one night: “Le Bourbon“, in Petange, is the perfect location. 4 – courses menu is preceded by amuse bouche and champagne, followed by foie gras starter, meat or fish as main course, selection of cheese (am I the only one to find cheese aphrodisiac?) and to conclude a revisited Opera cake. The price is 59 Euro per person without drinks, 89 euro with wine combination. The menu is also available on 13th and 15th. Le Bourbon, 14A route de Luxembourg, L-4760 Petange
See the complete menu here

If you want to have a full romantic day: “Mondorf Domaine Thermal” offers a yummy menu at De Jangeli for 85 euro per person, plus two different packages at the spa to be eventually combined. You can choose the Cupid package as present for you partner or indulge in a day for two that includes treatments in the same room, access to the Spa and a glass of champagne. The proposals are luxury and with a special price, you can book everything online from your desk now. What better occasion than Saint Valentine for treating yourself with a day at the best Spa in Luxembourg?
Domaine Thermal Mondorf Les Bains, Avenue des Bains, L-5601 Mondorf-les-Bains
Menu at De Jangeli here
Cupid Package here
Saint Valentine Forfait here 
All these ideas are soooo exciting I would like Saint Valentine to be at least couple of times per year 🙂

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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 JanetteRosport 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

Week End Chronicles: “Saueren Honger” Vernissage and Dipso The Wine Republic

Here some pictures of the most engaging part of last week end – Friday night. Anna and myself went straight from the office to Kjub, a restaurant I have been in the past that is able to merge in the same location a going out spot (resto, lounge, bar) and an art gallery.

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In this special occasion, for the vernissage of Saueren Honger, the restaurant settings disappeared and they left space to extremely bold paintings around. “Saueren Honger”, in fact, means “munchies”, in English, “impossible food combinations” – looking at the pictures you should probably understand the concept a bit better. The idea was super cool, it was pretty busy and, aside the classic bar, you can have some gin tonic tasting from Go Ten bar. They proposed different kind of gins to be accompanied with spices and fruits. We had the Rangpur Tanqueray, named after the area from India where this gin is coming from, with strong aromas of juniper, coriander, bay leaves and ginger. We tasted it with lemon leaves first and with lemongrass afterwards. Both drinks were different from the usual gin-tonic we have been used to, extremely flavored and spicy.

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After that, we headed downtown for a drink. We opted for Dipso, a new wine bar concept that was created recently in the old town area, just between Steiler and Monkey’s. The location is small but cozy and the internal décor differs from all other night-life spots in the city center, trying to adhere as much as possible to the area surroundings (rock walls, Spartan tables, dark lightings, bottles of wine all around). The bar was full and we were lucky enough to find a tall table just in the middle of the only room. Clients were mainly professionals and couples. We had a Chablis bottle (39 euro) from the short wine list (from Pinot Blanc to Chardonnay on white side, from France or Luxembourg, from 19 Euro to around 60). Perfect temperature and great taste. We accompanied it with a “Spanish Board” composed by two types of chorizo, one of lomo, cheese and ham. The bar offers different “planchette” (Italian, Japanese, Spanish…) from 19 to 25 euro. Together with the bread, it was quite fine as appetizer and to continue – temporary – our night out without passing out (LOL). The quality of the cuts was indeed great and they were also well presented. Just as talks, we were just noting that, in my town, in Italy, when you order a bottle of wine, a plat like that is considered included in the price of the “aperitivo” . Yes, for sure here in Luxembourg the culture is different and anyway, even if not extremely cheap, it was a very nice aperitif.
We actually wanted to order another bottle after a ciggy break, but when back inside we found our place occupied. The waiter offered us to ask the people to leave but we kindly refused and moved on – note to self: advise the waiter when you are just smoking outside and you don’t have intention to leave next time 🙂

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So at the end, Dipso was a great choice, definitely a place to come back and to suggest if you want to have a glass of good wine and some appetizer in an fascinating kind of medieval settings. Above all, really appreciated, something quite different from all the bars already on the scene.

Some post related info:

Kjub Restaurant – Gallery

Saueren Honger exhibition will be still available to be seen if you pass by.

Dipso – The Wine Republic
4 ,rue de la Loge
Luxembourg, Luxembourg