After-work drink at Kennedy Brasserie – Restaurant, Luxembourg

Since my office moved out of the city centre, I tend more to hang out in places a bit decentred as I find too stressful go through all the road works and the traffic, not to mention the huge parking issues – ever tried finding a spot over week-ends?
Moreover, compared to years ago, some neighbourhoods, that used to be dark and quiet over the evening, have seen several new places openings and are pretty animated even after working hours. The most evident example is Kirchberg, where, thanks to new offices, more and more restaurants and bars have open in the last year.
So – it has been a long time since I wanted to try Kennedy Brasserie – Restaurant, located in the new premises of E&Y offices, on avenue J.F. Kennedy.
I see many pictures on Instagram and Facebook and I heard very different feedbacks, so yesterday finally it was the time to check this place.

First – please note there are works currently on the side of the street where all the restaurants and bars are, so the easiest solution is to park for free on the other side of the avenue.

I got at Kennedy around 7 pm with Patricia and we were immediately amazed by the ambience. The place is one of the best for design I have seen in Luxembourg recently. You can immediately spot a sophisticated attention to details – starting from the fresh flowers on all the tables and the immaculate cloths.

Unfortunately the place was totally empty – there was just a table occupied in the bar area where we were accompanied. We asked to stay on the couches but the waitress pointed out that if we were only two, we had to be on a smaller table. Fair enough, but maybe too much considering the place was completely empty at 7 pm?

We had couple of drinks and an aperitif platter, we spent really pleasant time and when we left couple of hours later, there were only few visitors more during our stay. I had Bloody Mary all over the night while Patricia had champagne, that we accompanied with a cheese board.

Find some pictures of our night followed by my usual impressions.


  
  
 Things I loved about Kennedy:

  • I love the location, really. For atmosphere, it might easily become my favourite place in Luxembourg. Both the restaurant and the bar area are really refined and there is a perfect attention to details. During summer, the terrace would be really nice for a drink after-work.
  • The selection of drinks is wide and well priced – cocktails are around 12 euro and wine glasses start from 6 euro. Several offers also for digestifs and bottles. My cocktail was really well executed and the glass of champagne was as well correct.
  • Concerning the after-work platter selection, there is a nice choice. With the drinks, you are only offered some nuts, so it is clear you might want to have something on side. We went for the cheese board – 9,5 Euro – that was very well presented, with a good and particular options (nothing commercial) and was in a good quantity for two people, accompanied with some olives bread. You can even have only olives and bread for a small 5 euro or move to caviar and oysters for a pricey after-work.
  • Except for the issue of the table choice at the beginning, service was very fine.

Things I liked a bit less about Kennedy:

  • As said, we had a pleasant evening. We liked very much the place, the drinks and the food. We noted anyway only a very small issue on our side: service was terribly slow. Drinks and food – that was a cheese platter, so indeed not too complicated to prepare – took ages to come. While in the particular situation of yesterday this did not bother us very much, we wonder how this will be when the place will be fully booked.
  • Coming from the first point, it was very sad to sit down in a place totally empty. We wanted to have a relaxed chat so for us it was not a big deal, but I think I will be shy to bring there some other friends who might complain about the lack of social atmosphere.

In conclusion: I liked the after-work at Kennedy Brasserie – Restaurant very much. I loved the ambience and I would definitely come back to try the restaurant. Refined location, attention to details, good choice for food and drinks made it for me the best place for a girls night, a drink with a client or couples’ dinner. Really hope I will find more people there when I will come back.

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What to do: Gare – Station

From this Friday on, another new monthly series is going to start on Barefoot in Luxembourg about best recommendations for each area of the city – and eventually also out of the city sooner or later. I based my suggestion on what I am doing normally and on my favorite places.

Feel free to comment with your own suggestions, I am always happy to know new places!

I am starting with the Gare – Station area, as my office is just overlooking one of the most busy street of the city and it is here that, normally, I spend most of my time when in town.

Where to go when you crave sweets or you are meeting your bestie after some shopping:
Kathy’s Deli & Cupcakery
I love this place for two reasons: first, you can go there whatever time of the day it is. For an overindulging breakfast, for a colorful lunch, for an afternoon meeting with tea and cookies or Saturday brunch . Secondly, it is the only place where I fancy having cupcakes. I tend to eat not too many sweets, because I don’t really like cakes, biscuits, macarons (sorry!) and I am more a burger and chips girl, but Kathy’s cupcakes are just perfect. They have lovely combinations (smors are my best!) and they are not soo sweet. Also: non-lactose milks – and soya, rice, etc – available for your drinks!
Casa Fabiana
Even if I am not very much into this restaurant for lunch, I love the tea room settings and above all on Saturdays it is perfect for a coffee break, a snack and some chats. Bonus point: very amiable service.

Where to go for your girls’ lunch
Ekxi
When my sister was working in my same building, this was our usual lunch place. I love the fact you can choose between several different type of foods: from focaccia and lasagna, to soups, to sandwiches to salads. And everything is “natural”, with ingredients well written so whatever allergy or food preference you have you shouldn’t ask twice the waiter. My favorite dish there is the Thai Spicy Soup with mushrooms , they also have pretty good deals for lunch (salad, sandwich and drink for 8,40 Euro) and if you are in a hurry, the fruit-shake with watermelon and mint is just delicious.
Sushi and More
I started to hate sushi chains when I was in London, as I normally find the food there extremely cheap and insipid, and the opening of Sushi Shop in Luxembourg couldn’t help me to change my feelings – even it worse them. Sushi and More is a quite different story, as they have some well presented sushi, tasty, and the combinations for lunch (sushi box plus salad plus soup) are all for 11.20 Euro. They have also several “out of menu” items while my beloved box is the chirashi one. The location is clean and waiters are smiling and kind. Not for a date, but definitely worth a good lunch.
Sushi Ogasang
Talking about good deals, Sushi Ogasang is a more refined place – I keep it normally for my “special” lunches. They have several lunch bento box formulas (around 14 Euros), including a vegetarian one, and, boys will be boys, an All-you-can-eat trail (15 euros for lunch, 22 euros in the evening).

Where to go when you want to have shopping but you don’t know what you want to buy
Hema
When I enter in Hema, normally I feel the same then when going to Ikea. I know I have to buy only a small thing (like the cleanser for my contacts) but I end up always with my bag full of stupid things. In fact I think Hema is helpful in two ways: for cheap home things (we bought there our curtains, but they have also dishes, small electro stuff, towels) or for totally silly compulsive items, like colored notepads, cake kits, gardener tools, candles. And… have you ever tried Hema cookies?

Where to go when you need to shop for a dinner date
La Pause du Gourmet
Here at La Pause du Gourmet not only you can have delicious lunches (not on budget), refined wine tastings or organize your evening events (business nights, birthdays, dinners), but also buying amazing wines, cheese and charcuterie. My favorite is the truffle cheese (prepared with truffle bits, not just aroma) and the pesto one. Hubby is a fan of all the Italian charcuterie, including the Colonnata lard.

Where to go when it is Sunday afternoon, your fridge is empty and you girlfriend is coming to your place
Monoprix
Monoprix is open until 7 pm on Sundays (all Sundays, not only those of city-shopping) They have great fruit and vegetables selection, wines and champagne, fresh bread and croissants, meat, cheese, cleaning stuff and many more other products – and your final bill will be lower than driving to the next petrol station to buy some last-minute beef filet , Cabernet and chips.

Where to go for a quiet drink with your colleagues

Hotel Park Inn
I know pretty well the station area is not popular among professional expats and Luxembourgers. It could happen anyway that you want to stop by the way for a drink, so, the Hotel Park Inn is definitely the best place to go for me. The ambience is swanky but not posh (forget Sofitel!), the service friendly and the prices reasonable. Above all, you are on the first floor over Avenue de La Gare, so you can enjoy the chaos without being in it middle. Recommended for an after-work drinks.

Where to go for a romantic dinner date
Taj Mahal (on budget)
Le Chatelet (elegant)

Where to go for a dinner/drink with a buddy
La Bella Napoli
They
 offer a very good Italian style tiny pizza at reasonable price – I am not a fan of their other dishes and I would recommend personally to go there only for the pizza, but feel free to try and let me know! The environment is a bit messy but pleasant, with efficient service. If you stick to the pizza and beer menu, it is very reasonable priced.
QG
For having a beer at QG, you definitely do not need to dress up. They have plenty of space for chatting, a terrace, a pool table and they are open until 3 am over week-ends. It is not a fashionable place, but it is kind of place where you can spend a funny evening with your friends without being bothered about the surroundings. I love their Bloody Mary.

I noted a couple of new places open their doors in the area recently but haven’t had a chance to try them yet.. so stay tuned for some further updated, gonna test them during next weeks 🙂

Week-End late considerations: how important is the Service? My awful experience (Aka cite’).

We had a pretty painful (and alcoholic 😛 ) Saturday night and I woke up on Sunday with some relevant considerations about restaurant experiences. I was not sure I wanted to write a full review of the restaurant I have been, because I am not here to make bad advertisements, but I will take it as an example to ponder what actually is important when you are eating out.

Late edit: After some early morning further considerations, I have decided to disclose the name of the restaurant. I would like to hear from you guys if you have been there recently to share further points of view. This was my experience:

Saturday night. The restaurant was full but now fully booked. We were escorted to our table and left alone for more than 10 minutes after which we physically had to stop a waiter – as no ones was making eye contact and checking tables – to ask for an aperitif. To me, it is nice to ask the clients an aperitif as soon as at the table so they can drink it quietly while making dinner choice.. but it was not the case.

We ordered a dish to share as starter – that was actually called on the menu “Medley of tempura to share” – and two separate main courses. The lady who bought us the starter tossed it on my side without even say: Please. The dish was hot and it was pretty complicated moving it on the middle of the table to actually allow also my husband to have some of the food as well. Moreover, no single plats were taken to the table – and it was not something you can eat with your hands, gosh, it was fried! We asked for them together with the wine list – as our aperitif was over. No menu card were available at the moment (really?) and we waited other good five minutes before commanding a bottle of wine – actually Champagne Rose’, but it is relatively important. We ordered it while the starter was yet to be started and until we finished nobody took care of bringing our wine or some water that we have also ordered. We had indeed to eat completely dry. Our mains came and my dish was wrong – I ordered Ebi Ebi rolls, Boston Rolls and Demi-Cuit Tuna Sashimi, and my dish had three kind of rolls on it – I had already the feeling that the dish was coming wrong as we ordered several things and the waiter did not take any notes – come on, how could you remember?. I asked to change it and the waiter took it back to the kitchen – that is “a vue“. Therefore I could clearly see she was removing some rolls from my plat with bare hands. She came back and pretend the dish was correct now – I said it was still not and she insisted it was really what I ordered, (Ebi Ebi rolls and Boston Rolls) but I have been there before several times, so I knew it was not the case. I accepted then also because hubby was starting to be starving. After finishing the dishes, we remained I think something like 15 to 20 minutes without anybody asking for a coffee, the dessert list or the bill. Pretty fed up – also because waiters were just in their gossip corner talking and were not busy – we moved to the counter to pay directly there. We pay 165 euro for two aperitif, one starter to share, two main courses, one bottle of water and one of wine.

How was the food? The food was indeed delicious, I think it the best in town for sushi. The atmosphere is nice and it is a really going out spot. On the other side, would I be happy to come back here soon? I would rather say NO. I can understand if you are eating for 30 euro each, you cannot pretend to be treated like a prince (even..), but why do I have to spend 165 euro for swallowing my starter dry or having my main coming wrong or haven’t had anybody asking me if the dinner was nice and if I am fine or I want a coffee. Please.

Don’t get me wrong. It is really important to eat well, and this is probably the first reason because you are choosing one restaurants instead of the other. BUT. I am a pretty good cooker and I enjoy having dinners at my place. The reason because I like also going out, it is the spoiled feeling you get when you don’t have to be bothered running around if the salt is missing or if the wine is still in the fridge.
I love when people are smiling – because I am paying for being here, you are not making me a favor serving -, when the timings of the dinner are correct – not in a rush, but not even 20 minutes before someone asking me for a coffee – I like people to check how my dinner was because they would be interested having returning clients and not fulfill their counter with one night stands.

Am I asking too much? How is important for you the service in a restaurant compared to the food and how you would rather behave when service has been really really disappointing like in my case?

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