La Boqueria, Kirchberg, Luxembourg

I got back from Bangkok on Saturday morning after more than 20 hours travelling, considering layovers and plane changes. Even if I was pretty tired, I decided to overcome my jet-lag and above all I was so happy to be back – silly me – I wanted to go out!

After couple of drinks in town, Matteo and I headed to La Boqueria Luxembourg, the Spanish gastronomique restaurant that opened recently in Kirchberg. We booked throught their website, very easy and straight forward.

You can either choose to dine at the restaurant or at the tapas bar and we went for the bar, as we wanted something less formal.

We got there a bit later than expected, above all because there was no close parking to the area (valet service might be a great idea during winter!), but we were anyway welcomed nicely.

We went upstairs to the tapas bar, the location is huge compared to the usual Luxembourg city centre places, stylish and refined.

We skipped the aperitif – no coctktail maison were available, so went straight to the wine – and ordered three dishes of tapas to share.

We had a mixed platter of cold cuts pata negra, accompanied by toasted bread and tomato sauce (8.5/10). The charcuterie was extremely soft, far from commercial ones, tasty bread, fair portion and good presentation. The tomato sauce might have been a bit more generous, also in the taste.

Then we had bull’s tail ravioli (5/10). Very deluding dish, honestly. I am not sure if the chef forgot the salt or if, after the charcuterie, the taste in our mouths was gone, but the broth was watered down and the meat insipid. The homemade pastry of the ravioli was the only thing to save, but resembled more a Chinese dumpling than a Mediterranean ravioli.

We conclude with patatas bravas (9.5/10). A surprising dish, really. I have seen patatas bravas in most of the Spanish restaurant I have been, even abroad, and I have always had the same sad potatoes cut in quarters and overdone with commercial garlic sauce. This dish was presented in a very creative way, potatoes were amazing and the (home-made) sauce delicious. Only downside (here the missing half to 10): very greasy dish.

We concluded with a coffee (for the driver) and a yummy herbal Spanish digestif for me

After the pictures of the dinner, some general impressions about La Boqueria Luxembourg.

     
Things I loved about La Boqueria:

  • Service was truly good. Maybe because I had very bad expectations after having read several reviews online, I was surprised by the availability of the staff to explain dishes we have seen passing in front of us and we wanted to keep in mind for next time (mini burger and squid croquettes, in primis, take note). We felt well considered and never forgotten. Well done!
  • Cuisine is on a creative side that Spanish restaurant were missing in Luxembourg. I felt deluded only by the ravioli dish, that was probably a wrong choice on our side, but as said everything that was passing in front of us was looking extremely good. It remembered me pretty much the cuisine of my favourite Spanish place, Cambio de Tercio.
  • Fairly priced wine list – with wines, mainly Spanish, from 20 to 60 euro maximum. Considering the standard of the restaurant and the general prices in Luxembourg, a positive surprise.

Things I liked less about La Boqueria:

  • The ambience is refined and luxurious. But, to me, the tapas bar looked somehow more the bar in a lobby of a hotel than a restaurant. I think it would really help having just less bright lights, it would definitely improve the atmosphere.
  • The bill is coming not for having a daily dinner here: one bottle of Chardonnay (39 euro), three platter of tapas, one bottle of water, one espresso and one digestive were 100 Euro in total. Definitely not a place for those who want to satisfy their big appetite with a cheap meal. Whenever I find it a bit overpriced, I will definitely come back to try other dishes and I think the bill is in line with the service and the location proposed.

To sum up: La Boqueria Luxembourg is a very different Spanish place compared to those we have been used in Luxembourg. More on the luxury – and expensive – side, but with great creative ideas and a gentle service. Strongly recommended for romantic dates, girls night out and business dinners.

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Lanzarote bites

I am just back in Luxembourg after two chaotic weeks of holidays and now, just in front of my office windows, the most chaotic event in Luxembourg ever is taking place – the summer Braderie. I have a wedding and funeral band playing louder than my printer and a pile of posts to open. So, the laziest, I decided what would be better than looking back at my vacation pictures?

We had great time in Lanzarote, the island is amazing – something totally different from what you have seen so far – and you can spend days visiting around. Or you can just lay in the sun, eat and drink. We tried to do both of them, indeed, and I have to admit the quality of the food and drinks was above my expectations.

Enjoy this gallery and have a lovely week.

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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!